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  • Statement by Ireland Minister of State for Ireland at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs 2014

    Posted on March 13th, 2014 TimB No comments

    Alex White, Minister of State for Ireland

    Since we adopted the 2009 political declaration, the world drug problem has continued to evolve with new threats. Ireland has been no exception. The challenges we have faced will be exposed here, as well as the idea of new evidence-based strategies. Our startegy remains consistent with our international commitments (conventions, declaration, EU action plan).

    Ireland has been one of the most affected states by NPS proliferation, including the opening of head shops. We control 260 substances, with new criminal justice policies to sell, export and advertise these substances. This has led to the closure of almost all of these substances.

    Tackling the related harms that drug markets bring with them is one of the main features of Ireland’s strategy. A national programme was established with police working with community based family support organisations. Prevention and awareness programmes are one of the parts of our programme. This includes more than information sharing, but also building skills and resilience. We also support diversion programmes and family support for young people. For treatment, we want to move people onto a drug free life when achievable. This includes the provision of opioid substitution treatment. We provide a pathway into services.

    We also have poly-drug use, with both licit and illicit substances.

    Social integration can also be an important challenge. Our rehabilitation service includes housing, education, employment initiatives, treatment, etc.

    Ireland is committed to the Political Declaration and continuing the debate and dialogue on drugs issues. I also look further ahead of the 2016 UNGASS. The promotion and protection of human rights underpins Ireland’s policy. We reiterate our opposition of the use of the death penalty under any circumstance.

    We also promote partnership with all, including civil society. It has been crucial for Ireland for our policies from local to international level. We call for the participation of civil society at the CND and in UNGASS preparatory processes.

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