PRESS RELEASE

UNODC Chief says civil society collaboration has led to greater access to drug treatment and care

Over 350 civil society organizations globally have received support from UNODC on HIV prevention, treatment, care and support for people who inject drugs

New York/Vienna, 11 February 2016 - UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, told a gathering of non-governmental organizations in New York on 10 February that the organization's partnership with civil society was advancing drug treatment and care globally.

"We have worked with [civil society] to increase access to evidence and rights-based treatment and care in more than 40 countries around the world," said Mr. Fedotov.

The UNODC head was speaking at an event for civil society organizations on the forthcoming UN General Assembly Special Session on the world drug problem (UNGASS 2016), to be held 19-22 April in New York.

In his own address to the civil society event the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, said that no country alone can confront these issues: "Shared responsibility can ensure the delivery of balanced and comprehensive drug policies with a renewed focus on human rights and public health, including prevention, treatment and care."

The Executive Director paid tribute to the organizations present who had enriched the UNGASS 2016 process with their contributions. Mr. Fedotov said UNODC was cooperating closely with all its partners, including civil society, and that: "The UN advocates a comprehensive and balanced international drug policy that focuses, among other things, on prevention, treatment and care."

He noted that UNODC, as the UN Secretariat's lead agency on addressing the challenges of drugs and crime, supported Member States "through its global, inter-regional, regional and country programmes, our quality research and analysis, and our network of field offices".

UNGASS 2016 is an important milestone on the road to 2019 when the international community will review the implementation of the Political Declaration and Plan of Action on the world drug problem. Mr. Fedotov said this process was also closely allied to the 2030 agenda, which had emphasized the importance of health and inclusive justice to sustainable development.

Executive Director's full speech at the event

For further information please contact:

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

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