Statement by H.E. Mr. Kazuo Kodama
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan
At GA Thematic Debate on Drugs and Crime as a Threat to Development
26 June 2012
Thank you, Mr. Chair,
While thanking all the panellists for their valuable remarks, I would like to make just three comments.
First, the world has seen the flow of opium and heroin, the spread of high-cannabinoid cultivars of cannabis, the transit of cocaine through Africa, and the manufacture and abuse of synthetic drugs in developed countries. The value of illicit trade in the world is estimated at US$1.3 trillion, which amounts almost 10 times of the global sum of ODA, and is close to the world’s military expenditure. This figure shows the necessity for all stakeholders including producing, consuming and transit countries to cooperate of fighting these crimes. To that purpose, we need to firmly adhere to the legal framework of international conventions on drug control, and we need to be cautious about arguments to decriminalize drug-related activities.
Second, drug trafficking and organized crime lead to corruption and impede sustained economic growth. From the perspective of human security, development can be achieved by promoting the protection and empowerment of individuals. However, drug trafficking and organized crime not only threaten people’s physical security, but also discourage the whole of society to provide legitimate livelihoods. In mainstreaming drug control and crime prevention to achieve MDGs, it is critical for us to pool our wisdom and to take a comprehensive approach which includes for example identification of alternative and legal crops and support for their marketing. In addition to empowerment of citizens, it is also urgent to empower law enforcement personnel such as police and customs officers. And so I would like to emphasize the necessity of building capacity and preventing corruption among these personnel.
Finally, in this regard, we highly appreciate the programmes of the UNODC which are contributing to capacity building and alternative development. Japan has been engaged in regional programmes through the UNODC in Southeast Asia and in Afghanistan and its neighbouring countries. Among these programmes is a joint programme of the UNODC, the Russian Federation and Japan to train Afghan police officers, which will start this year. Japan will further support this programme by dispatching experts.
In conclusion, I would like to reiterate the importance of solidarity and unity among all stakeholders to tackle drug trafficking and organized crime at all levels: national, regional and international. Japan is committed to continuing its efforts and international cooperation to that aim.
I thank you, Mr. Chair.