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Ministers on this page who have left the Government

Between 3 October 2014 and 27 July 2017 he was Minister for Health Care, Public Health and Sport.

Ministers on this page who have left the Government

Between 3 October 2014 and 27 July 2017 he was Minister for Health Care, Public Health and Sport.

Speech by Minister for Health Care, Public Health and Sport Gabriel Wikström at UN Special Session of the General Assembly

Published

Special Session of the General Assembly - UNGASS 2016
New York, United States of America, 19 April, 2016

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Thank you Mr/Mrs chairperson. Excellencies, ministers, ladies and gentlemen

Sweden fully aligns itself with the speech by the European Commission/ Netherlands on behalf of the European Union

And Sweden welcomes this declaration. I thank all those involved for their hard work.

We are taking an important step towards a more balanced, more coherent, drugs policy.

This focus on people's health is long overdue.

This declaration helps send that message

And now the work must really begin.

The main responsibility for that is where the real work must be done - by the Member States.

Drugs threatens people's safety and security through violence, corruption, and organised crime right across the world - but to very different degrees. Our realities vary.

But its threats to people's health we all share.

So we must all invest in real prevention measures that work - towards the future health and success of our children's lives worldwide.

That future needs to do much more than today, when just 1 out of 6 people with drug use disorders have access to proper, evidence-based treatment.

We need to ensure that access and treatment. Access to risk and harm reduction in a broader public health approach.

We need to do our utmost to prevent the family tragedies drugs bring.

And not to regulate or legalise yet more of what does them harm.

I think no coherent public health policy can include making yet more substances damaging to health even more available and accessible.

No public health policy should unleash yet another legal global market in products that harm us and those around us.

Public health policy must be science-based. It must be evidence based.

It must be based on updated and ongoing scientific research, like the recent WHO review on the health and social harms of cannabis use.

So in our common purpose, we can work with our different contexts.

Within and between nations.

Civil society has a huge contribution to make.

As they did in Sweden's preparations for UNGASS.

We did not always immediately agree between us. Just as in any country. Just as in the UN.

But we know the focus on broad dialogue, mutual respect and all the evidence pushes policy forward. And including those with personal experience of drug use disorders is essential.

Sustainable Development Goal 3.5 addresses the prevention and treatment of drugs use and drug use disorders.

So we call upon the UNODC and the WHO to strengthen cooperation to implement and guide a public health approach.

We also call for all human rights organisations to stay involved.

To keep up the pressure on us policy makers.

For the right to health and the rights of children.

For the rights of women,

the rights to a fair trial, proportionate sentencing and of prisoners.

The UN DRUG Conventions must be implemented in accordance with human rights. They are not parallel systems.

So we also call for stronger cooperation between UNODC and UN human rights institutions.

***

The UN system must now be specific in how to fully support member states.

Not just on what works and needs to be done. But to ask for delivery, and results.

So we call on all those involved to work together to make the UNGASS declaration a reality.

The cartels globalise what works for them. We must do too.

Not in defeatism and despair, but for health - and hope.

Thank you.

Contact

Helena Paues
Press Secretary to Minister for Health care, Public Health and Sport Gabriel Wikström
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00

Ministers on this page who have left the Government

Between 3 October 2014 and 27 July 2017 he was Minister for Health Care, Public Health and Sport.

Ministers on this page who have left the Government

Between 3 October 2014 and 27 July 2017 he was Minister for Health Care, Public Health and Sport.