UN General Assembly Special Session
on the World Drug Problem
19 April 2016 — General Assembly Hall
Opening remarks by H.E. Mr Mogens Lykketoft,
President of the 70th session of the General Assembly
It is a great honour to welcome you to this 30th Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS).
I wish to thank Minister Lohde for presiding over the opening of this meeting.
I also wish to thank the Commission for Narcotic Drugs in Vienna for leading the preparations for this special session, and I recognize the commitment and engagement of all which resulted in the document we have before us today.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
When young people see their health deteriorate, their life opportunities evaporate and their familles disintegrate.
When those seeking treatment are stigmatized and discriminated against, and HIV/AIDS sufferers are marginalized.
When poor farmers struggle to find alternative sources of income, and indigenous peoples face challenges to their century-old practices.
When organised criminals bring in immense profits, attract disenfranchised youth, take over and destroy communities.
When courageous politicians and officers are gunned down, others are corrupted, and the entire State-apparatus is undermined.
When millions are imprisoned for possession, including of small quantifies, and others are executed for trafficking.
When supply and demand affects societies differently and solutions in one country results in problems in another.
When those who need controlled substances for medical purposes, cannot have access to them. When all of this and more cornes together, you have the world drug problem.
A problem that demands international action. A problem that can be overcome.