Pakistan Reiterates its Role as a Key Partner in Global Anti-Narcotics Initiatives

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Ambassador Aftab Ahmad Khokher addressed the high Ministerial segment of the 67th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), which is being held in Vienna from 14 to 22 March 2022 to mark the mid-term review of the 2019 Ministerial Declaration. The high-level segment is aimed at evaluating the progress on international drug policy commitments and chart the way forward to 2029.
In his address, Ambassador Aftab Ahmed Khokher acknowledged international endeavors aimed at countering the world drug problem. He emphasized the formidable challenges, including resource limitations, misaligned priorities, the trend toward harm reduction measures, the legalization of controlled substances for recreational use, and the existing barriers in international cooperation, which have execrated the world drug problem. He stressed that only unified and cohesive approach would help us to overcome these challenges in order to make drug free world for our future generations.
Highlighting Pakistan’s contribution to the global counter narcotic efforts, Ambassador Khokher stated that Pakistan is among the highest contributing countries in countering the illicit drugs. Pakistan’s sustained efforts are internationally acknowledged including by UNODC. He also expressed concerns that Pakistan has suffered due to the increasing demand for illicit drugs elsewhere, which drains Pakistan’s resources, endanger the health, safety, and well-being of its people. He urged the destination countries to strengthen their efforts to combat drug use within their borders.

Ambassador Khokher also underscored that being a responsible country, Pakistan was committed to promoting human rights in accordance with its national and international obligations. In the context of the World Drug Problem, he urged the international community to strengthen the judicial and health systems of developing countries to address the human rights dimension of the drug problem. Expressing apprehension regarding the nexus between conflicts, occupation, and drug susceptibility, he highlighted the imperative of safeguarding the human rights of populations living in decades long occupation and under continued conflict and aggression.

Pakistan also made pledges on i)establishment of National Counter Narcotics Control Center, ii) establishment of state-of-the-art 100-bedded Model Addiction Treatment, Rehabilitation and Reintegration Centre at Lahore, And; iii) establishment of new operational setups at emergent strategic locations.

The CND is the United Nations principal policy making body on drug control matters, which meets annually to formulate global drug policy and take scheduling decisions. During the week-long session, the Commission shall also consider resolutions on topics related to rehabilitation and recovery management programmes; improving the access and availability of controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes; preventing and responding to drug overdoses; and alternative development.