| Hakim Hayat |
DEPUTY Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office Datin Seri Paduka Dayang Hajah Elinda binti Haji CA Mohammad underscored the increased need for international cooperation through common and shared responsibility of all countries in combatting drug threats due to its transnational nature.
She made the remark at the Ministerial Segment of the 62nd Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) meeting that was held from March 14 – 15 at the United Nations (UN) Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Vienna, Austria.
The CND meeting was established as a body to monitor and review drug policies and the implementation of the three drug conventions – Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971, and the UN Convention against illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988.
The CND session this year convened a Ministerial Segment to take stock of the implementation of the commitments made to jointly address and counter the drug problem as set out in the Political Declaration and Plan of Action on International Cooperation towards an Integrated and Balanced Strategy to Counter the World Drug Problem with the 2019 target date.
The deputy minister shared Brunei’s adoption of a multi-pronged and balanced approach and strategy to promote national security, health and socio-economic development.
She also highlighted that public awareness campaigns are important to advocate drug education on the consequences of drug abuse as well as to raise awareness on herbal products or plants that are being used as decorative floral gardening, and those used for traditional medicine that may contain controlled substances or its generic substances.
The deputy minister also stressed that in deciding the best approach to address the drug problem, the sovereign right of each state needs to be respected in deciding and implementing policies, taking into account the diverse political, economic, social and cultural contexts as well as the norms of society of each country, as there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach in addressing drug issues.
She also remarked that the drug policy reforms recently undertaken by some countries that legalise controlled drugs for non-medical and non-scientific use have been widely discussed during the recent 6th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Drugs (AMMD) in Vietnam in October 2018. Brunei Darussalam also maintains that the 1961, 1971 and 1988 UN conventions are the cornerstone of the international drug control framework.
The meeting was attended by all UN members including head of states, ministers, deputy ministers and heads of departments.