The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) launched its flagship publication, the annual World Drug Report at a ceremony in Vienna to mark the World Drug Day on 26 June 2018.
The Federal Government of Germany is a mayor donor to UNODC and to the World Drug Report in particular. The Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations and International Organizations, Ambassador Däuble was invited to address the ceremony of launching the World Drug Report.
SPECIAL EVENT OF THE COMMISSION ON NARCOTIC DRUGS
COMMEMORATION OF THE
United Nations International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking
AND LAUNCH OF THE 2018 WORLD DRUG REPORT
Tuesday, 26 June 2018
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Excellencies, distinguished Representatives, ladies and gentlemen, dear colleagues,
It is my great pleasure to address you at this special event dedicated to the commemoration of the United Nations International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking and the launch of the UNODC flagship publication, the 2018 World Drug Report.
First and foremost, I would like to thank UNODC, Ms Angela Me and her great team.
The fact that the World Drug Report is produced in an evidence-based manner by an institution beyond any doubt like UNODC is of the greatest value. A scientific evidence-based approach is crucial to developing effective drug policies and interventions.
I take pride in stating that our Federal Ministry of Health has used special funds to further the work of the sector and that our Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development provided direct support to the 2018 World Drug Report’s special chapter on population through the GIZ Global Partnership on Drug Policies and Development (GPDPD), which commissioned research to obtain further information on the role of women and young people in drug supply, as well as on women and drug use. Both populations are key in the design of development-oriented drug policies, including in the field of alternative development.
The World Drug Report is the mirror in front of us. Unfortunately, it shows a disturbing picture of the ever-growing production and consumption of drugs worldwide. It gives us an idea of the magnitude of the problem we are facing, with more than 30 million individuals worldwide, many of them young people, suffering from drug-use disorders. I understand that for the first time the report presents initial estimations of drug use among young people, members of society who are particularly vulnerable.
We learn that early to late adolescence is a critical risk period for the start of substance use and that substance use may peak among young people aged 18–25. While this information is not new, the report provides a deeper understanding of this phenomenon worldwide.
Against this gloomy background, what political conclusions should be drawn?
Speaking in my capacity as German Ambassador, I would like to highlight the importance of a holistic approach as set out in the outcome document of the Special Session of the UN General Assembly on the World Drug Problem held in 2016. The seven thematic areas laid down in the UNGASS Outcome Document fully correspond to the need for an integrated, evidence-based, balanced and outreach approach to drug policy.
By calling for a more comprehensive, evidence-based and balanced drug policy, UNGASS has reshaped and broadened global drug policy. It did so by putting an adequate focus on the health side of the drug problem, including prevention, treatment and harm reduction, on vulnerable members of society and on links to the relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I thus call on all stakeholders to continue to be guided by the UNGASS Outcome Document. We should – both now and beyond 2019 – focus on the practical implementation of the operational recommendations contained in this document.
In my country, Germany, we address substance-use disorders from a public health angle and as a public health priority and work consistently on developing targeted, evidence-based and cost-effective interventions. At the same time, we promote the use of the internationally recognised standards on drug-use prevention and treatment and support the CND’s efforts to expand their use.
While aiming to achieve a measurable reduction in drug demand, drug addiction, and drug-related and social risks and harm, Germany has also been investing in the promotion of alternative development measures aimed at reducing the production and supply of drugs.