Published: 15 March 2017
Senior Minister of State (SMS) for Home Affairs and National Development, Mr Desmond Lee, attended the 60th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Vienna, Austria that commenced on Monday 13 March 2017. The CND meets annually to discuss the world drug situation, develop strategies on international drug control, and recommend measures to address the world drug problem. This year's CND is significant as it marks the 60th anniversary of the CND and is the first CND following the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the World Drug Problem held in April 2016, which adopted a set of operational recommendations to help countries effectively control and address the drug problem.
2. SMS Lee delivered a statement at the plenary session on Singapore's approach to fighting the drug problem. In addition, he attended a side event on "New Initiatives in the Field of Substance Use Prevention", which is co-organised by Singapore, France, Norway, Qatar, UAE and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), where Singapore presented its Preventive Drug Education initiatives. Singapore also held an exhibition at the 60th CND showcasing our drug prevention initiatives and efforts.
3. SMS Lee met Yury Fedotov, Director-General of the United Nations Office in Vienna and Executive Director of UNODC. Mr Fedotov welcomed Singapore's engagement with the UNODC in the past year, and the on-going collaboration to jointly provide technical assistance to ASEAN countries as well as the Pacific Island States in areas such as anti-corruption and the implementation of the UNGASS 2016 outcome document recommendations. SMS Lee also shared with Mr Fedotov about Singapore's harm prevention approach to tackle the scourge of drugs. Mr Fedotov noted Singapore's comprehensive approach and encouraged Singapore to share its relevant experiences with other countries. SMS Lee also presented Mr Fedotov a replica of the Green and White Anti-Drug Ribbon, which was endorsed by the 5th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Drugs in October 2016, symbolizing 'Health', 'Vitality' and 'Strength' towards a drug-free vision of society.
4. SMS Lee also held bilateral meetings and pull asides with delegates from other countries, including Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol of Thailand, State Secretary of Health of Norway, Mr Frode Gassland Hestnes, and Pro-Secretary to the President and President of the National Drug Board of Uruguay, Mr Juan Andres Roballo, and the Executive President of Peru's National Commission for Development and Life without Drugs (DEVIDA), Ms Carmen Masias. SMS Lee also took the opportunity to engage with NGOs that attended the CND, such as the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs (VNGOC), the World Federation Against Drugs (WFAD), and the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) to learn more on their advocacy efforts and positions.
5. SMS Lee is accompanied by officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Central Narcotics Bureau, the Singapore Prison Service, and the Health Sciences Authority.