Pakistan reaffirms its position as a crucial ally in international efforts against narcotics

Ambassador Aftab Ahmad Khokher delivered a speech during the high-level Ministerial segment of the 67th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Vienna, taking place from March 14 to 22, 2022, marking the mid-term review of the 2019 Ministerial Declaration. The aim of this segment is to assess progress on international drug policy commitments and outline future strategies up to 2029.

In his remarks, Ambassador Khokher acknowledged global efforts to combat the drug issue while highlighting significant challenges such as resource constraints, conflicting priorities, the shift towards harm reduction strategies, legalization of controlled substances for recreational use, and barriers to international cooperation. He stressed the necessity of a united and coherent approach to overcome these challenges and create a drug-free world for future generations.

Regarding Pakistan’s role, Ambassador Khokher noted its substantial contribution to global counter-narcotic efforts, recognized by entities such as the UNODC. He expressed concerns about Pakistan bearing the brunt of increased demand for illicit drugs from other regions, draining its resources and posing risks to the health and safety of its citizens. He urged destination countries to intensify efforts to combat drug use within their borders.

Ambassador Khokher emphasized Pakistan’s commitment to promoting human rights in line with its national and international obligations. He urged the international community to bolster the judicial and health systems of developing nations to address the human rights aspects of the drug problem. He also highlighted the link between conflicts, occupation, and susceptibility to drugs, stressing the importance of safeguarding the rights of populations in prolonged conflict situations.

Additionally, Pakistan pledged to establish a National Counter Narcotics Control Center, a state-of-the-art 100-bedded Model Addiction Treatment, Rehabilitation, and Reintegration Center in Lahore, and new operational setups at strategic locations.

The CND serves as the UN’s primary policymaking body on drug control matters, convening annually to formulate global drug policies and make scheduling decisions. Throughout the session, the Commission will consider resolutions on various topics including rehabilitation and recovery management programs, improving access to controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes, preventing and addressing drug overdoses, and alternative development strategies.

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