General Assembly Adopts Raft of Resolutions, Including on Synthetic Drugs, Intercultural Dialogue, in Effort to Complete Work by Year’s End
The General Assembly, endeavouring to complete by year’s end the main part of its current session, adopted eight resolutions today, covering issues that included promotion of interreligious and intercultural dialogue, safe water and sanitation in health-care facilities, sustainable use of oceans and security challenges posed by synthetic drugs.
Acting without a vote the Assembly adopted the draft resolution “L.24” on enhancing action at the national, regional and international levels to address the global public health and security challenges posed by synthetic drugs, by which it encouraged States to explore innovative approaches to more effectively address the threats posed by the phenomenon.
In an episode of pitched procedural drama, the adoption of the draft was preceded by the introduction of two amendments by Mexico’s delegate who emphasized that the text’s current version fails to reference the only resolution on the subject passed by the Assembly, namely “Addressing and countering the world drug problem through a comprehensive, integrated and balanced approach” (77/238).
This omission is “unacceptable”, she said, noting that amendment “L.31” tabled by her delegation adds the reference to preambular paragraph 8 of the draft, which will contribute to the creation of balanced drug policies. The second amendment “L.32” proposes to incorporate a reference to distribution in illicit consumer markets, she noted, adding that the world drug problem goes beyond the borders of producing and trafficking countries.
Meanwhile, numerous countries opposed the amendments, with the representative of the Russian Federation noting that, if adopted, the first amendment would deprive the document of its consensus status. Adding to that, the representative of Egypt said it constitutes an act of coercion exercised by a few delegations to bestow legitimacy on the only voted resolution on countering the world drug problem. With regard to the second amendment tabled by Mexico, some argued that it is not backed by agreed language.
The Assembly then took on board the first amendment by a recorded vote of 75 in favour to 27 against, with 36 abstentions, and rejected the second amendment by a recorded vote of 19 in favour to 36 against, with 82 abstentions. The resolution, as amended, was adopted without a vote.
In other action, resolution “L.26” on promotion of interreligious and intercultural dialogue and cooperation for peace — adopted without a vote — called on States and political and religious leaders to promote inclusion and unity to combat racism, xenophobia, hate speech, violence and discrimination.
Speaking in explanation of position, the representative of the United States expressed a reservation about operative paragraph 15, which suggests that the protection of freedoms of expression, religion or beliefs are at odds with one another, when they are mutually reinforcing.
Calling for a more balanced text, Spain’s delegate, speaking on behalf of the European Union, underscored that the UN should avoid singling out any particular confession. By using the term Islamophobia — instead of anti-Muslim discrimination or anti-Muslim hatred — undue emphasis is placed on protecting religion as such, thereby undermining international human rights law, where the focus is on protecting individuals.
Also today, the Assembly adopted draft “L.28”, by which it decided to proclaim 2026 the International Year of Volunteers for Sustainable Development, recognizing that volunteerism is a powerful means of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The representative of Kazakhstan, introducing the draft on behalf of the core group members, namely Armenia, Bolivia, Germany, Kazakhstan, Kenya and Kiribati, said the International Year gives Member States a renewed opportunity to raise consciousness of volunteerism on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the UNs first International Year devoted to volunteers. It will unite all relevant stakeholders in a year-long effort to integrate volunteering into the development agenda more effectively, as well as address contemporary and emerging challenges that new models of volunteering are facing.
Report of Credentials Committee
JANE MUGAFALU KABUI WAETARA (Solomon Islands), Chair of the Credentials Committee, introducing the report (document A/78/605), said the Committee decided to postpone its consideration of the credentials pertaining to the representatives of Myanmar and of Afghanistan from the seventy-seventh session to the current General Assembly session and to revert to consideration of these credentials at a future time in this session. Having considered those delegations’ credentials on 6 December, the Committee adopted without a vote a resolution accepting those credentials and recommended its adoption to the Assembly. She noted further that, since the day of the Committee’s meeting, formal credentials were received regarding Suriname.
