Statement by Laura G. Ross, Senior Advisor to the Permanent Representative of the United States, on Agenda Item 105: International Drug Control, in the Plenary of the Sixty-fourth Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Laura G. Ross
Senior Advisor 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
November 5, 2009


Thank you Mr. President.  My delegation would like to express our appreciation, through you, to Namibia for its stewardship of the review of the UNGA Special Session (UNGASS) commitments and the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) high-level proceedings that were open to all Member States.  We also express our gratitude to Mexico for its efforts to chair the resolution on this topic in the Third Committee.

This UNGA Plenary on drugs culminates the ten-year review of the 20th UNGASS commitments to further the implementation of the three UN drug control conventions.  These conventions, with over 95percent of member states as Parties, continue to provide the framework for our international efforts. 
The Political Declaration and the Action Plan—emanating from the March 2009 high-level CND--build on the political commitments of the 1998 Special Session documents and highlight the importance of continuing international cooperation to address the world drug problem.

We all agree that the illicit cultivation, production, trafficking, sale, and consumption of narcotic drugs are pressing, and complex global challenges.
During the almost two year-long process of this review, we did not agree on every aspect of addressing the drug problem.  Discussion was, at times, contentious, as governments with differing policies, laws, and social systems tried to reach agreement on a way forward.

However, working together, we accomplished a great deal.  Despite our differences, we reached consensus and adopted a document that breathes life into the treaties.  This extends the work that we do into the future and shows that all of us facing a global issue can work together to develop a series of actions to address a scourge that we face at home and abroad.

These documents represent that strong and continuing consensus to confront the global drug problem to attack and disrupt the criminal organizations that traffic illegal drugs and to bring their leaders to justice, to help rehabilitate drug victims, and perhaps most important, to reduce and prevent drug use through education and a range of health programs. 

The CND Political Declaration and Plan of Action set out the goals and the strategy.  All of us must now work together in turn these commitments into actions on the ground. 

I thank you again Mr. President for your efforts to lead us in these discussions, and I urge all Member States to give strong support to enacting these commitments.


PRN: 2009/262