Geneva/Vienna, 17 February 2017- UNODC's Chief, Yury Fedotov, today described a new agreement between UNODC and the World Health Organization (WHO) as a "historic opportunity to reinforce global efforts to counter the destructive impact of drugs on people's health".
The agreement was signed in Geneva by Mr. Fedotov and the Director-General of the World Health Organization Margaret Chan and promotes greater collaboration, knowledge sharing and best practices between the two organizations.
Focus areas include prevention and treatment of drug use, access to controlled drugs, the analysis of new psychoactive substances, treatment, care and support for HIV, viral hepatitis, and tuberculosis.
UNODC and WHO have cooperated over many years on drug dependence and treatment, as well as through the UN Joint Programme on HIV and AIDS.
The WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence is also tasked with providing medical and scientific evaluations on dependence-producing drugs and making recommendations to the Vienna-based Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) on any necessary control measures.
At the 60th Session of the CND, to be held between 13-17 March, Member States are expected to consider WHO recommendations on whether 10 new psychoactive substances should be placed under international control.
UNODC's most recent World Drug Report, issued in 2016, found that the number of individuals globally suffering some form of physical or psychological problem due to their drug use had risen by two million to 29 million. It also found that, in 2014, there were over 200,000 fatal overdoses.
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