The Assembly then adopted the resolution contained in the report (document A/78/605) without a vote.
Speaking in explanation of position after the adoption, PAYMAN GHADIRKHOMI (Iran) expressed reservations about the part of the report in the resolution that could be construed as a recognition of the Israeli regime.
PHUNTSHO NORBU (Bhutan), on behalf of the Group of 77 developing countries and China, introduced the draft resolution (document A/78/L.27) titled “Graduation of Bhutan from the least developed country category”. Speaking in his national capacity, he said that the adoption of this resolution will be a milestone for Bhutan — a momentous occasion as it stands on the threshold of a significant transition. It has been 53 years since Bhutan was inducted into the least developed country category in 1971. Since then, Bhutan has traversed an extraordinary path of socioeconomic development.
Least Developed Country Status
FRANCISCO JOSé DA CRUZ (Angola), introducing the draft resolution titled “Deferral of the graduation of Angola from the least developed country category to a later date” (document A/78/L.29), said that his country was scheduled to graduate the category in February 2024, but it will not be able to reach that milestone due to the impacts of the COVID‑19 pandemic, unstable prices, droughts, food price hikes and currency devaluation. The country’s gross national income per capita fell below the graduation criteria.
Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted “L.27”, by which it commended the commitment of Bhutan to graduate from the category of least developed countries on 13 December 2023 and, in this regard, takes note of the decision of that country’s Government to integrate its smooth transition strategy into its thirteenth national development plan, to be adopted by February 2024.
The Assembly then adopted “L.29” without a vote, by which it deferred the graduation of Angola from the least developed country category to a later date.
International Year of Volunteers
The Assembly then took up the draft “International Year of Volunteers for Sustainable Development, 2026” (A/78/L.28).
AKAN RAKHMETULLIN (Kazakhstan), introducing the draft on behalf of the core group members, namely, Armenia, Bolivia, Germany, Kazakhstan, Kenya and Kiribati, said it seeks to designate 2026 as the International Year of Volunteers for Sustainable Development. The International Year of Volunteers in 2001 and its tenth anniversary in 2011 significantly contributed to making volunteerism an important component of national and regional development strategies. Since then, volunteerism has evolved into a natural component of the joint international efforts to adhere to rapid changes in societies and economies, with more people volunteering in innovative ways than ever before.
He said that the International Year gives Member States a renewed opportunity to raise consciousness of volunteerism on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the UN’s first international year devoted to volunteers, to increase their role, involvement and capacity, and to strengthen the connection between volunteering and the Sustainable Development Goals. If proclaimed, the International Year will unite all relevant stakeholders in the effort to integrate volunteering into the development agenda more effectively. It will also address contemporary and emerging challenges that new models of volunteering are facing and will contribute to accelerating and attaining progress towards the 2030 Agenda and beyond.
The Assembly then adopted “L.28” by consensus. By its terms, it decided to proclaim 2026 the International Year of Volunteers for Sustainable Development, recognizing that volunteerism is a powerful means of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Sustainable Oceans Use
The General Assembly then turned to the draft resolution titled “2025 United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development” (document A/78/L.25).
NATHALIE BROADHURST ESTIVAL (France), introducing the text and speaking also for Costa Rica, said that the consensus forged during negotiations is proof that all can come together to define a cooperation framework on a subject of shared interest vital to existence under the aegis of the UN. As the ocean is suffering too many cumulative pressures, common action is urgent. France and Costa Rica will frame the Conference through a consultation process in the coming months as transparently and inclusively as possible.
Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted the draft resolution.
By its terms, the Assembly decided that the Conference, co-hosted by Costa Rica and France, will be organized in Nice, France, from 9 to 13 June 2025. It also decided that the overarching theme should be “Accelerating action and mobilizing all actors to conserve and sustainably use the ocean”. Further, it decided that the Conference should explore ways to promote financing and innovations to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14.
