PRESS RELEASE

 Record participation, high engagement as governments forge common path in responding to global drug challenges, says UNODC Executive Director

Vienna, 22 March 2019 - Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), welcomed the high engagement and commitment to agreeing shared solutions to drug problems at the 62nd session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), which concluded today in Vienna.

Speaking at the closing session, Mr. Fedotov stressed that the record participation and presence of many heads of state and ministers underscored the importance of the issues addressed by the CND.

"The Ministerial Declaration adopted forges a common path for the next decade, based on an agreed framework, in recognition of the fact that there is so much more that unites than divides us when it comes to seeking solutions to global drug challenges," he said.

"I welcome this confirmation of balanced, health- and rights-based approaches to drug supply and demand that, most of all, put people first."

The meeting began with a ministerial segment on 14 and 15 March aimed at taking stock of the implementation of the commitments made to jointly address and counter the world drug problem. The President of Bolivia, the Prime Minister of Mauritius and a total of 35 ministers took part.

Charting the way forward, in the ministerial declaration adopted Member States committed to "safeguarding our future and ensuring that no one affected by the world drug problem is left behind by enhancing our efforts to bridge the gaps in addressing the persistent and emerging trends and challenges through the implementation of balanced, integrated, comprehensive, multidisciplinary and scientific evidence-based responses to the world drug problem".

The UNODC Executive Director further highlighted UNODC's support for Member States' efforts: "UNODC, as ever, is here to help you put this collective determination into action, to seek innovative solutions that build on improved understanding of the problem and enhanced capacities to address ever-evolving drug challenges."

The 62nd session, chaired by Ambassador Mirghani Abbaker Altayeb Bakhet of Sudan, agreed eight resolutions on topics including strengthening forensic detection capability for synthetic drugs and for the control of precursors used in the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances; promoting alternative development as a development-oriented drug control strategy; and measures to prevent transmission of HIV for women who use drugs. More than 2,400 participants from Member States, inter-governmental organizations, academia, civil society and the private sector took part in the session and some 100 side events.

The Commission on Narcotic Drugs serves as the central policymaking body within the United Nations system on drugs. Along with the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, it is one of the governing bodies of UNODC. Its resolutions and decisions provide guidance to Member States, UNODC and the broader global community.

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For further information, please contact:

Sonya Yee
Speechwriter and Spokesperson, UNODC
Telephone: (+43 1) 26060-4990
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-4990
Email: sonya.yee[at]un.org