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    UNIS/NAR/1375
    14 March 2019

    UNODC Executive Director welcomes Ministerial Declaration, urges states to 'put people first' in drug policies

    VIENNA, 14 March (UN Information Service) - Yury Fedotov, the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), welcomed today a ministerial declaration on accelerating implementation of commitments to address and counter the world drug problem.

    The declaration was adopted at the ministerial segment of the 62nd session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

    "The importance of shared solutions to shared challenges is the central insight and thread that runs through the Ministerial Declaration," said Mr. Fedotov. "Through this you have further reinforced a solid foundation for collective action, based on the flexible framework of the three conventions, which constitute the cornerstone of the international drug control system."

    The Executive Director highlighted the importance of "comprehensive approaches to the difficult and complex problems posed by drugs, responses that put people first and seek to safeguard their health, well-being and future".

    "Looking to the decade ahead of us, let us take this opportunity to expand on the common ground and positive momentum we have achieved, and keep striving to do better for the people we serve," he said.

    Bolivian President Evo Morales and the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, as well as more than 30 ministers of foreign affairs, interior, justice and health, are scheduled to address the ministerial segment, which continues until tomorrow, 15 March.

    The opening session featured video messages from the President of the General Assembly, María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, and UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

    "As you embark on your reflections and chart a way for the future, I encourage you to be mindful of the key principles of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - the commitment to leave no one behind, to advance a more people-centred approach and to achieve a sustainable and just world," said Ms. Espinosa Garcés in her message.

    "By learning from one another and sharing experiences, we can be more effective in reducing supply and demand, improving security, protecting health and human rights and delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals," said UN Secretary-General Guterres in his message. "Let us build on shared commitments and make the best use of practices that work."

    The ministerial segment will take stock of the implementation of the commitments made to jointly address and counter the world drug problem, and will be followed by the regular session of the Commission next week. The session will consider resolutions addressing, among other topics, strengthening forensic detection capability for synthetic drugs as well as for the control of precursors; promoting alternative development as a development-oriented drug control strategy; and measures to prevent transmission of HIV for women who use drugs.

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    For further information please contact:

    Sonya Yee
    Speechwriter and Spokesperson, UNODC
    Phone: (+43 1) 26060-4990
    Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-4990
    Email: sonya.yee[at]un.org