Mr. DUNDON (Australia), speaking also for Canada and New Zealand in explanation of position after action, expressed disappointment that the language in paragraph 16 of annex 2 does not contain the necessary provisions to ensure civil society’s meaningful participation. The corresponding language agreed by consensus was not replicated, he said, urging States to support its inclusion in future negotiated texts.
Cooperation for Peace
MUNIR AKRAM (Pakistan), also speaking for the Philippines and all other co-sponsors, introduced the draft resolution titled “Promotion of interreligious and intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation for peace” (document A/78/L.26). He said that the primary purpose of the United Nations is to maintain international peace and security. The UN Charter provides such mechanisms, in particular, Chapters VI and VII. Article 3 of the UN Declaration on a Culture of Peace is intrinsically linked to the central purposes of the United Nations, including the peaceful settlement of disputes.
The Assembly adopted without a vote “L.26”, which called on Member States, with the primary responsibility to counter discrimination and hate speech, and all relevant actors, including political and religious leaders, to promote inclusion and unity to combat racism, xenophobia, hate speech, violence and discrimination.
Speaking in explanation of position, the representative of the United States expressed his country’s firm support for the freedoms of expression, religion or beliefs, opposing any attempt to unduly limit the exercise of these fundamental freedoms. He expressed a reservation about operative paragraph 15, which suggests that the protection of freedoms of expression, religion or beliefs are at odds with one another, when they are mutually reinforcing.
MARIA ZABOLOTSKAYA (Russian Federation) said that the international community should not condone legislative initiatives aimed at banning traditional religious beliefs or the seizure of property of religious communities, including churches and monasteries, as such actions violate article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Social Rights. That crucial article should have been in the resolution. She is concerned that Ukraine’s Parliament adopted draft law No. 8371 with the sole purpose of banning the activities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
MARIA ALONSO GIGANTO (Spain), speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that the Union’s member States joined consensus, but the UN should be impartial and concentrate on a more universal approach. By using the term “Islamophobia” instead of “anti-Muslim discrimination” or “anti-Muslim hatred”, undue emphasis is placed on protecting religion as such, thereby undermining international human rights law, where the focus is on protecting individuals. The balance of the text can be improved further.
Right of Reply
Exercising the right of reply, the representative of Ukraine said that her counterpart from the Russian Federation turned the consideration of this item into a platform for their lies and propaganda. The Russian Federation did the same in informal consultations. Delegations should reject such an approach.
The Assembly next took up the draft resolution “Sustainable, safe and universal water, sanitation, hygiene, waste and electricity services in health-care facilities” (document A/78/L.14).
LEILA CASTILLON LORA-SANTOS (Philippines) introduced the draft on behalf of Hungary and her own country, as co-chairs of the Group of Friends in support of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Healthcare Facilities, along with a core group consisting of Colombia, Egypt, Nepal and Poland. She voiced deep concern that one in five health-care facilities lacks basic water, one in five has no sanitation and one in two lacks basic hand hygiene. The situation is most dire in the least developed countries, where only 21 per cent of health-care facilities have basic sanitation services. Fully functioning water, sanitation and hygiene, along with waste and electricity services, are a crucial aspect of preventing infections, reducing antimicrobial resistance, ending preventable maternal and newborn deaths and responding to outbreaks and emergencies. Considering population growth, climate change and urbanization, ensuring these services in health-care facilities is an integral part of delivering health across the Sustainable Development Goals, she said.
The General Assembly then turned to the draft resolution titled “Enhancing action at the national, regional and international levels to address the global public health and security challenges posed by synthetic drugs” (document A/78/L.24).
