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Third Committee of the 52nd General Assembly

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  • Statement by H.E. Mr. Vladimir Galuska, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, International Drug Control
    New York, October 13, 1998


Statement by H.E. Mr. Vladimir Galuska, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, International Drug Control

Mr. Chairman,

Let me first congratulate you and the other members of the bureau of the 3rd Committee on your election and wish you success in your important work.

Last week, my delegation associated itself with the EU statement made on the agenda items 101 and 102. Therefore, allow me to make only some additional remarks regarding the problem of drug abuse.

Mr. Chairman,

Lately, there have been some positive developments in the global activities regarding the drug production and trafficking. However, the unforgiving statistical figures continue to show us that there are more than 200 million drug users worldwide and that the drug menace continues to threaten individuals, civil societies, governments and law and order. Unfortunately, the advantages and achievements of modern age were often misused by the drug cartels so the illicit production of and trafficking in drugs reached the global level very rapidly. It is sad that we are not able to achieve such rapidity in the important areas of economic and social development.

Since the drug abuse became a global problem, the international cooperation was identified as one of the necessary preconditions when addressing this problem. It is notable that the international community finally fully realizes the depth of the drug abuse problem and addresses it with substantially growing awareness. This year´s United Nations General Assembly Special Session was an excellent example of that process. The documents adopted as a result of the Session - Political Declaration, Declaration on Demand Reduction and Action Plan - represent very sound basis for the future development of the international cooperation. The goals set out by the above documents are very ambitious and it is in our common vital interest to fulfill them.

In general, we can probably consider ourselves a step behind those who profit from the drug production and trade. On the other side, we have powerful tools in our hands: UNDCP as an effective body and common will to achieve victory. However, our good intentions and plans cannot be accomplished and targets cannot be reached without adequate funding. Present global economical situation is not favourable and many states are facing economic crises. As a result, the financial support is minimalized. This situation could not only seriously undermine the future activities and erode the common will to battle the drug scourge but, also set back the effort and achievements already made. The imperative for the international community therefore is not to lose the momentum.

Mr. Chairman,

The Czech Republic is one of those countries which went through the difficult transformation period and are sensitive to the global economic turbulences. Nevertheless, the Government of the Czech Republic continues to pay great attention to the problem of drug abuse. The antidrug policy stems from two pillars - law enforcement and demand reduction.

When considering the possible ways for demand reduction, we have to start with identifying the reasons for the drug abuse followed by eliminating those reasons or helping to cope with them. As for those reasons, there are many of them. People use drugs to flee from the greyness of their everyday life, to escape from their economic and personal problems and to satisfy their unfulfilled needs and dreams. We know that no drug ever can solve any problem, no drug ever can make anybody happy forever. The drug addicts and their families will probably pay a high price for their false illusions in the future. Unfortunately, we are still not able to effectively prevent our fellowmen from becoming drug users. We realize that the way out leads through strengthening the role of family and improvements in the educational system based on the necessary support from highly professional, experienced and dedicated drug prevention experts. These should also be the major players when dealing with one of the most unfortunate cases of the drug abuse - the drug addiction among young people and among the school children. Because of lack of experience, naivety, curiosity or even bad example, drugs have some peculiar attractiveness for them and, as a consequence, make them a very easy target for the drug dealers. The prevention among young population should therefore be one of the priority areas.

Mr. Chairman,

In conclusion, let me turn back to the international cooperation and point out that the fruitful global cooperation can benefit profoundly from the collective regional level activities. The Czech Republic has gained a very good experience from close and successful collaboration with neighbouring countries of Central European region. That could hardly have been possible without substantial and highly commendable assistance provided by UNDCP. The Czech Republic is looking forward to the next review meeting which is to be held in Ljubljana in November this year and we are ready to contribute to its success in the same manner as in the past.

Thank you.