NGOs vital partner in work on the ground to address drug challenges, says UNODC chief ahead of UN General Assembly special session

New York / Vienna, 18 April 2016 - The Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov, highlighted the role of civil society in promoting balanced, integrated and evidence-based approaches to illicit drugs.

Speaking at the high-level opening of the Civil Society Forum one day ahead of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS 2016) on the World Drug Problem, Mr. Fedotov called civil society "a vital partner in all our efforts".

"UNODC is looking forward to strengthening its cooperation with you on the ground", said Mr. Fedotov and continued: "To translate Member States' agreed commitments into practical measures to help people, and address the multifaceted challenges posed by illicit drugs." "UNGASS 2016 is of course not an end in itself, but a means to tackle the problems we face more effectively," he said.

Mr. Fedotov highlighted the work of UNODC with some 500 non-governmental and civil society organizations at the local, national, regional and global level to advance balanced approaches to drugs, and he called for these efforts to be intensified.

In closing his speech, he said, "I thank all civil society representatives for your active participation and dedication, in working with UNODC, and in the process leading to this very important UNGASS. We rely on your continued cooperation."

Additional content:

Full speech of the UNODC Executive Director

More information on the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem

For further information please contact:

Kevin Town
Public Information Officer, UNODC

Phone: +1 (929) 301-2974
| Email:[at]