MANILA-- "This is an important initiative � a timely initiative � one which I support wholeheartedly".
This was the statement made by UN Special Rapporteur Dr. Agnes Callamard in her keynote speech during the policy forum on drug issues, different perspectives at the University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman, Quezon City on Friday.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimates that the 29 million people drug users worldwide, suffer from drug use disorders while drug trafficking by transnational criminal cartels is a major source of violence and insecurity the world over, affecting every society.
Callamard summarized their global plan of action called: "Our joint commitment in effectively addressing and countering the world drug problem."
"There are better ways -- evidence and scientific-based -- in combating war on drugs that do not make matters worse," she said.
In this connection, Callamard said, the joint commitment in effectively addressing and countering the world drug problem is a call for action, but not to any action.
She added that according to the world leaders, there are other ways, better ways, evidence-based, scientific ways, of combating drug abuse and trafficking -- ways that do not make matters worse.
Likewise, she cited the developing proposals with and for the Philippine government, other stakeholders and the people of the Philippines, which are proposals on drug policies and responses that are effective, and sustainable, taking into account the country's specific situation, history and context, as well as its multiple assets and opportunities.
Callamard pointed out that "this forum, with the commitment and the good will of all parties -- from the government to civil society, from the police to the health sector -- is an important benchmark to shine the light of scrutiny, of fact-finding, of knowledge, of evidence, impartial and true, so that we may seek more clearly our way to preventing, responding, supporting."
"People living in life's shadows are not to be abandoned there. We are not to be abandoned there," she said.
Source: Philippines News Agency