The opening of the 60th Session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND)
Rashid Alimov: SCO member states account for 14 percent of the heroine seized worldwide. Only by working together can we counter the growing drug threat. The SCO is open to cooperation in this respect

On 13 March 2017, SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov spoke at the opening of the 60th Session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND).

In his remarks, the SCO Secretary-General highlighted the organisation's commitment to combating drug trafficking and sustained efforts by its member states in this area.

"Drug trafficking and abuse have been expanding at a threatening pace in recent years, which affects all areas of social and public life, undermining institutions, social foundations and especially the genetic pool of entire nations. The SCO member states have found themselves on the frontline of this due to their geographic location, facing the challenging task to counter this evil. The Statement by SCO member states for the Special Session of the UN General Assembly on the world drug problem reflects the organisation's key approaches to resolving this global issue," the SCO Secretary-General said.

Rashid Alimov went on to say: "The organisation's key document, the SCO Charter, stipulates, among its key goals and tasks, the need to combine efforts in fighting the illegal trafficking of narcotic drugs. The SCO views the spread of drugs as a direct security threat for its member states, and has been conducting a dedicated and uncompromising fight against this evil from day one. In 2004, the SCO member states drafted and signed the Agreement on Cooperation in Combating Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and their Precursors, while the SCO Anti-Drug Strategy for 2011-2016 and the Programme of Actions to implement it provided an additional powerful impetus to cooperate within the organisation in fighting drug trafficking."

The SCO Secretary-General said that promoting cooperation with international and regional organisations, primarily the UN, its agencies and institutions, was a priority in efforts to fight drug trafficking. "The SCO proactively cooperates with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in its efforts to combat drug trafficking, and views this body as a key international institution for coordinating international efforts in this area," the SCO Secretary-General said.

Rashid Alimov emphasised the continuing inflow of narcotics from Afghanistan, a country that neighbours three of the six SCO member states. He noted that "the SCO member states are ready to work on the Afghan issue in bilateral and multilateral settings."

The SCO Secretary-General concluded his remarks with a call to joint action, saying that "only by further consolidating the efforts of the whole international community can we effectively counter the drug threat." He assured CND participants that the SCO is open to this kind of cooperation.

At the CND session, the SCO circulated the Statement by the SCO member states for the Special Session of the UN General Assembly on the world drug problem that was adopted at the SCO Ufa Summit.

The UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs was established by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on 16 February 1946, to assist the ECOSOC in supervising the United Nations Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) which is part of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The CND includes 53 states, and the seats are distributed among six regional groups. The commission holds annual sessions. The 60th CND Session will feature 91 side events and 26 thematic exhibitions.

The relations between the SCO and the UN have been steadily developing since 2004, becoming an example of effective cooperation between a global organisation and a regional one.

The cooperation is based on the Joint Declaration on Cooperation between the Secretariats of the United Nations and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation signed in Tashkent on 5 April 2010 and the Memorandum of Understanding between the Secretariat of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime signed in Astana on 14 June 2011.