Friday, 26 June 2015

CND Special Event, 26th June – Launch of World Drug Report 2015 in Vienna

On the UN International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, UNODC and their UN partners coordinated simultaneous launches of their flagship World Drug Report 2015 – in Vienna, Geneva and New York. Member states had received a technical briefing about the report last week, so this event was billed as a CND Special Session in line General Assembly Resolution 69/200. The session was co-chaired by Ambassador Arthayudh Srisamoot from Thailand and Ambassador Khaled Abdelrahman Shamaa from Egypt.

Special Event, 26th June – Launch of World Drug Report 2015 in New York

The launch of the World Drug Report was also held in New York on June 26. Simone Monasabien, Director of UNODC’s New York Office, moderated, opened with introductory remarks focusing on Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson’s commitment to the drugs issue and his comments that we must take the opportunity of UNGASS to “consolidate our approaches and integrate a range of perspectives on drug issues” and said that he has worked “tirelessly” to ensure that UNGASS fulfills its promise. Mr. Eliasson then delivered the keynote address. Calling the challenges of the world drug problem “immense” he discussed the problems of drug trafficking, especially in transit countries particularly in West Africa. He then turned his attention to alternative development, which “saves lives” but “cannot take place in isolation from good governance, as well as well-functioning markets, land titles, infrastructure and wider strategies for agriculture.” He then touched on the need for a fair criminal justice system, protection of vulnerable groups and marginalized communities, denouncing disproportionate penalties and long prison sentences for minor drug offences, and promoting health measures to prevent the spread of blood borne diseases. Finally he said that we must be “honest and brave” in accepting that some drug and sentencing policies may need to be reviewed, and that the “United Nations advocates a careful re-balancing of the international policy on controlled drugs” increasing the focus on public health, prevention, treatment and care as well as on economic, social and cultural strategies benefiting societies as a whole.”

Friday, 12 June 2015

CND Intersessional - 12th June 2015

Agenda Item 1

Vladimir Galuska of the Czech Republic was elected First Vice Minister of the Commission of Narcotic Drugs (CND)

Endorsement of nominations for Vice-chairs FINGOV. Announcements were made about FINGOV and ECOSOC. CND 52/13 nominations of co-chairs (Joint meeting)
  • Mr Belina Ruiz (Spain) put forward
  • Nicaragua (Other co-chair)

Thursday, 7 May 2015

The impact of drug policy on public health

Side event organised by UNAIDS, OSF and Harm Reduction International
The Swiss experience

In Switzerland, the approach is humane and there needs to be a radical rethink of our drug policies.

High-level Thematic Debate in support of the process towards the 2016 Special Session of the General Assembly on the World Drug Problem

All official statements are now available here.

Opening session

H.E. Mr. Sam Kutesa, President of the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
The world drug problem affects us all. Drug trafficking affects national institutions. Worldwide markets are worth 332 billion dollars. Men, women and children are trapped in poverty, languish in prison. We must do what we can to overcome their vulnerabilities that expose them to illicit drugs. We must uphold the rule of law. Crime prevention and criminal justice should be adequately integrated. Combatting the world drug problem is joint initiative. We must scale up interventions and international cooperation to combat organised crime, under the three drug control conventions. Although the implementation has been incomplete, we must look at improving international cooperation. We need to balance demand and supply reduction strategies and raise awareness of the impact of drugs. We must monitor trafficking trends. We must bring attention to corruption issues. I commend the UNODC for its programmes aimed at improving the lives of many across the world. I welcome exchanges of views for improvement.

Click here to read the full statement.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

5th Civil Society Hearing

Opening Session

Jean Luc Lemahieu, UNODC
I thank the NYNGOC for organising this event, as well as the respective governments for their support. UNODC greatly values the role of NGOs as we approach the 2016 UNGASS. We also support NGOs' participation, their outreach to affected populations, and their role in events. NGOs' role is key as stated in the Joint Ministerial Statement. 117 NGO staff received training from UNODC, 260 participated in discussions. NGOs remain a crucial part of the response to drugs. I thank you for your dedication and your work. UNODC also seeks to overcome the stigma associated with the stigma associated with drugs. UNODC supports the CSTF work and in particular its Global Survey. The essential services provided by NGOs on the ground present a significant resource and we hope will be presented at the UNGASS through the platform supported by UNODC. The platform serves as an e-bay or to link people and services. We hope that member states provide the funding necessary. We encourage CSOs to continue participating in the process through sharing their experiences on the ground. The UNGASS 2016 website has been designed to promote these contributions. UNODC looks forward to working with you towards the global response to illicit drugs.

Identifying common ground on development for UNGASS 2016

Mr. Cockayne
There are major obstacles for the implementation of our drug policy approach. For alternative development to be dealt with new directions in rural and urban areas, we need to discuss the issue at the 2016 UNGASS. 3 directions:
  • need to use programming to tackle poverty, government presence and access to land
  • need to improve infrastructure, education and access to markets
  • need to use human development indicators and metrics to assess the impacts of drug policies.