Government of Pakistan Hosted a Workshop on the Implementation of the Recommendations of the General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the World Drug Problem 

31 January - 2 February 2018, Islamabad - Ministry of Narcotics Control (MNC) in collaboration with UNODC Country Office Pakistan organized a three-day workshop as a follow-up on the implementation of the recommendations of the General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the world drug problem from 31 January to 2 February 2018 at Marriott Hotel in Islamabad. 

The UNGASS outcome document, adopted by the General Assembly at its special session on 19 April 2016, is composed of more than 100 operational recommendations. The outcome document has an operational nature and contains recommendations of concrete actions to be taken by Member States and other stakeholders. It is divided into seven thematic chapters.

The objectives of the workshop were to support the implementation of the UNGASS outcome document, to analyze the recommendations regarding their specific relevance to the region and to translate them into concrete activities. The latter are linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the work of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

The outcome of the workshop is an increased awareness of the UNGASS recommendations and the follow-up process, as well as an assessment by the Government of Pakistan of action taken and a roadmap for further implementation of the UNGASS outcome document.  

It was well attended by a wide range of participants including Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Women Rights, Ministry of Human Rights, Ministry of Law and Justice, Provincial Health Department, Social Welfare Department, Excise and Taxation, Education Departments, Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan, Anti Narcotics Force, World Health Organization, Pakistan Customs, National Accountability Bureau, media, the Police and the Goodwill Ambassador of UNODC Pakistan. Ms. Regina Rohrbach and Ms. Dorris Resh from the Secretariat of Governing Bodies facilitated an interactive workshop about the outcome document and discussed in lengths the seven chapters in it and the participants discussed the actions already taken in the country on the UNGASS recommendations.

The workshop was also attended by the Austrian Ambassador Dr. Brigitta Blaha, Secretary MNC Mr. Iqbal Mahmood and Director General Anti Narcotics Force, Major General Mussarat Nawaz. While giving the key note address, Secretary Narcotics Mr. Iqbal said, "I would like to highlight that this workshop, which is held in Pakistan, is among the first one of such workshops held worldwide focusing on the comprehensive implementation of the operational recommendations contained in the UNGASS outcome document." He also said, "Pakistan has played a key role in the preparations for UNGASS, including the negotiation of the UNGASS outcome document, and is now actively contributing to the implementation of the document at the international level."

Representative UNODC César Guedes greeted the participants in his welcoming speech and said, "We must work together - tying the responses to the world drug problem to the broader goals of the groundbreaking 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development." 

Austrian Ambassador H.E. Dr. Brigitta Blaha also said that since Vienna hosts many UN agencies and UNODC Headquarter, she is delighted to be part of this workshop. 

UNODC Goodwill Ambassador, Shehzad Roy also said, "I am very excited to be invited by UNODC and I am here for learning. I would like to know in detail what UNODC is working on and how I can contribute to their work." Director General Anti Narcotics Force Major General Mussarat Nawaz gave a comprehensive presentation on the current drug control efforts in Pakistan.

On the last day of workshop, UNODC Director of Policy Analysis and Public Affairs Jean-Luc Lemahieu gave an overview of the country's implementation process, and discussed with participants how their UNGASS chapters are linked to the SDGs. He also posed challenging questions to groups based on interlinkages between SDGs and UNGASS chapters and opened the floor for comments. 

Secretary MNC Mr. Iqbal Mahmood concluded the workshop by inviting all the stakeholders to give their reviews and suggestions to MNC, which is more than happy to work with them.