I am pleased to convey my warm greetings to all those taking part in this high-level meeting on security. I commend the Russian Federation for once again hosting this gathering.
You have come together to consider a number of important and timely issues, in particular the challenge of human smuggling and the illicit drug trade. The trafficking of drugs and human smuggling is a global concern, from countries of origin to those of transit and destination. The United Nations is working to support Member States to improve our collective response. This includes advocating for the full implementation of all relevant conventions, protocols and standards – such as human rights and public health instruments. Addressing the illicit drug trade and human smuggling are law and order concerns, but they are also development, gender, human rights and health issues.
The United Nations is committed to supporting comprehensive approaches through concerted international action. For example, we are partnering with countries to implement a Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe to tackle the westward flow of heroin from Afghanistan. The initiative takes on the challenge of drug trafficking by addressing drug abuse, transnational organized crime -- including human trafficking and smuggling -- as well as corruption and weaknesses in the criminal justice systems.
The debate over ensuring the most effective drug control polices has picked up momentum in preparation for the 2016 General Assembly Special Session on the world drug problem. Please be assured that the United Nations stands ready to support all Member States in addressing these and other vital issues.
Once again, thank you for your engagement. I wish you a productive meeting.