New York

15 July 2014

Secretary-General's video message to the Economic and Social Council High-Level Event on Sustainable Development and the World Drug Problem

Welcome to this ECOSOC High-Level Event on Sustainable Development and the World Drug Problem.

You meet as the international community works to reach the Millennium Development Goals by the year 2015 – and shape a new long-term vision for sustainable development.

Illicit drugs and organized crime undermine people’s lives and devastate societies. Drugs and crime corrode fragile countries. They weaken criminal justice systems and other State institutions. And they destroy communities.

Development activities can address these concerns.

That is why it is so important to help farmers choose alternative crops. We must also work to stabilize markets. And we have to create decent jobs for people who need them.

When we take these measures, we do more than fight drugs and crime – we promote progress and peace.

I count on you to advance discussions on these critical issues as we shape a new vision for sustainable development. Your contributions will also help pave the way for success at the General Assembly’s Special Session on the World Drug Problem in 2016. This will be a valuable opportunity for Member State to openly exchange ideas and lessons on what works – and what does not – in addressing the drug problem.

Together, let us create a world free of illicit drugs and organized crime.

Thank you.