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    UNIS/NAR/1246
    26 June 2015

    We confront illicit drugs to protect health, UNODC Chief states at special Vienna event

    Special Commission on Narcotic Drugs event brings Thai Princess and international community together for launch of UN Office on Drugs and Crime's World Drug Report 2015

    VIENNA 26 June (UN Information Service) - The Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov, today called for comprehensive efforts, founded on human rights and dignity, to overcome drug traffickers and the appalling impact of drug abuse on individuals and communities.

    "We continue to lose 600 people every day who die globally from overdoses and other drug use conditions. These deaths are unacceptable and have terrible consequences for families and communities around the world," Mr. Fedotov said.

    The UNODC Chief was delivering key note remarks at a special event of the 58th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs for the launch of the World Drug Report 2015, UNODC's flagship publication on the production, trafficking and consumption the main illicit drugs.

    Held in Vienna, the event was attended by Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol, the Minister of Justice for Colombia, Yesid Reyes, the new Afghan Counter-narcotics Minister, Salamat Azimi, as well as heads of missions.

    For the first time in UNODC's history the World Drug Report was launched in three separate UN hubs: New York, Vienna and Geneva.

    In New York, the trends and movements of drug trafficking and drug use were the main focus, while in Geneva, in partnership with UNAIDS and WHO, the launch concentrated on health, particularly prevention and treatment, as well as HIV/AIDS.

    The Vienna launch spotlighted the importance of alternative development.

    Mr. Fedotov reinforced this message when he said the World Drug Report 2015 is "a link between efforts to help impoverished farmers move from illicit drug cultivation to the licit economy and the much wider sustainable development goals to be adopted at the UN Summit on Sustainable Development in September."

    The UNODC Chief finished his speech with a call to recognize that people were at the centre of all efforts against illicit drugs.

    "For this reason, we owe it to ourselves as we move closer and closer to the UN General Assembly Special Session on the world drug problem, in 2016, to ensure that people remain at the centre of all our efforts. They need our support. We must not let them down." he said. 

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    To read the World Drug Report 2015: http://www.unodc.org/wdr2015/

    To read the speech of the UNODC Executive Director:

    http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/speeches/2015/wdr2015-260615.html

    For further information, please contact:

    David Dadge
    Spokesperson, UNODC
    Telephone: (+43- 1) 26060-5629
    Mobile: (+43) 699-1459-5629
    Email: david.dadge[at]unvienna.org