The representative of the United States, introducing the text, noted that it aligns with her country’s efforts to enhance international cooperation on the urgent issue through the Global Coalition to Address Synthetic Drug Threats and ongoing efforts in the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs. The text relies heavily on agreed language from that Commission and presents a balanced approach, encompassing public health, human rights and security perspectives. It sets the stage for strengthening cooperation, which can help save lives, protect the health of citizens and weaken transnational criminal organizations.
ALICIA GUADALUPE BUENROSTRO MASSIEU (Mexico), introducing draft amendments “L.31” (document A/78/L.31) and “L.32” (document A/78/L.32), said that addressing challenges posed by synthetic drugs is a priority, requiring clear, human, balanced policies grounded in public health and human rights approaches. Mexico participated in good faith during negotiations. However, the current version of “L.24” does not reference the only resolution on the subject passed by the Assembly, namely “Addressing and countering the world drug problem through a comprehensive, integrated and balanced approach” (77/238), which underscores the importance of holistically addressing the drug problem in all countries through humane and effective drug policies.
She said that the omission of “77/238” is unacceptable. Adding the reference will reflect the vision of a majority of Member States. To that end, Mexico tabled an amendment adding the reference to preambular paragraph 8 of “L.24”, which will contribute to the creation of balanced drug policies — essential for implementation of national drug policies. She invited support for the amendment, adding that its adoption would maintain continuity in the Assembly’s work.
Next, introducing “L.32”, she said that Mexico and other delegations believe that the resolution in its current form does not recognize the full scale of the world drug problem. Without a balanced approach recognizing supply and demand, all efforts to address the issue will be ineffective. Mexico proposes to incorporate in preambular paragraph 1 a reference to distribution in illicit consumer markets, she said, underscoring that the world drug problem goes beyond the borders of producing and trafficking countries — criminal networks set prices and generate interest for the illicit economy. This challenge must be addressed, and she requested support for the amendment.
Ms. BREEN (United States, speaking in explanation of position before the vote, said her delegation will abstain from voting on “L.31”, as the inclusion of a reference to General Assembly resolution “77/238” would not enjoy consensus. On “L.32”, adding the illicit retail market takes this text in the direction the co-sponsors tried to avoid. It introduces a new concept not recognized in the Vienna context. The term “retail” is used to mean legitimate distribution for medical and scientific purposes. Her delegation opposes this amendment and will vote “no”. Resolution “L.24” as a whole garnered broad support, and her delegation understands that its substance achieved consensus. On “L.14”, the United States joined consensus, but multilateral development banks, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), referenced in operative paragraphs 2, 4 and 6, have their own governance structures independent of the UN. It is thus not appropriate for the UN to influence their decisions.
KITA YOSUKE (Japan), explaining its position on “L.14”, said that, based on the ethos of human security and inclusiveness, his country strongly believes in the transformative power of universal health coverage and comprehensive health care. Tokyo’s support for this resolution is the reflection of its deep-seated conviction that every individual deserves access to essential health-care services, regardless of their circumstances.
MARIA ZABOLOTSKAYA (Russian Federation) regretted that Mexico sought to amend the text. If adopted, the amendment would deprive the document of its consensus status. Only a strong consensus can ensure the unity of the international community's approaches in developing an effective response to drug crime. To date, the last such document remains the relevant omnibus resolution, “76/188” of 2021, which reflects the results of many years of negotiations and efforts to harmonize positions. She called on all to reject the amendment.
IGOR PILIPENKO (Belarus), speaking in explanation of position before action, said that his country will vote against the amendments proposed by Mexico. Regarding “L.31”, he said that the preambular paragraph mentions all resolutions of the Assembly, by default, including resolution 77/238. One resolution — which was controversial — should not be emphasized more than others. Setting up a hierarchy for resolutions based on when they were adopted is unacceptable, he stressed, adding that Mexico’s approach amounts to a level of vanity hitherto unseen in the Assembly. Turning to “L.32”, he noted that it narrows the significance of the preambular paragraph and distorts it. The Assembly should not generate terminology for the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. Rather, the language should be aligned with the latter’s resolution 66/2 and should maintain the broad scope.
