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Third Committee

(New York, November 5, 2009)

Statement by Ambassador Claudia Blum, Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations, 38th Plenary Session of the General Assembly Consideration of the Outcomes of High-Level Segment 52nd Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs

 

Mr. Chairman,

My delegation welcomes that the General Assembly has convened this plenary to consider the results achieved during the 52nd session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, held last March at Vienna.

During this important event, the Ministers reviewed the progress made a decade after the adoption of the Political Declaration approved by the General Assembly at its twentieth special session, and adopted important decisions on future priorities and urgent measures to combat the world drug problem beyond 2009.

With the adoption of Political Declaration and Plan of Action at the High Level Segment, the world reiterated the commitment made in 1998 to promote the effective implementation of the guiding principles of the fight against drugs. In this regard, it was reaffirmed that each of the links in the chain of the world drug problem must be addressed in the context of common and shared responsibility with a comprehensive and balanced approach in full conformity with the principles and objectives enshrined in the United Nations charter and strengthening international cooperation.

At the same time it was recognized that despite the efforts and progress made by States, international organizations and civil society, the world drug problem continues to pose a threat to health, safety and welfare of mankind. It was further observed that the world drug problem in all its aspects, undermine sustainable development, political stability and democratic institutions and is a threat to national security and the rule of law and reduces the effectiveness of efforts to eradicate poverty.

Mr. Chairman,

Colombia has consistently struggled for over three decades against this scourge. That is why my country attaches special importance to the renewal of these commitments by the international community. Experience has shown that only when attacking all fronts, it is possible to destabilize the criminal system that supports the illegal drug business. In this context, the effectiveness of the enormous efforts made at national level is diminished if there are no commitments and cooperation of all States.

In order to provide security, prosperity and social cohesion for all citizens, the Colombian State advances a comprehensive strategy based on reducing both supply and demand, and in combating all crimes related to illicit drugs. Colombian institutions have worked hard to combat this global threat in harmony and have achieved significant results reflected in advances in public health, welfare and safety of the whole society.

Today we can say that the production and trafficking of drugs are losing ground in Colombia. National actions have brought the country closer to the target set in the Plan Colombia eight years ago to reduce by 50% the production of cocaine. As mentioned in the World Drug Report 2009, the results of operations for aerial spraying, manual eradication, control to diversion of chemical precursors and alternative development projects performed by the Colombian State, led to a reduction of the total world production of cocaine.

Colombia wants to highlight as a breakthrough, as reflected in the Political Declaration, the recognition of alternative development as a useful tool to address the problem of illicit crop cultivation from the perspective of development. In this sense, it is necessary to stress the need to strengthen international cooperation to finance, develop and implement sustainable alternative development programs in countries affected by illicit crops for drug production.

Strengthening the international community's support to strategies aimed at reducing illicit crops, not only on technical and financial resources but with political support, should be a priority. The preferential access of products from these initiatives to markets is essential to facilitate their sustainability.

Mr. Chairman,

During the High Level Segment of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Colombia reiterated that the World Drug Problem is a phenomenon increasingly global and transnational in nature that threatens the entire international community. It stressed the importance of addressing the various manifestations of the world drug problem chain including, the consumption, cultivation, production of psychoactive drugs of natural origin and synthetic, trafficking, distribution, diversion of precursor chemicals and money laundering.

At the same time, my country warned that it is urgent to adapt the national and international strategies to address the serious challenges posed by the increasingly close links between illicit drug trafficking, corruption and other forms of organized crime, including trafficking, illicit trafficking in firearms, cybercrime, money laundering and terrorism financing.

The constant evolution and adaptability of the means used by organized crime requires continual updating of strategies. The international community must privilege a holistic and multidisciplinary approach to meet new challenges.

In this context it is essential to improve the sources of information at international level so that Member States understand the trends of the problem and its consequences. It should devise mechanisms for joint planning to disrupt specific markets and routes of drug trafficking and consumption. There is a need to improve monitoring systems for evaluating the effectiveness of programs and policies to reduce supply and demand. Also there is a need, to update the control and surveillance systems to meet the challenges posed by synthetic drugs. In this regard, international cooperation should be geared towards meeting the commitments and obligations undertaken by States in combating the world drug problem and related crimes. This can be accomplished with appropriate coordination of plans and actions among countries, the financial and technical cooperation and timely exchange of operational information and the judiciary.

A comprehensive strategy against the world drug problem can only be sustainable and effective if the international community faces with the same dedication, and together, all the links in the chain.

Mr. Chairman,

Address the world drug problem requires an integrated and balanced approach. The dichotomy between production and consumption that has characterized the debate for so long has no validity or usefulness. The producing countries, transit countries and consumer countries are links of the same chain. We must all work together to achieve results and progress in the elimination of this scourge in a comprehensive manner, including all criminal activities that support it.

Colombia, meanwhile, continues its unwavering commitment to continue working at the bilateral, regional and multilateral levels, through effective measures for coordination and cooperation to address the transnational, dynamic and multidimensional nature of this global threat.

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

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