Qatar Calls for Confronting World Drug Problem Within Framework of UN Charter and International Law

The State of Qatar underlined that the threat of narcotic drugs to the health and safety of all mankind still exists, in light of its escalating negative repercussions on the social, economic and political stability of countries, the rule of law and sustainable development.

This came in the statement of the State of Qatar, delivered by Abdullah bin Nasser Al Fuhaid, the Charge d'Affaires of the Embassy of the State of Qatar and its Permanent Mission to the United Nations and International Organizations in Vienna, during the 63rd session of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), currently in session in Vienna.

The State of Qatar said in its speech that confronting the world drug problem is a general and shared responsibility that must be addressed in a multilateral framework, in accordance with the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter and other provisions of international law, calling for supporting the political commitment with action on the ground, and intensifying the efforts to counter the global drug problem and strengthen the prevention of drug abuse, especially among children and youth, as well as in educational communities, with the aim of reaching drug-free societies.

The statement noted that the difference in tools, means and priorities, and the complexity of the world drug problem, should not detract us from our common goal of achieving the full objectives of the three drug agreements and ministerial declarations for 2009, 2014, 2016 and 2019, and adhering to the spirit of Vienna Consensual which has guided our work during the past decades, as well as supporting the primary role of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs as the policy-making body with the primary responsibility for drug control matters.

The statement said that mobilizing sufficient resources to confront the drug problem is an investment for the present and future of humanity. In this context, the State warned of the wrong approach of legalizing cannabis use for recreational purposes, indicating that it contradicts with the comprehensive implementation of treaties and threatens the health and well-being of societies. The State of Qatar called for a thorough and comprehensive review of WHO experts' recommendations regarding the scheduling of cannabis and related materials, noting that the review should include economic, legal, social, health and administrative aspects and an assessment of all risks.

The statement underlined that the State of Qatar gives top priority to protecting society from the scourge of drugs, and the national committee for narcotics control implements a strategy with a comprehensive approach that focuses first on prevention efforts, community protection, law enforcement, attention to drug victims, and the involvement of the health, social, economic, judicial and human rights sector in formulating and implementing preventive initiatives.

It noted that the State of Qatar launched a national preventive education campaign, included schools, institutes, colleges, universities, youth centers, sports clubs and others, with the aim of engaging young people in educating their peers about the dangers of drugs. The State also adopted the "Prevention Ambassadors" program aiming at building a group of community alliances with a number of sectors operating in the country to immunize the community from drugs. This policy resulted in making Qatar one of the cleanest countries in the world from the drug epidemic, in addition to its contribution to the regional and international efforts to combat drugs, and its generous support for regional and international programs.

The State of Qatar also referred to the Global Program for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration, which is funded by the State of Qatar, stressing that it is the largest program funded by one country in the history of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, as it includes many activities aimed at immunizing societies, and the youth in particular, from drugs and crime. More than 30 thousand specialists in more than 190 countries benefited from the activities of the Global Program. The program also provided direct technical assistance to 34 countries to build capacities for more than 15 thousand people, as well as educational programs that benefited 120 thousand students and 1700 teacher all over the world.

In conclusion, the State of Qatar called on member states and all donors to provide more support to the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and to the International Narcotics Control Board, in order to strengthen their primary role in implementing joint pledges.