HEBA MOSTAFA MOSTAFA RIZK (Egypt), speaking in explanation of position before action, expressed support for the resolution as tabled by the United States. The existing preambular paragraph in “L.31” is all-encompassing and represents a compromise. The amendment constitutes an act of coercion exercised by a few delegations to bestow legitimacy on the only voted Assembly resolution on addressing and countering the world drug problem. The guiding Assembly resolution in this domain remains resolution 76/188. Turning to “L.32”, she pointed out that the phrase “in illicit retail marks” was never presented during informal consultations nor in the written submission of comments on zero draft of the resolution. The amendment is not backed by a source of Vienna-based agreed language, and her country will vote against both amendments.
The Assembly then adopted “L.14” without a vote. By its terms, the Assembly encouraged all Member States to integrate sustainable, safe and universal water, sanitation, hygiene, waste and electricity services in health-care facilities and to mainstream these efforts, as appropriate, into national health planning, programming, financing, monitoring and evaluation. Further, it invited international and regional organizations, international and regional financial institutions and development agencies engaged in the provision of such services to enhance the coordination of their strategies and engage with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as the co-coordinators of corresponding global efforts.
Next, the Assembly turned to the proposed amendments for “L.24”. A vote was called for “L.31.” The Assembly then adopted the amendment by a recorded vote of 75 in favour to 27 against, with 36 abstentions, which added a reference to General Assembly resolution 77/238 to preambular paragraph 8.
The Assembly then rejected amendment “L.32” by a recorded vote of 19 in favour to 36 against, with 82 abstentions. It would have inserted “in illicit retail markets” after “distribution” into the first preambular paragraph.
It next adopted “L.24”, as amended, without a vote, calling on Member States to carry out coordinated actions at the national, regional and international levels to address, in accordance with domestic law and circumstances, the global public health and security challenges posed by the illicit manufacture of and trafficking in synthetic drugs, as well as their distribution, consumption and use for non-medical and non-scientific purposes. It encouraged Member States to explore innovative and forward-looking approaches to more effectively address the threats posed by the phenomenon, outlining several measures to that end, and also urged States to develop and carry out comprehensive, balanced, scientific evidence-based and forward-looking strategies at all applicable levels.
Speaking in explanation of vote after the vote, the representative of China said that the international community has the joint responsibility to control the world drug problem. The resolution’s adoption confirms that drug control based on three UN conventions is balanced, underlining that cooperation based on the principle of joint responsibility is key going forward. Welcoming that the resolution respects specific circumstances for Member States, China joined consensus. The Chinese Government maintains a strict drug policy and is committed to deepening international cooperation, taking into account the serious harm inflicted by synthetic drugs. The Government is cracking down on all fentanyl-like drugs — the first country to do so. Each country must start tackling the drug problem in its national context. The correct way is to address root causes by taking measures to reduce domestic demand instead of deflecting responsibility. China is ready to work with all parties to address the problem of synthetic drugs.
The representative of Qatar, speaking on behalf of Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, hailed the adoption of the resolution as well as the United States’ efforts in its negotiation. The group voted in favour of the resolution as it addresses the threats posed to security and public health. Synthetic drugs are a threat for the entire world, she said, calling for redoubled cooperation to combat the scourge. The group voted against the amendments because consensus had already been reached during negotiations and disassociates from the adopted amendment.
The representative of Switzerland welcomed the adoption. Switzerland will continue to share its best practices striking a balance between reducing the illegal use of synthetic drugs while ensuring access for medical and scientific use, she said, underscoring that they must remain available for anesthesia, mental health and palliative care. Her country regrets that no mention was made of General Assembly resolution 78/238, which is why her country voted for the amendment. Further, she voiced regret that the related Human Rights Council resolution remained unmentioned. There is a need for UN agencies, including the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN‑Women) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), to address the drug problem, she said, calling on them to provide technical assistance to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on drugs used for non-medical purposes.
