Opening Segment

19 Feb 2016

H.E. Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, President of the UN General Assembly

UNGASS is a major event in the 2016 GA calendar. What we are facing in these discussions is a transnational threat represented by the world drug problem and representing the common challenge and shared responsibly of all MS. It is a problem that destroys lives, often of society’s most vulnerable. Tears families apart. Pits drug users against drug suppliers. Even pits countries where drugs are used against countries where drugs are consumed. 

Sustainable development, criminal justice, international law, human rights are all relevant. This is an example of a 21st century problem requiring long-term engagement across borders and action by government. That’s why I have been greatly encouraged by the open and inclusive preparatory process of the UNGASS. 

H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General of the United Nations

Implementing the 2030 agenda of sustainable development will require the bold and courageous assistance of civil society. This applies equally to addressing the world drug problem. Around the world, illicit drugs promote violence, undermine people’s health and interconnect with corruption and terrorism. Those who traffic in illegal drugs may also be involved in human trafficking. The world drug problem is also a health problem – overdoses, addiction, and the spread of HIV and hepatitis C. Effects are experienced by drug users and their families, and overwhelm health systems.

UNGASS is a wide-ranging discussion in all its aspects. We must help in the development of drug policies based on human rights and the health and welfare of people. This will support the 2030 agenda. Ensure the delivery of balanced drug policies with a renewed focus on human rights and development.

H.E. Mr. Khaled Shamaa, Chair of the Board, Commission on Narcotic Drugs 

Over the past month, the UNGASS board has been tasked with helping member states with the UNGASS outcome document, and has met with a wide range of stakeholders. As mandated, we are producing concrete operational recommendations in areas including new and emerging threats, and also threats we have been struggling with for many years. The world drug problem is complex and needs to be addressed in a comprehensive and multifaceted way. 

International cooperation, development, human rights, and justice are relevant areas. Need to address a health approach, as well as human rights, as a focus of this consultation. Civil society can play a crucial role in implementation. 


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