Published: 18 March 2023
1. The 66th session of the United Nations (UN) Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) was held in Vienna, Austria from 13 to 17 March 2023. 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, the Singapore Prison Service 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 for governments to address the problem.
3. At the 66th session, Minister Teo delivered Singapore’s national statement, which emphasised the need to consider the harms of drugs when developing drug control policies. She highlighted Singapore’s multi-pronged harm prevention strategy, which has been effective in keeping Singapore relatively drug-free.
4. She also highlighted Singapore’s candidature for CND membership for the term 2024 to 2027 and outlined how Singapore could contribute meaningfully to the work of the CND, including in policy discussions and capacity building, by sharing our approach to drug control, and our experience in drug identification and scheduling.
Yellow Ribbon Art Exhibition organised by Singapore at the CND
5. Singapore organised a Yellow Ribbon Art Exhibition at the CND, which showcased our approach to drug rehabilitation and our efforts in reintegrating recovering and rehabilitated drug abusers back into the community. The exhibition featured artworks created by recovering and rehabilitated drug abusers and emphasised the importance of strong community support to help them maintain drug-free and productive lives. More details on the exhibition are at Annex.
6. Minister Teo also hosted a reception for the art exhibition, 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. Senior officials from the UNODC, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) as well as Ministers, Ambassadors and delegates of countries participating at the 66th CND attended the reception.
Participation of the Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association (SANA)
7. Non-Governmental Organisations with Special Consultative Status with the UN Economic and Social Council also participated in the CND.
8. SANA was one such organisation and organised a side event titled “Peer Leaders – Catalyst for Change, Mirrors of Hope” featuring speakers from SANA, the World Federation Against Drugs, the Fourth Wave Foundation and San Patrignano. The event highlighted the importance of engaging the community in the recovery journey of ex-offenders. SANA shared how Peer Leaders – persons in recovery who have successfully stayed free from drugs – act as mentors and inspiration for youths, at-risk groups, as well as other persons in recovery and their families.
9. SANA also delivered a statement at the CND on SANA’s efforts towards achieving a drug-free Singapore through preventive drug education, in-care and aftercare support, as well as engagement of stakeholders and the community at large in the recovery journey of ex-abusers.
UNODC Youth Forum
10. The UNODC Youth Forum is an annual event held at the sidelines of the CND where youths from around the world exchange views on drug control policies and develop a joint youth statement that would be delivered to global policy makers at the CND.
11. Mr Dervin Lua Wei Jun represented Singapore as a youth participant at this year’s Youth Forum. Dervin has been actively involved in CNB’s Anti-Drug Advocacy Programme since 2018 and has championed projects to raise awareness of drug prevention among his peers.