Collective Action, Balanced Responses Key to Fight Record Levels of Drug-Related Death, Illegal Production, Secretary-General Tells Narcotic Drugs Commission Session

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message to the High-level Segment of the Sixty-seventh Commission on Narcotic Drugs, in Vienna today:

I am pleased to address this high-level segment.  The Commission on Narcotic Drugs is a vital platform for common solutions to advance international drug policy commitments. That is more crucial than ever as challenges grow more complex. 

Our world faces record numbers of people with drug use disorders.  Record numbers of drug-related deaths.  And record levels of illicit production of many drugs.

At this session of the Commission, you have the opportunity to strengthen the shared commitment to addressing the world drug problem through balanced responses and collective action.  By countering drug trafficking.  Investing in drug use prevention.  Ensuring equal access to health care and treatment services.  And protecting the human rights and dignity of everyone.

Through our Common Position on Drugs — adopted by the UN Chief Executives Board in 2018 — we are committed to providing comprehensive, coordinated, and evidence-based support as you work to tackle the challenges posed by the illicit drug market.

We must always strive to put people first by ending stigma and discrimination and strengthening prevention; stressing rehabilitation; upholding the human rights of people who use drugs; and expanding prevention and treatment programmes and health services.

Together, let us unite around promoting the health and well-being of all people, advancing the Sustainable Development Goals, and leaving no one behind.

For information media. Not an official record.