Delegation of the European Union to the
UN and other international organisations in Geneva

WHA 69 - EU Statement - Agenda item 12.6

Geneva, 28/05/2016 - 09:00, UNIQUE ID: 160725_3
Statements on behalf of the EU

WHO - 69th World Health Assembly (23-28 May 2016) - Agenda item 12.6: Public health dimension of the world drug problem

Madame Chair,

I’m speaking on behalf of the EU and its Member States.

We deeply appreciate WHO’s work in the preparations for UNGASS and its active participation at the meeting itself, especially the strong and clear message from DG Chan at the opening segment.

The Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the UNGASS declaration provide guidance for our work in the area of health and drug policy in the upcoming years.

The UN Drug Conventions recognise the protection of health and welfare of mankind as a key concern of the Parties. We therefore underscore the central importance of the protection of public and individual health, both nationally and internationally, as it is also recognised in the UNGASS outcome document.

The UNODC is the leading entity in the UN - system for countering the world drug problem. The UNGASS encouraged UNODC to promote inter-agency coherence and to seek strengthened cooperation  with competent UN entities. WHO plays a crucial role in supporting both Member States and the institutions of the international drug control system.

We commend WHO for its efforts undertaken so far, in excellent cooperation with UNODC and the International Narcotics Control Board, to elaborate a balanced, integrated and evidence-based approach to the full range of health aspects of the drug problem, including prevention, early detection and intervention, risk and harm reduction, treatment, rehabilitation, social reintegration and recovery, as well as access and rational use of controlled medicines.

Drug users should be first and foremost considered as people in need of attention, counselling, care and treatment in order to improve their health condition, enhance social reintegration and avoid marginalization and stigmatization.

To conclude, we express our sincere disappointment at the inability of this Assembly to agree on a decision on these important matters. We call for WHO to continue working on the public health dimension of the world drug problem and to fully play its role in the implementation of the recommendations contained in the UNGASS outcome document.



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