EU Statement at the 66th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs on inter-agency cooperation and coordination of efforts in addressing and countering the world drug problem, as delivered on 16 March 2023

Distinguished Chair, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is an honor to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States. The following countries align themselves with this statement: North Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia*, Albania*, Ukraine*, the Republic of Moldova*, Bosnia and Herzegovina*, Georgia, Iceland+, Norway+, Armenia, Andorra and San Marino.

Addressing the global drug situation continues to require a multidisciplinary and comprehensive approach and effective international cooperation. The EU and its Member States therefore see the need to further enhance inter-agency cooperation and coordination. As we are approaching the mid-term review of the progress in implementing all international drug policy commitments, it is time to enhance our actions across the board with a people-centred and human rights-based approach. We therefore welcome the contributions of the UN human rights entities to the work of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and to drug policy in general, and we see the added value of an increased involvement of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the sessions of the CND along with the World Health Organization, the International Narcotics Control Board, UNAIDS and other relevant UN bodies and entities.

We welcome the recent UN General Assembly resolution on “Addressing and countering the world drug problem through a comprehensive, integrated and balanced approach” and its focus on a human rights-based approach to drug policies. We also support the request in this resolution to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the International Narcotics Control Board to continue strengthening the cooperation with the World Health Organization and other competent United Nations entities, within their respective mandates, as part of a comprehensive, integrated and balanced approach to strengthening health and social welfare measures in addressing the world drug situation. It is important to pursue these efforts in cooperation with civil society and the scientific community.

We also welcome the intention of the UN Human Rights Council to adopt, in the first half of 2023, a new resolution on drug policies and human rights. This will further strengthen the dialogue between Geneva and Vienna-based organisations of the UN system.

When implementing international drug policy commitments, we have to bear in mind [the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, and] that efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and to effectively address the world drug situation are complementary and mutually reinforcing. Therefore, coordination between UNODC and UNDP remains crucial.

Distinguished Chair,

To conclude, let me underline that the EU and its Member States will continue to support enhancing synergies, coherence and complementarity within the United Nations system at all levels with regard to the world drug situation. In particular, we continue to support the UN common position on drugs and call on UNODC to step up its involvement as the lead entity of the Task Team for its implementation. We welcome all efforts to strengthen cooperation between UNODC and other United Nations entities, such as the WHO, the INCB and human rights bodies in their efforts to support Member States in the implementation of international drug control treaties in accordance with applicable human rights obligations. This is in line with the aims of the EU Drugs Strategy 2021-2025 and is key to accelerating the implementation of our joint commitments to address the world drug situation.

Thank you, Mr Chair.



* Candidate Countries North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, as well as potential Candidate Country Bosnia and Herzegovina continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

+ Iceland and Norway are members of the EFTA and of the European Economic Area.