Yury Fedotov

Director General/Executive Director


Remarks at the special event on "Countries at the centre: INCB, UNODC and WHO supporting Member States in implementing UNGASS 2016"

12 March 2018


Ladies and gentlemen,

I am very pleased that the three bodies mandated by the three conventions to support the international drug control system are holding this event together on the first day of the CND.

UNODC, INCB and WHO have well defined and complementary roles under the conventions to promote the well-being of people, and help to ensure that controlled medicines are available to people who need them, while preventing diversion and misuse.

The close cooperation and common goals and activities of our three organizations are also clearly reflected in a joint statement that will be released today.

Our joint work represents a crucial pillar of UNODC's efforts to promote balanced approaches to drug demand and supply challenges, along with strengthening effective law enforcement and international cooperation to tackle trafficking and other crimes, promoting alternative development, and much more.

I am also pleased to note that in February last year, UNODC and WHO signed a Memorandum of Understanding to renew and deepen our collaboration even further.

In fact, just at this session of the CND, UNODC and WHO are presenting the updated second edition of the International Standards on Drug Use Prevention, and we are continuing our joint work on the International Standards for Treatment of Drug Use Disorders.

We are also presenting a new report on treatment and care for people with drug use disorders in contact with the criminal justice system, and addressing proportionality of sentencing, and alternatives to conviction or incarceration.

The efforts of our three offices to advance people-centred responses to drug challenges have received a welcome impetus from the outcome document of the UN General Assembly Special Session on the world drug problem.

UNGASS also, very importantly, reaffirmed a positive understanding of drug dependence as a multifactorial health disorder that is chronic and relapsing in nature.

This has very clear implications, recognizing that drug dependence can and should be prevented and treated.

More specifically, it highlights the importance of ensuring that services and support for people suffering from drug use disorders must be available long-term and address challenges of aftercare and reintegration.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I believe there is much scope for our three organizations to further strengthen synergies as we seek to support Member States under our mandated areas. This event is an opportunity to advance this discussion.

As the leading entity in the UN system for addressing and countering the world drug problem, UNODC looks forward to strengthening our health-centred cooperation, to support implementation of the international drug conventions through interventions and policies based on science.

Thank you, and I wish you a productive meeting.