Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

03/14/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/14/2019 12:10

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s address at the Ministerial Segment of the 62nd session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Vienna, March 14, 2019

Mr President, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

Today we will take stock of the efforts taken over the decade to counter the world drug problem. It is possible to make different assessments of the efforts to implement the Political Declaration and the Plan of Action, which were approved by the UN General Assembly in 2009. However, it is obvious that the task of ridding humanity of drug dependence set in these documents remains fully topical. Drug business continues to feed organised crime and corruption and provokes violence. New psychoactive substances are being produced. New high-tech threats like DarkNet and electronic payment instruments, so-called contactless drug trafficking, evoke serious concern.

Nobody can cope single-handedly with the multiplying challenges. The entire international community should make collective steps to move consistently towards reaching a strategic goal - the shaping of the drug-free world. This goal is sealed in the final document of the UN General Assembly 30th Special Session, which declared that 'the world drug problem remains a common and shared responsibility…'

Regrettably, attempts are being made to erode this responsibility or distort its essence. The legalisation of cannabis in a number of countries, ostensibly for 'recreational' or 'medical' purposes evokes serious concern. This road leads straight to drug hell. Attempts to justify the use of drugs by human rights arguments do not stand up to criticism. It is necessary to strictly abide by the three relevant UN conventions that are the cornerstone of the entire anti-drug system and must remain unshakeable.

To be continued...