UNDOC: The sharing of a message from United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

10 Feb 2016

On behalf of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, I have to say that we welcome the focus of this year's Annual Parliamentary Hearing on the world drug problem, ahead of the UN General Assembly special session.

The engagement of IPU in addressing global challenges like the world drug problem is very much needed and highly appreciated.

Parliamentarians play an absolutely critical role in putting global commitments into practice in national legislation and ensuring that the necessary resources are devoted to make these pledges a reality.

I had the privilege of addressing the 133rd IPU Assembly in Geneva last October, and I am glad to be able to join you today.

This meeting is another opportunity to ensure that the valuable national perspectives of parliamentarians can further enrich the UNGASS process.

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Addressing the world drug problem is essential to promoting health and peaceful and inclusive societies, as part of overall efforts to realize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The UNGASS is therefore a chance to consider responses to the world drug problem within the holistic framework of the SDGs.

In the run up to the special session, there has been an open, inclusive and comprehensive preparatory process led by Member States through the Vienna-based Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

I am pleased that we have with us today Ambassador Khaled Shamaa, Chair of the Board Tasked with UNGASS Preparations, who is very skilfully facilitating this process.

Participation and debate have been encouraged through a dedicated UNGASS website, and through numerous events held in New York, as well as in Geneva and Vienna.

Diverse stakeholders, including UN entities, international and regional organizations and civil society, have provided their substantive contributions.

The UNGASS is also an important milestone on the way to 2019 and the review of the 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action on the world drug problem.

It has helped to focus the attention of the international community on the many existing and emerging challenges posed by drugs.

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