The representative of the United Kingdom said that his country joined consensus on “L.14” and recently published a white paper on international development including through strengthening water, sanitation, hygiene and health-care systems. Welcoming the resolution and its focus on a strong national health relationship, he voiced concern that there is no mention of climate resilience in the text nor does it acknowledge the issue antimicrobial resistance and the role of washing in combatting the threat. Nor does the text sufficiently address the gendered aspect of washing and its importance as a factor in new mother and infant mortality. The United Kingdom will work with other stakeholders to achieve SDG 6, he said.
The representative of Australia, speaking also on behalf of New Zealand on resolution “L.24”, welcomed the vital calls made through this text to improve access to controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes, increased information exchange, and the encouragement to explore innovative approaches to combat this dynamic threat. However, the resolution could have been strengthened through greater language on public health, human rights, and harm reduction elements of drug policy. “This was a missed opportunity,” she said. Australia and New Zealand take a balanced approach in responding to and addressing the diverse elements of the world drug situation. It is imperative that any response to this threat focuses on public health, while safeguarding human rights.
The representative of Iran said that it is the common and differentiated responsibility of all States to comprehensively address the diverse aspects of the world drug problem with a special focus on preventing and countering the illicit production, manufacture, and trafficking of synthetic drugs. Iran actively engaged with the negotiation process on resolution “L.24”. Iran requested the inclusion of a specific paragraph that recognizes the need to promote the provision of technical assistance or financial support to developing countries, including the provision of equipment and technology. Unfortunately, this was omitted from the final version. In relation to resolution “L.14”, she said that the implementation of the resolution by Iran is subject to its domestic laws and national priorities, as well as social, cultural, and religious values.
The representative of Cuba said that his country has a zero-tolerance policy on the production, consumption, and trafficking of drugs. “We have a firm commitment to the international legal framework for drug control,” he added. Cuba was involved in the negotiation process for “L.24” but abstained in the voting on the two amendments contained in documents “L.31” and “L.32”. Cuba will continue to promote cooperation with relevant international bodies on the basis of an international legal framework for drug control.
The representative of the Russian Federation, speaking in explanation of vote after action, said that, considering the importance of resolving the world drug problem, his delegation decided to adopt the draft resolution as a whole despite the changes introduced to preambular paragraph 8 by Mexico. He disassociated himself from the consensus on that paragraph, which does not reflect his country’s positions or approaches. The Russian Federation will continue to hold that resolution 77/238 is not consensus-based, nor does it consider the principled stance of many States and cannot serve as a basis of international cooperation.
The representative of Iraq, speaking in explanation of vote after action, expressed disappointment that the amendment to preambular paragraph 8 was adopted.
The representative of Colombia, speaking in explanation of vote after action, noted that her country supported the draft resolution as well as the amendments. The current approach to the world drug problem cannot continue without substantial modification. Colombia has moved towards a national drug policy prioritizing the preservation of life, dignity, human rights, public health, peace and environmental conservation. This guarantees that the needs and well-being of people are at the heart of the country’s approach, she added, underscoring that Colombia remains committed to combatting criminal organizations dedicated to the production of illicit drugs and related crimes.
The representative of Sri Lanka said his delegation gives high priority to the strict application of laws against the production, distribution and possession of illicit drugs as well as their trafficking. Access to these illicit drugs leads to abuse and national security problems. Policies to address drug abuse should not be compromised and legal systems must respond. Yet, laws against drug abuse must be fair and include regard for the rule of law. International cooperation is necessary.
The representative of Belarus said his delegation welcomed the document’s adoption by consensus, yet his delegation dissociated itself from preambular paragraph 8 in connection with amendment “L.31”. Every State faces the problem of synthetic drugs with varying degrees of severity and Belarus is no exception. He noted Belarus’ work as Chair of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which has given great attention to the drug problem, particularly synthetic drugs, over the past year. Belarus’ national efforts to combat drugs are complemented by regional and international efforts.
