1. On behalf of the Group of 77 and China, allow me to express my warm congratulations to you on your election, as well as to the other members of the Bureau conducting this 57th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND). Rest assured of the full support and cooperation of the Group of 77 and China for the successful conclusion of the meeting.
2. The Group also commends the Secretariat for the excellent preparations made to support the work during the course of our session.
3. After five years since the adoption of the 2009 Political Declaration and the Plan of Action, and despite common efforts of the Member States to achieve the goals and targets set out therein, addressing the world drug problem remains a common and shared responsibility. The Group therefore underscores the need for the widest measures of effective and enhanced regional and international cooperation to counter this problem. The Group also emphasizes the importance of an integrated, multidisciplinary, mutually reinforcing and balanced approach to supply and demand reduction strategies, including a better understanding of the social and economic drivers of the world drug problem.
4. The Group calls upon the international community to continue providing predictable, effective, sustainable, unconditional technical and financial assistance, as well as adequate resources to the requesting Member States, based on sense of ownership by these states with a view to further enhance their ability in countering the world drug problem, and improve national drug control strategies and measures.
5. In this regard, the Group reaffirms its unwavering commitment to ensure that the above approach should be in full conformity with the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter, international law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and in particular with full respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States as well as for the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of States.
6. The Group places great importance on the three international drug control conventions, as well as the values and principles set out in the Political Declaration and its Plan of Action adopted in 2009 as an important tool that provides a framework to effectively address the world drug problem.
7. The Group reaffirms its commitment on the effective implementation of and follow-up to the Political Declaration and its Plan of Action through this high level review to assess the progress made in their implementation. Therefore, the Group supports the adoption of the Joint Ministerial Statement during this High-level Segment of the 57th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.
8. The Group further expresses deep concern at the high price paid by society and by individuals and their families in countering the world drug problem, and pay special tribute to the law enforcement and judicial personnel who have sacrificed their lives and to the healthcare and civil society personnel who have dedicated themselves to addressing this phenomenon.
9. The Group looks forward to a substantive exchange of views among the high-level representatives during the round table discussions on drug demand and supply reduction, as well as to countering money-laundering and promoting judicial cooperation contributing to innovative responses to effectively address the world drug problem, in line with the three International Drug Control Conventions and other relevant international instruments.
10. The Group attaches special importance to integrated and sustainable crop control strategies, such as alternative development, and to preventive alternative development programs, eradication, and law enforcement measures in order to prevent, reduce, and eliminate the illicit cultivation of crops used for the production of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. Together, these strategies should lead to sustainable results in reducing the illicit drug supply as well as to consolidating sustainable development, by providing viable economic alternatives to the regions affected by and at risk of illicit cultivation of crops, as a part of the strategy against poverty undertaken by concerned States to fulfill their commitments of the UN Millennium Development Goals. In this regard, the Group wishes to emphasize the efforts made by Member States as well as the essential role of the South-South and triangular cooperation schemes and national experiences or national initiatives including citizen participation.
11. Furthermore, the Group reiterates the need to strengthen regional and international cooperation to support sustainable alternative development programmes, including preventive alternative development, as an essential part of successful crop control strategies, to increase their positive outcome, especially in areas affected by and at risk of illicit cultivation of crops used for the production of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, taking into account the UN Guiding Principles on Alternative Development. The Group, furthermore, reiterates the need for the international community to make efforts to support Member States in implementing alternative development, including, preventive alternative development programmes.
12. The Group welcomes of the ongoing efforts to share experiences and proposals on the implementation of initiatives that could, in full compliance with international trade system, encourage markets dynamic, facilitate and protect the production, commercialization and consumption of licit origin products stemming from alternative development, including preventive alternative development programmes through voluntary marketing tools such as those contained in the CND resolutions 55/8 and 56/15.
13. The Group is concerned about the increasing trend of use of women and children or girls to transport drugs under international control for illicit purposes, which is a violation of human rights and dignity. The Group is also concerned about the shifting trafficking routes and other new drug trafficking trends, in particular internet based e-commerce and mail order services The Group calls upon Member States to take all appropriate measures, including legislative, judicial, administrative, social and educational measures, to counter this emerging challenge.
14. International cooperation is a crucial element to counter the world drug problem on the basis of principle of common and shared responsibility. There is a need to further enhance the capacity of developing countries, including transit countries, through efficient, innovative, sustainable and predictable technical assistance, in particular to law enforcement and health authorities, including through provision of equipment to fight the production, trafficking, abuse of drugs and precursor chemicals and their diversion.
15. The Group of 77 and China recognizes the need to ensure adequate availability of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances under international control, exclusively for medical and scientific purposes, while simultaneously preventing their diversion into illicit channels, pursuant to the international drug control conventions. The Group also recognizes the importance of considering internationally applicable human rights principles and the recommendations of the World Health Organization in the implementation of policies regarding prevention of the abuse of drugs as well as treatment including access to medication.
16. The Group encourages Member States to monitor trends emerging in some regions in the importation, exportation and distribution of some synthetic opioid analgesics not under international control, in particular tramadol. In this regard, the Group underscores the need to monitor patterns in the non-medical use and misuse of such substances within the national borders, and to continue, along with the UNODC, the WHO, the INCB and other relevant organizations, sharing and exchanging information on those emerging trends and patterns through bilateral and multilateral channels. The Group considers that appropriate measures in accordance with national legislation may be undertaken with a view to prevent and reduce the non-medical use and misuse, supply from illicit sources and diversion of these substances, while ensuring their availability for medical and scientific purposes while considering appropriate measures in accordance with national legislation aimed at preventing and reducing the non-medical use and misuse, supply from illicit sources and diversion of these substances.
17. The trafficking and diversion of precursors for the illicit manufacture of drugs remains a challenge in addressing the world drug problem. The increasing trend towards the abuse of synthetic drugs in many parts of the globe further aggravates the problem.
The Group, therefore, reiterates its commitment to promote and implement balanced policies and strategies on precursor control, with a view to preventing the diversion of precursors used in the illicit manufacture of drugs, while ensuring that the legitimate trade in and use of those precursors are not adversely affected.
18. The Group calls for strengthened efforts by Member States, including collection of information, with a view to develop strategies to limit the health and social risks posed by new psychoactive substances, such as ketamine, whose emergence, diversion, spread and abuse continues to threaten health and well-being of the societies especially youth in many countries.
19. Within the framework of the Midterm Review of 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action, the Group expresses concern that illicit cultivation of opium poppy, coca bush and cannabis plant and illicit drug production, manufacture, distribution and trafficking remain a major challenge in countering the world drug problem, and recognizes the need for strengthening sustainable crop control strategies that include, inter alia, alternative development, eradication and law enforcement measures for the purpose of reducing significantly and measurably the illicit cultivation of such crops, and the need for intensifying joint efforts at the national, regional and international levels in a more comprehensive manner, in accordance with the principle of common and shared responsibility, including by means of appropriate preventive tools and measures, enhanced and better coordinated financial and technical assistance and action-oriented programmes, in order to tackle those challenges.
20. The Group takes note of the UNODC's efforts to elaborate International Standards for Prevention. In that sense the Group invites Member States to continue formulating and implementing a broad system of primary prevention and early intervention, as appropriate.
21. Finally, the Group would also like to welcome the decision of the General Assembly to convene a special session on the world drug problem in early 2016, and looks forward to the proposals to be submitted by the CND, as the UN organ with the prime responsibility for drug control matters, from its 57th and 58th sessions.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.