Switzerland at ministerial segment of UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs

Bern, 14.03.2019 - From 14 to 15 March 2018, Switzerland took part in the ministerial segment of the 62nd session of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna. Switzerland is a member of the Commission during the 2018–21 period.

The Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) was created by the United Nations Economic and Social Council in 1946. It is the UN's central body responsible for formulating international drug policy. The CND sets out recommendations on drug control for UN member states, steers drug-related programmes run by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and determines the level of control of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals under international control.

The ministerial segment of the 62nd session of the CND took place in Vienna from 14 to 15 March 2019. Its objective was to take stock of the implementation of the commitments made by the international community when it approved in 2009 the Political declaration and plan of action on international cooperation towards an integrated and balanced strategy to counter the world drug problem. A declaration was approved at the beginning of the ministerial segment.  

Switzerland's delegation to the segment in Vienna was composed of representatives of Swissmedic, Fedpol and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and was headed by Nora Kronig Romero, Ambassador for Global Health, vice-director general of the Federal Office of Public Health. During the preparatory work and at the ministerial segment, Switzerland stressed the need to take into consideration and implement the recommendations adopted by the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS) in April 2016. These recommendations represent considerable progress towards a global drug policy centred on health and human rights.

Alongside the CND ministerial segment, Switzerland also co-organised, together with a number of other stakeholders, a high-level event aimed at presenting a set of internationally recognised guidelines for the effective integration of human rights in the development of national drug policies ('From abstract principles to concrete guidance: international guidelines on human rights and drug policy'). This initiative is part of a project co-financed by Switzerland and implemented by the University of Essex. The Swiss delegation also held several bilateral meetings on the margins of the ministerial segment and will continue its work at the regular session of the CND (18-22 March 2019).

Switzerland served as a member of the CND for a number of terms (1961-75, 1988-95, 1997-2001 and 2004-11) and has always been actively involved in the CND's work and discussions. Within the CND, Switzerland works to promote a drug policy that prioritises health and human rights. Switzerland's strategic four-pronged approach (prevention, therapy, harm reduction and law enforcement) and progressive development towards an addiction strategy is internationally recognised and respected.

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