The representative of Egypt said the world drug problem constitutes a serious threat to public health and national security in addition to its negative impact on individuals, families and nations and must be addressed through the prism of crime prevention via national and regional and international cooperation. To achieve progress, consensus must form the basis of collective action. Hence, her delegation joined consensus on the adopted resolution and is satisfied that amendment to pp1 has failed. She disassociated herself from preambular paragraph 8 as amended as it cannot be used as a basis for future discussions on countering the world drug problem.
The representative of Nicaragua said countering the world drug problem is a matter of high priority for her country as it undermines the development of its peoples. Her delegation joined consensus to address all levels of this global problem. However, she disassociated herself from the amendment to the eighth preambular paragraph, adding that her country is committed to fighting the scourge of narcotic trafficking and organized crime with a focus on political stability and peace.
The representative of Singapore said her delegation joined consensus on “L.4” because synthetic drugs have become a significant concern within the context of the world drug problem, the blight of which affects her country. While her delegation supports attention to the issue, it voted against amendment “L.31” and disassociates from the paragraph because it cynically repositions this important text linking it to the contentious General Assembly resolution 77/238, the first drug resolution in the Assembly to lose the consensual support of Member States. It is disappointing that certain delegations forfeited consensus on a resolution that should have been considered separately from the existing Third Committee agenda item on international drug control, she said.
The representative of Canada said action at all levels is needed to address the public health and security challenges posed by synthetic drugs, the reason why her delegation joined consensus on the resolution. She is concerned that the request to include a reference to the resolution on the world drug problem was opposed by several delegations, resulting in Mexico’s amendment. Canada would have liked to see a more ambitious draft considering how social and economic inequalities thrive and are driven by drug challenges and human rights’ impact on drug policies.
The representative of Indonesia said her delegation joined consensus on the draft text, commending it for its balanced approach, but is disappointed with amendments supported by a few delegations which detract from the spirit of consensus. Hence, her delegation voted against both amendments.
The representative of Mexico expressed regret that certain critical approaches to addressing the world’s drug problem were not incorporated in “L.24”. This includes a reference to harm reduction measures to reduce mortality related to use of drugs, as well as a lack of recognition of the important work of UN entities, such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and UN-Women. The text lacks a clear human rights-based approach. Her delegation, however, welcomes that the amendment to add a reference to resolution 77/238 has been incorporated in the text. She regretted that the second amendment, which sought to ensure the recognition of the full chain of the world drug problem, was not adopted.
The representative of Spain, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that the Union attaches great importance to a human rights-based approach to the world drug situation, while countering crime and ensuring public safety and security to address the issue’s manifold social, health and development-related aspects. She is disappointed that these aspects have not been adequately reflected in the text. Despite these human rights-related shortcomings, the Union’s member States have decided to support this resolution, as they recognized the need to formulate concerted responses to the threats posed by synthetic drugs.
The representative of Syria expressed regret that one Member State insisted on a vote as the original text cited “all resolutions” — even the non-consensual Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian, Cultural) resolution that Mexico wanted to reference. Syria dissociates itself from preambular paragraph 8.
The observer for the Holy See welcomed the draft on synthetic drugs. The Holy See remains an “ardent supporter” of all initiatives working towards a society free of drug abuse as well as those that fight the evil of drug trafficking and use, which threaten the human family. Synthetic drugs pose new challenges, as they require easily sourced chemical substitutes and do not have a fixed geography. It is essential to continue the combat of drug trafficking and use, with a focus on prevention, identifying drug networks, and prosecuting criminals. While the Holy See welcomes consensus on the draft, diverging views among States is concerning, he said, adding that his institution understands the term “gender” as grounded in biological sexual identity — male or female.