Good morning, and thank you and welcome to the first major event of High-Level Week 2018. We’re very excited to see all of you this morning.
The President takes a personal interest in the fight against drugs. The U.S., like many of your countries, has seen too many lives lost and families destroyed due to the illegal movement and abuse of drugs. So we thank you very much for signing the compact and for being here.
What brings us together today is something that has touched every American. Everyone knows someone who has suffered or died from abusing illegal drugs. And drugs are not only an American problem.
The drug problem is global. It is a demand-side issue and a supply-side issue. Drugs are a corruption issue. A law and order issue. A civil society issue. All of these issues are part of the drug problem, and they don’t stop at geographical borders. It will take every country at the United Nations to address the drug problem.
The United States is confronting a serious opioid crisis that is fueled by the rapid increase in the illicit supply of synthetic drugs like fentanyl. We’re not alone. Countries around the world are seeing similar trends of increased addiction and significant loss of life due to deadly drugs like those. We expect this upward trend to continue.
So we’re here today to talk about solutions. We’ve seen firsthand how complex the global drug supply chain is. We’ve seen what’s working and what isn’t to stop production, trafficking, and use.
We’ve been to coca fields and sat down with leaders in Colombia, Guatemala, and Honduras. These countries are committed to doing good work to combat this crisis – work that benefits all of us. Our partnerships are making a difference.
The President wants to get even more countries involved – to pursue action on a global scale. The President will say more about this in a minute, but the Global Call to Action began as a way to build awareness among world leaders about the drug problem.
The next step is to reaffirm the commitment of UN Member States to key UN conventions and institutions devoted to this issue. And we need to pay more attention to emerging challenges, specifically those posed by synthetic drugs.
Finally, we want every UN Member State to commit to action. The Global Call to Action asks every country to pledge to develop action plans for addressing drug supply and demand, treatment options, and international cooperation. The response we’ve received so far has been nothing short of outstanding. Mr. President, we’re proud to join our 31 co-hosts, including Colombia, the United Kingdom, Afghanistan, Kenya, and Jordan, who helped gather the countries assembled here today. And we are honored to be among 130 Member States who are here and have signed on to the Global Call to Action. Your commitment is an inspiration. We hope it leads more nations to join us.
But none of us would be here today without the leadership of the man it is now my honor to introduce. As President of the United States, Donald Trump has taken on the challenge – and felt the weight – of leading a nation in pain and grief over the abuse of illegal drugs. Now he has taken this leadership worldwide. He is relentlessly committed to building a global coalition to fight the global problem of drug abuse. We are grateful for his leadership in this event. Ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor to introduce my boss, President Donald J. Trump.