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Statements in International Organisations


United Nations CND: Agenda item 6b - International Narcotics Control Board

Statement of the Republic of Slovenia on behalf of the European Union at the 51st session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs


Thank you, Mr Chairman,

1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union*.

2. The European Union welcomes the hard work done on the report of the International Narcotics Control Board for the year 2007. The European Union believes that the information obtained through the report of the INCB on the drug control situation worldwide assists Governments in their efforts to address the world drug problem.

3. In appreciation of the work of the INCB, which monitors compliance of the international drug control system, the European Union would like to reiterate the importance of adhering to the International Drug Control Treaties. The Treaties provide the necessary legal framework for cooperation between Governments in the field of drugs and the European Union welcomes the almost universal adherence which they enjoy. We encourage those States that have not yet done so to ratify and implement them as soon as possible. In this context, we would also like to stress the importance of fulfilling the reporting obligations under the conventions and commend all States that have provided the INCB with the required data.

4. The European Union welcomes the report's focus on the principle of proportionality and drug-related offences. As the Board underlines, the fact that so far over 95 per cent of all States have chosen to become parties to the international drug control conventions is evidence that those binding legal instruments represent a proportionate response to global drug problem. Proportionality is an important principle in effectively implementing the provisions of the conventions. The EU notes the emphasis which the Board places on full compliance with the principle of proportionality. As reflected in the EU Drugs Strategy, we are convinced that drug policies need, inter-alia, to combine a resolute but proportional law enforcement effort against illicit trade and production with extensive prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and harm reduction, in line with International Drug Control Treaties and with respect for the UN Principles of Fundamental Human Rights and the dignity of individuals.

5. The EU welcomes INCB's endorsement of the UNODC discussion paper on Reducing the adverse health and social consequences of drug abuse: A comprehensive approach. The EU encourages constant dialogue between the INCB and UNODC, as well as UNAIDS, WHO and UNDP in order to strengthen the cooperation in line with the concept of system wide coherence, respecting each organisations individual role and mandate. At the same time, we look forward to enhancing communication between member states and the INCB and appreciate increased transparency. Furthermore, we consider that communication between INCB and civil society is important.

6. In addition, Mr. Chairman, the European Union continues to be concerned that injecting drug use remains the key factor in the spread of HIV/AIDS in many parts of the world, as illustrated also in this years INCB report. In our view, it is essential that access to a wide range of demand reduction activities is provided. Prevention, early intervention, treatment, rehabilitation and harm reduction services are vital components of a comprehensive demand reduction programme. Especially with regard to reducing the spread of blood borne infections including HIV/AIDS among injecting drug users, effective interventions may include needle and syringe exchange programmes, bleach and condom distribution, voluntary HIV counselling and testing, diagnosis of sexually transmitted infections, vaccination programmes and drug treatments, including substitution therapy.

7. Mr. Chairman, with your permission, I would now like to hand over to my colleague from the European Commission who will complete this statement by speaking on the subject of precursor control.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

*  The Candidate Countries Croatia**, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia** and Turkey, the Countries of the Stabilization and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, the EFTA countries Iceland and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Moldova and Ukraine, associate themselves with this statement.

**  Croatia and The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.


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Date: 07.05.2008