Joint Statement on Human Rights Challenges in Addressing and Countering All Aspects of the World Drug Problem, 5 February 2024

05 Feb 2024



On behalf of


People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, Kingdom of Bahrain, People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Republic of Belarus, Brunei Darussalam, Republic of Cameroon, Central African Republic, People’s Republic of China, Republic of Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Arab Republic of Egypt, Eritrea, Republic of The Gambia, Republic of India, Republic of Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Republic of Iraq, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, State of Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, State of Libya, Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Sultanate of Oman, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, State of Palestine, State of Qatar, Russian Federation, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Republic of Singapore, Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Republic of the Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Republic of Tajikistan, United Republic of Tanzania, Republic of Türkiye, United Arab Emirates, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Republic of Zimbabwe



Mr President,


I am delivering this statement on behalf of 39 states.


We underscore that the current developments related to the world drug problem are alarming and represent a global drug crisis. Meanwhile, the adoption of legislation in support of non-scientific and non-medical or “recreational” use of drugs in some countries has led to misperceptions about the perceived risk of the consequences of illicit drug use.


We emphasise that the issue of the world drug problem and addressing the challenges posed by illicit and narcotic drugs is a complex and multi-faceted issue. This is why there are specialised UN treaties, fora and mechanisms dealing with it (i.e., the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) and the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND)). While the Human Rights Council and the OHCHR have a central role to play in dealing with human rights issues within the framework of the UN system, the issue of drugs is already being handled by a multitude of other UN bodies with specific mandates, in particular the CND – which is the principal policy-making body of the UN with prime responsibility for drug control matters.


It is our concern that this parallel track of political pressure detracts from the sound technical work already being undertaken in Vienna, and unduly prejudices and even potentially undermines the longstanding impartiality, objectivity, and evidence-based work of the UNODC, INCB and the CND. All UN bodies should be allowed to carry out their work independently without having to contend with external influence or pressure.


We believe that a comprehensive and balanced approach is important to tackle this endemic problem, and to prevent the harms of drugs from becoming entrenched in the first place. Therefore, we urge all Member States to set ambitious goals and not to limit their efforts to reducing harms related to drug abuse, illicit drug cultivation, production, manufacture and trafficking, as well as for concerted international action aimed at addressing the root causes of the world drug problem.


We reaffirm our determination to counter the world drug problem and to actively promote a society free of drug abuse in order to ensure that all people can live in security, peace, health, dignity and prosperity.

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