Published: 14 March 2018
Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister, Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for Home Affairs and Second Minister for Manpower, attended the 61st session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Vienna, Austria that commenced on Monday, 12 March 2018. The CND meets annually to discuss the world drug situation, develop strategies on international drug control, and recommends measures to address the world drug problem.
2. Mrs Teo delivered a statement on Singapore's approach in fighting the drug problem at the plenary session, and launched an exhibition on Singapore's rehabilitation approach for a drug-free life at the Vienna International Centre. She also attended a forum on harm prevention - "Overcoming Vulnerabilities in Communities through Prevention" - co-organised by Singapore and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). This forum served as a platform for a cross-regional exchange of views between Government agencies, civil society and practitioners on the measures to prevent the harms of drug abuse. At the forum, Singapore presented its holistic approach to tackle drug abuse, encompassing preventive drug education, strict laws and robust enforcement, and rehabilitation.
3. Mrs Teo also met with Mr Yury Fedotov, Director-General of the United Nations Office in Vienna and Executive Director of the UNODC and held bilateral meetings with various foreign delegates, including Russian Deputy Minister for Interior, Mr Igor Zubov, Colombian Minister of Justice and Law, Mr Enrique Gil Botero, Iranian Minister of Interior, Mr Abdol-Reza Rahmani Fazli, Portuguese Director General of Intervention Service on Addiction Behaviours and Dependencies, Mr Joao Gaolo, and US Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Mr James Walsh. During her meeting with Mr Fedotov, Mrs Teo reaffirmed the strong cooperation between Singapore and the UNODC in fighting drugs and crime, and elaborated on Singapore's comprehensive harm prevention approach towards drugs. Mrs Teo also engaged various Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) that attended the CND, including the World Federation Against Drugs, and the International Drug Policy Consortium, to learn more about their advocacy efforts and approaches.
4. Mrs Teo is accompanied by officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Central Narcotics Bureau, Singapore Prison Service, Health Sciences Authority and the Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association.
5. Ms Nur Afikah Bte Norazmi, an 18-year old Institute of Technical Education (ITE) student, who is also a volunteer with the Central Narcotics Bureau's Anti-Drug Advocate programme, participated in the UNODC Annual Youth Forum 2018 as Singapore's Youth Advocate. Held on the sidelines of the 61st CND, this forum brings together youths from different countries who are involved in drug abuse prevention and health promotion work, to exchange ideas on how to better inoculate their peers from the harms of drugs.