Press Releases

Historic Milestone: Inaugural Membership in the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs

Published: 16 March 2024

1. The 67th session of the United Nations (UN) Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) was held in Vienna, Austria from 14 to 22 March 2024. Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Communications and Information and Second Minister for Home Affairs, led Singapore’s delegation comprising officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), and the Health Sciences Authority. 

2. The CND is the primary drug policy-making body of the UN. It meets annually to discuss the world’s drug problem, develop strategies on international drug control, and recommend measures that governments can take to address the problem. During the 67th session of the UN CND, countries conducted a midterm review of the 2019 Ministerial Declaration on “Strengthening Our Actions at the National, Regional and International Levels to Accelerate the Implementation of our Joint Commitments to Address and Counter the World Drug Problem”. The midterm review serves to assess the progress made by countries in the implementation of their commitments and discuss the way forward to accelerate the implementation of the said commitments. 

3. Singapore is a member of the CND for the term from 2024 to 2027. As a new CND member, Minister Teo pledged Singapore’s strong commitment to the work of the CND, among others, through the funding of a research that examines the societal impact globally of illicit drug use in the 2025 World Drug Report. The research seeks to enhance our collective understanding of the harms that illicit drugs inflict on our communities and aid global efforts in developing effective strategies to address them. 

4. A roundtable on “Taking Stock: work undertaken since 2019” was held during the two-day meeting. Minister Teo was a panellist for the roundtable and she advocated the need for countries to do more to prevent the spread of illicit drugs in the first place and not limit our efforts to merely reducing harms related to drug abuse. She also highlighted the need to address the problem through evidence-based policies and shared Singapore’s experiences. 

High-Level Side Event on Research 

5. Singapore co-organised a cross regional high-level side event on “Reaching the goals of the 2019 Ministerial Declaration – Importance of quality data and research to support evidence-based policies and practices” with the Research and Trend Analysis Branch of the United Nations Office of Drug and Research. 

6. Minister Teo opened the event with Ms. Ghada Fathi Waly, Director-General of the UN Office in Vienna and Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in attendance as a special guest. Panellists from France, Japan, Mexico, Namibia, Nigeria and Singapore shared their national perspectives, best practices and research, as well as the importance of collecting reliable and quality data to support evidence-based policies and practices to address the world’s drug problem.

UNODC Youth Forum

7. The UNODC Youth Forum is an annual event held at the sidelines of the CND meeting, for youths from around the world to exchange views on drug control policies and develop a joint statement that would be delivered to policy makers at the CND meeting. 

8. Ms Anne Megan Kong represented Singapore as a youth participant at this year’s Youth Forum. Ms Kong volunteers with the Anti-Drug Advocate Programme with the CNB and has been involved actively in various anti-drug initiatives.