55a CND

Fifty-fifth session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs to open in Vienna next week

9 March 2012 (UN Information Center) - Strengthening the drug programme of UNODC will be the focus of the fifty-fifth session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), which will meet in Vienna from 12 to 16 March. The CND is the central policymaking body within the United Nations system dealing with illicit drugs and is the governing body for the work of UNODC in the area of drugs.

Ministers and top counter-narcotics officials from the 53 member States of the Commission will discuss issues ranging from international cooperation in combating drugs to public health and safety concerns and prevention of the diversion of chemicals for use in the manufacture of illicit drugs.

On Monday 12 March there will be a press conference by UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov and the Chairperson of the fifty-fifth session of CND, Ambassador Carmen Buján Freire of Spain.

Among those addressing the Opening Session are: President of Bolivia, Evo Morales Ayma;  Vice President of Honduras, Victor Hugo Barnica; Counter Narcotics Minister of Afghanistan, Zarar Ahmad Moqbel-Osmani; Justice Minister of Brazil, Jose Eduardo Cardozo; Interior Minister of Iran, Mostafa Mohammad Najjar; Minister to the Prime Minister's Office of Lao People's Democratic Republic, Soubanh Srithirath; Secretary of State in the Ministry of Health, Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla; the Counter Narcotic heads of the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Peru, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Germany and France  amongst others, the Vice Minister in the Ministry of Narcotics Control of Pakistan and the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala; and the former President of Switzerland, Ruth Dreifuss. Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol of Thailand will also be attending the CND.

A number of side events will be held during the session, including an event to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the International Opium Convention and events addressing the threats and challenges of new psychoactive substances, the rights of children to be protected from illicit drugs, driving while intoxicated by drugs and the strengthening of demand reduction policies as the basis for national policies against drugs.

The Opening Session of the Plenary Session and side events are open to the press.

Further Information:

Brazil and the Southern Cone:

Andrea Catta Preta

Communication Desk

Tels.: (+55 61) 3204 7206

(+55 61) 8118 0910


Vienna, Austria:

Preeta Bannerjee

Public Information Officer

Tel: (+43-699) 1459-5764

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