Statements at 2008 CND

17 March 2008

Several government and UN officials as well as civil society organisations made interesting statements at the 51st session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) on March 10-14, 2008.

Monday, 10 March 2008

Opening statement of UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa
UNODC highlights human rights and harm reduction.

Statement of the Italian Minister of Social Solidarity, Paolo Ferrero, at the opening session of the 51st CND
Concrete data show that imprisonment has not turned out to be an effective deterrent for drug users, not to mention the frequent violations of fundamental rights and freedoms. 

Statement of Hugo Fernandez, vice-minister of Foreign Affairs of Bolivia
Bolivia announced that it would formally request to unschedule the coca leaf of List 1 of the 1961 UN Single Convention. (In Spanish)

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Statement on human rights and harm reduction
Human rights leadership means that CND must robustly and unambiguously support harm reduction measures such as syringe exchange, opioid substitution treatment and safe injecting rooms, among other interventions.
Rick Lines - International Harm Reduction Association (IHRA)

Statement by the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS
UNAIDS supports countries to implement a rights-based response to the HIV epidemic for two reasons: first, because it fulfills obligations under human rights law, and secondly, because it is the most effective way to address HIV.
Susan Timberlake - Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)

Reducing negative health consequences of drug use
Any evaluation of progress in the response to drugs must include an assessment of progress in reducing harms associated with problematic drug use. The current global review and reflection process does not include provisions to address this dimension independently — and watering down the concept of "harm reduction", unnecessarily compounds this situation. As part of this review, there must be some concerted evaluation of access to, and quality of harm reduction services. 
Pascal Tanguay - Asian Harm Reduction Network (AHRN)

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Statement about the coca leaf
Statement in support of the Bolivian announcement to ask for the un-scheduling of the coca leaf from the list controlled substances of the 1961 UN Single Convention.
Ricardo Soberon - Transnational Institute (TNI) / International Drug Policy Consortium (IDCP) 

Statement on behalf of the Eurasian Harm Reduction Network (EHRN) 
The drug control system overemphasizes criminal justice at the expense of human rights and public health, governments allocate resources in a disproportianate way on supply reduction at the expense of demand and harm reduction.
Balázs Dénes - Eurasian Harm Reduction Network (EHRN) / Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU)

Impact of U.S. Drug Policies on Communities of Color
It is beyond dispute that the human and social costs of the war on drugs in the United States have been steep. Nowhere has the impact been felt more acutely than in minority communities
Deborah Peterson Small - Break the Chains / Open Society Institute

Promotion of health and human rights of people who use drugs
We are talking about 200 million citizens who do not forfeit their humanity and human rights simply because they choose to use substances covered by the international drug control system
Stijn Goosens - International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD) / International Harm Reduction Association (IHRA)