Ban warns illicit drugs impede sustainable development, calls for every solution to be weighed

Illicit drugs promote violence, impede sustainable development, endanger communities and undermine people’s health, United Nations Secretary-Genera lBan Ki-moon warned, calling on the global community to weigh every option available to confront the issue.

This global challenge is interconnected with corruption, terrorism and illicit flows of money,” Mr. Ban told UN official and delegates at a meeting ahead of a UN General Assembly special session (UNGASS) on the world drug problem in April.

Those who traffic in illegal drugs may also be involved in human trafficking, kidnapping, firearms smuggling, murder and numerous other crimes. But the world drug problem is also a health problem, linked to overdoses, the ravages of addiction and the spread of HIV and hepatitis,” he added.

In all our work, which is based on the international drug conventions, the human rights of people, especially the vulnerable and their communities, must come first.”

The UN chief insisted that implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were adopted last year by UN Member States to wipe out poverty and fight inequality over the next 15 years, will require “collective partnership and solid commitment.”

UNGASS 2016 provides an opportunity for the international community to enter into an informed and wide-ranging discussion on drug policy in all its aspects,” Mr. Ban explained.

It can help in the development of objectives, based on human rights and concern for the health and welfare of people, that will support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

The UN General Assembly special session on the world drug problem is scheduled from 19 to 21 April at UN Headquarters in New York. The Assembly previously convened a special session on the issue in 1998.