The Problem of Drugs (UN, 1996)

The Problem of Drugs (UN, 1996)

Mr. Chairman,

The Russian Federation finds good grounds for our discussion today of international cooperation in the war on drugs. Drug addiction today is among the most terrible social ills on our planet. Drug abuse and the illegal drug trade represent a serious threat to the lives, health and dignity of millions of people everywhere, and to the economic prosperity and political stability of many states. The statistics are shocking: the number of drug addicts in the world accounts for some 50 million people, and the yearly incomes of the producers and distributors of these lethal poisons exceed 500 billion dollars.

In the light of the magnitude of the drug threat to our planet, its universality, resistance to this evil is impossible for any state acting alone. What is needed are efforts of the entire international community. Naturally, the strategy can and must be adapted to changing realities. What is important is a regular “synchronizing of watches” of the international community with the major priorities of the campaign against drugs.

Russia supports the intensification of efforts at international drug control on the most urgent issues in the war on drugs, including tighter control of the production and use of drugs and psychotropic substances by states at the global and regional levels to counteract the illegal traffic.

An important question is to ensure mandatory punishment for individuals engaged in the illegal drug trade and to deprive them of safe havens. The way to do this is through strengthening the interaction of states on the global and regional levels to combat this illegal trade.

In general, the drug situation in Russia remains rather complex. There has been a rapid growth in the number of drug users, which is leading to a rise in drug-related crimes. There is a continuation of an illegal transfer of drugs from legal to illegal circulation. There is a swiftly growing increase in drug smuggling to Russian territory from foreign sources.

In these conditions Russia has been consistently taking major steps to combat the illegal drug trade and drug abuse.

There has been a stepping up of new anti-drug legislation. The State Duma adopted at a first reading a package of draft laws designed to establish an organizational basis for the legal drug trade and to counteract illegal drug traffic, to lay down the principles for assistance for drug addiction and guarantee the rights of citizens regarding the rendering of such assistance, and to review the existing administrative and criminal legislation concerning responsibility for legal drug-related offenses.

The parliamentarians also will be considering a draft law proposed by various ministries and agencies concerning responsibility for the laundering of income from criminal activity, which establishes a legal basis for the war on “dirty” money, including drug dollars.

Some results have been achieved in improving anti-drug work among various social and age groups of the population. Efforts are being stepped up to enhance the effectiveness of the system of control over the production and distribution of drugs. Successful studies are being carried out to improve aerial ways of identifying drug crops.

We attach the highest priority to the issue of the establishment of a system of collective resistance to combat the drug threat within the CIS. Some results have already been achieved in this area. The Russian side is rendering considerable practical assistance to a number of countries of the Commonwealth in their national efforts to counter the drug threat. We attach great importance to the expansion and development of real cooperation of UNDP with the appropriate Russian agencies. A major impetus to this will be given by the forthcoming technical consultations with UNDCP in Moscow. We are expecting that these will produce a comprehensive and balanced

program of cooperation with Russia which, naturally, will require rigorous preparation of this project, which is currently being carried out by the Russian side.

The Russian delegation hopes that this discussion and the consequent adoption of decisions will advance the further consolidation of the efforts of states in the war on drugs.

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