Delivered by Mr. Yuri Fedotov, Director-General of the United Nations Office in Vienna
and Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
I am pleased to send greetings to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and to congratulate you on this timely hearing on illicit drugs ahead of this year’s United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the world drug problem.
Our central concern is the health and welfare of people. This must be the foundation for efforts aimed at prevention and treatment. We are resolved to develop a compassionate, humane and effective global response to the world drug problem that reflects our collective interests.
UNGASS2016 offers a solid platform for an informed dialogue, the sharing of experiences and agreement on future collective action against illicit drugs. I encourage nations to conduct the broadest possible debate and examine every option for addressing this problem, which threatens peace and security while undermining development.
The Special Session comes in our first year of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Addressing the problem of illicit drugs will advance progress on this bold vision, including its targets for peaceful and inclusive societies and accountable institutions.
Strong and effective parliamentary institutions are essential to creating peaceful and inclusive societies. Parliaments promote the rule of law and justice, and, by reviewing government action, offer a vital link between national legislation and international laws.
UNGASS 2016 can also help develop comprehensive and balanced policies that address public health aspects such as prevention, treatment and care, including addressing HIV, in a manner consistent with the three international drug control conventions.
I am proud of the growing collaboration between the United Nations and the IPU. I look forward to continuing our work together on issues across the international agenda, including on climate change. Parliamentarians have a critical role to play in ratifying the landmark Paris Agreement as soon as possible, and in ensuring that national climate plans are fully realized.
I wish you great success at this important hearing and in all of your future endeavours.