58th UNODC Session remarks - Commission on Narcotic Drugs

by Mr. Yury Fedotov, Director-General/Executive Director

Distinguished Participants,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

You have now come to the closing of the 58th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs of UNODC (United Nations Office on Drug and Crime).

Throughout the special and regular segments your deliberations and negotiations have clearly shown why this commission is the key United Nations' policy-making body on international drug control.

I commend the efforts of the Chairman of the Commission, Ambassador Srisamoot, for his calm captaincy and for the diplomacy and authority he and the other members of the bureau have displayed in navigating the discussion to a successful conclusion.

My congratulations to Ambassador Shamaa, and the other members of the UNGASS preparations board, for their leadership in enabling the Commission to advance the preparations for the 2016 Special Session on the World Drug Problem.

I welcome the insights, collective wisdom, and experience provided by the delegates in the resolutions passed and decisions made at the 58th Session.

I also acknowledge the efforts of other stakeholders present, including the representatives of other UN entities, as well as international and regional organizations.

In this work, the Commission has been ably supported by UNODC's own Jo Dedeyne, the Chief of the Secretariat to the Governing Bodies, as well as the many other UNODC staff who have worked tirelessly to support the Commission.

In my opening speech, I drew attention to the importance of the balanced approach, which is a continuing theme in the commission's work as well as UNODC's own global efforts.

This year, the resolutions and decisions of the Commission have provided UNODC with additional guidance and mandates in areas such as:

  • Protecting young people and children from the sale of illicit drugs and NPS over the Internet
  • Strengthening cooperation in identifying and blocking financial flows linked to drug trafficking
  • Implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Alternative Development and there are many more.

Resolutions are a platform for UNODC's own projects and programmes around the world. They enable the organization to deliver tangible benefits and assistance to the victims of illicit drugs.

There were, in total, some 65 side events this year, as well as around 18 exhibitions. All of them received your full support and were well attended. Some of these events were held by civil society organizations. Many of these organizations work in close partnership with UNODC across the world.

I also wish to offer the civil society my congratulations for coming to the 58th Session in such numbers and for adding their voices to the ongoing discussion about the world drug problem.

One of the most important side events was the Opening of the Informal International Scientific Network Hearing.

Science and evidence-based practices offer the world the best means of treating drug abuse and ending the misery of millions of people. In moving forward in this area, we must remove the damaging influence of ideology and provide assistance solely on the basis of science and research.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are now coming to the point on our collective journey where UNGASS 2016 is now firmly in view. Thanks to your deliberations and collective vision we are already well prepared, but there remains considerable work to be done.

I thank you for the work achieved and once again pledge UNODC's full support in the essential activities yet to be undertaken.

Finally, I wish you a safe return to your capitals, to your homes and to your loved ones and families.

Thank you