Singapore to run for membership in main drug policy making body of the UN

SINGAPORE – Singapore intends to run for membership in the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), the main drug policy making body of the UN.

Membership will be for the term between 2024 and 2027.

This was announced by Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo when she addressed the 64th session of the UN CND in the Austrian capital, Vienna. The session was held from April 12 to 16 and was attended by the Singapore delegation virtually.

The Singapore delegation, led by Mrs Teo, comprised officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Central Narcotics Bureau, the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) and the Health Sciences Authority.

There are 53 member states in the CND which meet annually to review and analyse the global drug situation, develop strategies on international drug control, and recommend measures to address the problem around the world.

Singapore has been participating actively as an observer at the CND. This year’s session saw the adoption of the CND statement on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the world’s drug problem. The statement emphasised the importance of continuing efforts, taking into consideration drug-related trends, challenges and consequences of the pandemic.

During the session Singapore reiterated the need to protect its people’s right to live in a drug-free environment and reaffirmed its strong support and commitment to working with the CND to strengthen international cooperation on drug-related matters, the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement on Saturday (April 17).

“In Singapore, we adopt a multi-pronged harm prevention approach. It involves prevention through education, robust enforcement, and evidence-based rehabilitation,” Mrs Teo told the meeting.

Singapore co-sponsored two other side events in Vienna. They were “Covid-19 Pandemic and its Influence on the World Drug Problem: New Challenges and Prospects” which was initiated by the Russian Federation, and “Strategic Importance of Real-time Drug Data” organised by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Research and Analysis Branch.

SPS also organised a virtual side event titled “Inspiring Community Action in the Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Offenders”. It provided a platform for the sharing of best practices and experiences in the area of rehabilitation of offenders.

The Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association attended the session in its capacity as a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), and co-organised two virtual side events with other NGOs.

Eighteen-year-old Lim Zi Fei, who is currently pursuing a diploma in biomedical engineering and an active Anti-Drug Advocate with CNB, also represented Singapore as a youth participant at the UNODC Youth Forum 2021.

The forum, held virtually at the sidelines of the CND, is an annual event where youths worldwide gather to exchange views on drug control policies and develop a joint youth statement that would be delivered to global policy makers at the CND.

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