Statement on the Commission on Narcotic Drugs Order of Malta - Permanent Observer Mission

21/03/2011

Statement on the Commission on Narcotic Drugs

Statement by H. E. Ambassador Günther A. Granser

Permanent Observer to the UN
at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs 54th session

Vienna, 21-25 March 2011

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Chairperson,

Since it is the first time that I have the honour to take the floor, I would firstly like to join previous speakers in renewing my congratulations to you for your election. We acknowledge with great appreciation the successful preparation for the work of this session under your commendable guidance. We look forward to a valuable and productive meeting, working together under your able leadership. We also continue to look to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to play a critical role in leveraging international support for counternarcotics issues.

The international community coming together under the banner of the United Nations, and this Commission, is strongly working for the purpose of combating the spread of illicit drugs across the globe. Three groundbreaking drug control conventions guided our efforts. These legally binding instruments watch that a delicate balance between making narcotic drugs available for medical and scientific purposes, and preventing their abuse and non-medical use is kept.

We are asked to work together to ensure that we maintain this balance.

In fact the international community took decisive action in 1998 by coming together at the UN General Assembly on Drugs (UNGASS). As a result, countless positive actions to address directly the drug problem have been undertaken. The Sovereign Order of Malta is proud that more people around the world have access to effective drug treatment and prevention programs.

It is our believe and the Order’s engagement that drug abuse can be prevented, treated and controlled also by providing young people with opportunities, skills and information that advise against risky behaviour and in favour of healthy lifestyles.

Community- wide support is needed to combat drug abuse. Teachers and schools play an important role in a child’s self esteem and family skills training programs have been particularly successful and could be more widely used in low and middle income countries.

While there are signs that both the supply of and the demand for drugs were generally stable, drugs still ruled the lives of too many people across the globe. Although it is important to continue to making efforts to curtail supply, the greatest challenge in global drug control is to curb demand, which would ultimately reduce supply. We have all progressed in our understanding of the global problem and the approach to tackling counter-drug issues since the first Commission on Narcotic Drugs. The Order takes pride in the accomplishments of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs-it has demonstrated throughout its history a commitment to substantive achievements.

Finally taking all this into consideration the Sovereign Order of Malta fully supports also the untiring efforts of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime making the world safer from threats to well-being of humanity.

Thank you, Chairperson!