World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs

Remarks at the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) High-Level Segment

Remarks
William R. Brownfield
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
Vienna, Austria
March 13, 2014

________________________________________
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the Commission
It is a pleasure to join you all today.

Protecting our citizens from the harmful consequences of illegal drugs and transnational criminal organizations is a shared responsibility.

There is consensus around the goals: public health; citizen security; rule of law. How we achieve them will engage our governments leading up to the 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs.

The three drug conventions are the starting point. Their goals – facilitating access to medicine, protecting citizens from the consequences of harmful drugs – are universally acknowledged. As is the important role of civil society in achieving them.

The international drug control system is not perfect. Some argue the conventions cannot handle problems this big and complex. I respectfully disagree: over the decades, these conventions have been flexible and resilient, evolving to help member states grapple with these challenges. We believe it is more prudent to advance evidence-based reform within the framework of the conventions than to embrace unproven ideas that undercut the system and risk greater drug abuse. We welcome the chance to discuss reform at this CND and during preparations for the 2016 UNGASS.

The United States enters this dialogue with three lessons in mind:
First, historic neuroscience advances prove addiction is a disease of the brain that can be prevented and treated. We must look at what drives individuals to use drugs, identify ways to prevent drug use before it begins, and expand access to treatment. We will share examples of effective practices with partners facing similar challenges, while supporting capacity-building and training for drug prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery.

Second, we need a holistic approach to combat the criminal orgs who wreak havoc on communities. It is not our task to incarcerate everyone who consumes drugs, but to take down the multinational criminal enterprises that profit from them. Criminal networks thrive in underserved spaces. But when the criminal justice system and the treatment community work in tandem, when we provide alternatives to incarceration, we can stop the revolving door of criminal justice and save lives. Alternative development is another tool for helping good governance and prosperity take root.

Third, international cooperation among UN member states is essential. New psychoactive substances are an excellent example. As many as 200 new uncontrolled substances hit the market just this year, posing public health and law enforcement challenges to all. Member states have developed mechanisms to share information and responses to protect our citizens from these substances, demonstrating the value of the drug conventions, the UNODC, the WHO, and the INCB.

A focus on public health and the science of addiction; an innovative approach to criminal justice; and a commitment to international cooperation. These ladies and gentlemen are the future of drug policy. The three drug conventions provide the framework for this holistic, balanced approach to reducing the global drug problem.

We look to the future, our efforts must be guided by reason, evidence, and – above all – a common desire to safeguard the health and well-being of our citizens.

That is a formula for success, ladies and gentlemen. And succeed we shall, because succeed we must.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Myanmar Election: UNICEF Urges Prioritisation Of Children

With 99 days to go before Myanmar elections, UNICEF urges candidates make children the clear winner More>>

Liberia Thousands Of Unregistered Children Born During Ebola Crisis

Thousands of unregistered children born in Liberia during Ebola crisis at risk of exploitation – UNICEF More>>

UN Refugee Agency Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Myanmar

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt (left) in Myitkyina township, Kachin State, Myanmar, meeting with some of the 100,000 displaced people who currently live there. Photo: UNHCR/T.Stoddart More>>

As Health Needs Rise In Somalia, Funding Hits New Low

As health needs rise in Somalia, funding hits new low, cutting off 1.5 million from care – UN More>>

Need To End Violence Against Children In Conflict

‘We should be outraged’ more not being done to end violence against children in conflict – UNICEF chief More>>

On Mandela Day, UN Joins Call To Promote Community Service

Nelson Mandela, then Deputy President of the African National Congress of South Africa, raises his fist in the air while addressing the Special Committee Against Apartheid in the General Assembly Hall. UN Photo/P. Sudhakaran More>>

Some $3.2 Billion Needed For Ebola Recovery Efforts

Some $3.2 billion needed for Ebola recovery efforts in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – UN More>>

World Day: UN Spotlights Plight Of Vulnerable Populalations

Syrian refugees fleeing the fighting near the Syrian city of Kobani wait in a holding area before boarding buses in Turkey (September 2014). Photo: UNHCR /I. Prickett More>>

Afghanisatan: Direct Talks Between Government And Taliban

The United Nations Security Council has welcomed the recently held direct talks between Afghan Government and Taliban representatives as a step towards “peace and reconciliation” in the region. More>>

Eradicating World Hunger By 2030

Agriculture workers collect carrots on a farm in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. Photo: World Bank/Maria Fleischmann More>>

Bangladesh: Flood Leads To UN Agency Providing Food Relief

Anwar Hossain unloads cartons of High Energy Biscuits from a pickup truck and transfers them to a distribution center in Kawar Khop union, Ramu upazila, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Photo: WFP/Kamrul Mithon More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news