Published: 16 March 2016
1. Senior Minister of State (SMS) for Home Affairs and National Development, Mr Desmond Lee, attended the 59th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Vienna, Austria, from 14 to 16 March 2016.
2. In his statement at the plenary session, SMS Lee urged United Nations member states to continue to support the centrality of the international drug conventions, amidst a challenging world drug situation. He re-affirmed Singapore's commitment to adopt a comprehensive and balanced approach to tackling drugs, which included both supply and demand reduction measures. He also highlighted key findings from two research studies on drug issues by academics and medical professionals in Singapore. These findings support Singapore's approach of harm prevention, to focus efforts upstream to ensure drug abuse does not take root in our society.
3. SMS Lee met his ASEAN counterparts to discuss preparations for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the World Drug Problem, which will take place in New York from 19 to 21 April 2016. He also held bilateral meetings with counterparts from other countries, including China's Deputy Secretary-General of the National Narcotics Control Commission, Wei Xiaojun, and Russia's Director of the Federal Drug Control Service, Victor Ivanov.
4. SMS Lee also met the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, and the Chairman of the UNGASS Board, Ambassador Khaled Shamaa, to discuss the challenges of the global drug situation and to reaffirm Singapore's support for the UNGASS process.
 The two research studies are: (i) a comparative analysis of data on the harm reduction and harm eradication programmes adopted across 11 countries by Professor Stella Quah, Adjunct Professor at the Duke-NUS Medical School; and (ii) a literature review on cannabis by Dr Jimmy Lee, Consultant (General Psychiatry) at the Institute of Mental Health.