New York – 7 May 2015

High-level Thematic Debate on the World Drug Problem - 7 May 2015


The President of the General Assembly convened, in close cooperation with the Commission of Narcotic Drugs, a high-level thematic debate in support of the process towards the 2016 Special Session of the General Assembly on the World Drug Problem.

The high-level thematic debate contributed to the ongoing preparatory process of the 2016 special session of the General Assembly led by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND).

Objectives of the High-level Thematic Debate

The high-level debate was designed to contribute to advancing implementation of the Political Declaration and Plan of Action, including an assessment of the achievements and challenges in countering the world drug problem, within the framework of the three international drug control conventions and other relevant UN instruments. It addressed measures to strike an effective balance between supply and demand reduction measures and the multiple consequences of the world drug problem, including in the health, social, human rights, economic, justice and security fields.

The event served as an opportunity to discuss and highlight concrete measures that can strengthen international cooperation and promote the effective implementation of the Political Declaration and Plan of Action’s underlying principle of ‘common and shared responsibility’ when addressing the world drug problem.

Guiding Questions

Two interactive panels focused respectively on achievements and challenges by Member States in countering the world drug problem, and on the importance for Member States of implementing a multi-dimensional and multi-stakeholder approach in addressing the world drug problem.

Some questions to guide the panel discussions are as follows:

  1. What are the major achievements and challenges in addressing the world drug problem?
  2. To this end, what lessons have been learned and what best practices can be shared in dealing with the world drug problem?
  3. What should be the priorities in reviewing the implementation of the Political Declaration and Plan of Action?
  4. What approaches are being followed to facilitate a multi-dimensional approach, covering the health, social, human rights, economic, justice and security fields?
  5. What coordination mechanisms exist at the national level; which departments/actors are involved; and what are the challenges they face?
  6. What kind of cooperation, if any, exists between governments and other stakeholders, including the non-governmental organizations, the scientific community, youth, the private sector; and what are the lessons that can be shared?

Format, Outcome and Participants

This was a one-day event consisting of an opening session, a high-level segment, two interactive multi-stakeholder panel discussions and a closing session. To foster an interactive debate, participants making interventions from the floor were encouraged not to exceed three minutes.

A President’s Summary was circulated to all Member States and stakeholders, and transmitted to the CND for consideration.

The high-level thematic debate was opened to Member States, organs, entities and specialized agencies of the UN system, relevant international and regional organizations, civil society and other stakeholders. Participants were encouraged to attend at the highest possible level.