TO THE THE COMMISSION ON NARCOTIC DRUGS AT ITS 46TH SESSION
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE 57TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY, MR. JAN KAVAN (CZECH
8 April 2003
Austria Centre Vienna
Chairperson, distinguished delegates,
It gives me great pleasure to address the forty-sixth session
of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. This is a unique occasion
which is marked by the first ministerial-level meeting to renew
progress related to the twentieth special session of the General
Assembly. International drug control is clearly a priority issue
for the General Assembly. Since the 1998 special session, the
Assembly has adopted annually the resolution on International
cooperation against the world drug problem, providing guidance
to the United Nations system and the United Nations International
Drug Control Programme.
The Commission - a unique entity in the UN system
This Commission was established among the first functional commissions
to be established by the United Nations to pursue the drug control
functions inherited from the League of Nations. From there the
Commission has grown to become the central policy-making organ
of the United Nations system on the world-drug problem. It's an
organ with treaty mandates and, unique in the system, serves as
the governing body of the United Nations International Drug Control
Commission continues to play a central role as an instrument of
Member States in the progressive development of international
drug control policies.
special session, its achievements and the role of the Commission
The Commission served as the preparatory body for the twentieth
special session of the General Assembly on the world drug problem.
It provided leadership, foresight and acted as a catalyst for
action by Governments in the Political Declaration, the Action
Plans and other measures to enhance international cooperation.
You rose to meet the challenges which the General Assembly set
for the Commission in the Political Declaration: to monitor the
implementation by Governments of the Action Plans and measures
adopted by the special session of the Assembly and assessing their
action to meet their commitments.
The significance of UNGASS and its follow-up
This session and the ministerial segment is a historical landmark
in the work of the Commission and that of the General Assembly
in the field of drug control. Historical because at this juncture
we have to assess what action we have taken to implement the action
plans we adopted at the special session in 1998.
What did we achieve in 1998?
First, the special session provided a political momentum for the
international community to further action in the implementation
of the drug control treaties which now enjoy almost universal
Second, the action plans and measures adopted served as a beacon
for international cooperation in the field of drug control, serving
as a point of reference for new initiatives at the national, regional
and international levels. This was particularly evident in the
field of demand reduction.
Third, it provided all States with a sense of shared responsibility
and common purpose. It symbolized the global response in addressing
a shared problem. It enabled those States most affected by the
drug problem to see their considerable efforts as part of an integrated
global strategy which success depend on the commitment and support
of all countries.
a recognition for the first time of the need to pursue a balanced
and integrated approach. Balanced, because the strategy to counter
supply, particularly drug trafficking, has to be pursued in conjunction
with the strategy to counter the demand for illicit drugs by initiatives
in the field of prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.
Integrated, because of the recognition that we have to move on
several fronts at the same time. This is reflected by the inter-connected
action plans and measures to counter money-laundering; to control
chemical precursors; to eliminate the illicit manufacturing, trafficking
and abuse of ATS; measures to enhance judicial cooperation; eradicate
illicit drug crops; and of course the broad spectrum of activities
required to curtail demand for illicit drugs.
Fifth, the special session provided an opportunity for the affirmation
of the political determination and commitment of the international
community to confront collectively the world drug problem. Some
forty heads of States and heads of governments addressed the General
Assembly on that occasion.
am pleased to note that over one hundred ministers will be participating
in the ministerial segment of the Commission. The drug control
regime, based on the solid foundations of the international drug
control treaties, continue to enjoy the strong support of Governments.
This is also reflected in the Joint Ministerial Statement you
will be adopting. This demonstration of political will and commitment
is the best argument to counter those sceptics that believe that
drug control is no longer a priority for Member States and that
the conventions, the very heart of international cooperation in
this field, should be nullified.
The significance of the ministerial segment
You have a special responsibility assessing the action of Governments
in implementing the strategy adopted at the special session, which
the Commission will submit to the General Assembly this year.
Your assessment should be candid, objective, focused and forward
looking with clear recommendations for the future. In particular,
you should review the difficulties Member States are encountering
and identify additional measures and action to enable the international
community to move towards meeting all the objectives by 2008.
You already have a starting point in the assessment contained
in the reports which the Executive Director of UNDCP, at your
request, has presented to the Commission.
We have a difficult task. We have a global challenge which we
can only meet if we work collectively in a spirit of shared responsibility.
We have the political responsibility to strive for a world free
of illicit drugs. We owe this to the next generation.