|Statement by Mr. JIA Guide, Counsellor and Alternative Representative of the Chinese Delegation, at the Third Committee of the 62nd Session of the General Assembly on International Drug Control (Item 106) and Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (Item 107)|
|10 October 2007|
Drugs and transnational crime have long plagued the international community and seriously threatened world peace, development, social stability and individual health and welfare. How best to deal with these issues is both the responsibility of various countries and a common challenge facing the international community as a whole.
The 2007 World Drug Report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) shows that the international drug control system works well. The issue of drugs is gradually getting under control and the areas of cultivation of various illegal crops are decreasing steadily. The Report "International Cooperation against the World Drug Problem" submitted by the SG to the 62nd session of the GA also confirms that the member states of the UN have come a long way in achieving the 2008 objective set out by the Special Session of the GA devoted to Drug Control. China believes that this should be attributed to the joint efforts by the international drug control agencies and governments of various countries over the years, especially since the 1998 Special Session of the GA.
However, the world drug situation remains grave and we still have a long way to go in combating drugs. China holds the views that in order to ensure steady progress in drug control, attention must be given to the following three aspects: first, stay focused in particular on the major regions of drug cultivation. For instance, opium production in Afghanistan accounts for 92% of the world's total, hence shaping the trend of the global opium production. The world community must give particular attention to it. China supports any form of international cooperation that helps to ease the drug problem in Afghanistan and is willing to continue its participation in the "Paris Pact Process". Second, a two-pronged approach should be taken, giving equal attention to both the supply and demand of drugs. Countries of drug production and consumption must undertake a joint obligation and coordinate their efforts. Thirdly, we must address the root causes as well as the symptoms of drugs. Destroying the drug crops by law enforcement action only addresses the symptoms. It is through promoting alternative means of development in drug cultivation regions focusing on food security and poverty alleviation that the root causes can be addressed.
The Chinese Government supports the idea of using the forum of the 51st. and 52nd. Sessions of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs to discuss and review the progress made in achieving the objectives of the Special GA on Drug control on the occasion of its 10 year Review so as to assess the implementation of the relevant Declaration and measures and set the direction for the future work in drug control.
Over the years, the Chinese government has dealt with the issue of drugs from the strategic perspective of building a harmonious society, formulating a national drug control strategy, constantly improving drug control rules and regulations, mobilizing the entire society to launch a people's campaign against drugs. As a result, remarkable achievements have been made so far in drug control outreach campaign, drug users' rehabilitation, drug source containment, drug control law enforcement and banning of drug cultivation. The Chinese government attaches great importance to the control of precursor chemicals. Our drug control agencies at various levels, together with other agencies in charge of customs, industry and commerce, safety and pharmaceuticals supervision, have taken effective control measures so as to prevent precursor chemicals from flowing into illegal channels.
The Chinese government has all along actively fulfilled its international obligations in drug control and has carried out cooperation with various countries in alternative development, information exchange and joint law enforcement with a view to building a cooperation mechanism for drug control. Over the years, China has provided assistance to Myanmar and Laos in alternative development to help them with sustainable alternative cultivation. At the end of 2006, China and Afghanistan signed the Agreement of Cooperation Between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on Combating Illicit Trafficking and Abuse of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. China has also carried out cooperation in law enforcement with neighboring countries as well as the US, Canada and Australia.
Though the issue of drugs is now getting under control, transnational organized crime such as corruption, money laundering, terrorism and people trafficking is spreading rapidly around the world. It is the common responsibility of the international community to combat all forms of transnational crime through international cooperation. China is pleased to note that the number of states parties to the UN Convention Against Corruption and the UN convention Against Transnational Organized Crime is increasing year by year, thus laying a legal foundation for the effective prevention and control of various forms of crime and paving the way for international cooperation in areas such as extradition, judicial assistance, asset return and technical assistance. In recent years, China has made even greater efforts to fight corruption. In September this year, the National Bureau on Corruption Prevention, a ministry-level agency, was set up which is responsible for the coordination, integrated planning, policy formulation and supervision and guidance of nationwide corruption prevention. This is a major measure taken by the Chinese government in its drive to fight corruption which will greatly increase its corruption prevention capabilities and enhance relevant international exchange and cooperation.
Prevention and combat of various forms of transnational organized crime depends on international cooperation. States parties to the relevant conventions should have the courage to assume their responsibilities and fulfill in earnest their obligations under these conventions, bring perpetrators to justice through international cooperation and return their illicit proceeds to the countries of origin. China sincerely hopes that the relevant countries will make full use of these conventions as well as other potential mechanisms of cooperation, carry out in an extensive and pragmatic way substantial judicial cooperation, particularly in extradition, judicial assistance and asset return, provide necessary technical assistance to the developing countries and help them enhance the capacity to fulfill treaty obligations so as to ensure effective implementation of various provisions of the conventions.
China is following closely the UN Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking launched by UNODC and has taken an active part in its implementation process in the expectation that this initiative will help various countries to come together in a joint fight against human trafficking. We hope that the "Vienna Forum" to be held next February will become an important platform for various countries to exchange their experience and practice in combating human trafficking. China wishes to take this opportunity to thank UNODC and the International Narcotics Control Board for their effective work over the past year. UNODC has made great progress in a host of areas such as drug control, crime prevention and anti-terrorism technical assistance. The International Narcotics Control Board is playing an important role in monitoring the implementation of international drug control treaties. China will, as always, support the work of UNODC and the International narcotics Control Board and together with other countries, play its part in addressing the problems of drugs and crime.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.