NZ NGO statement to CND61 March 2018

NZ NGO statement to CND61 March 2018



we extend our thanks to the CMB for creating the space for civil society engagement until chair to make this statement as non government organizations in New Zealand we welcome the opportunity to participate with colleagues from across the international community whilst based many miles away from deliberations in Vienna we are committed to being actively engaged with civil society colleagues international bodies and government we acknowledge and welcome the resolutions particularly from Canada and Australia we support the statement from our government to see nd this year and committed to our joint working there has been much debate regarding language during the CND deliberations on language are integral to the formulation of resolutions and finding consensus and key issues there has also been substantial discussion on stigma and discrimination particularly with regard to terminology and the role it plays in the formulation of policy we welcome the global drug commission's report the drug perception problem and recommendations regarding use of language when talking about drug use and people who use drugs we wish to respect we wish to respectfully highlight the influence there are individual values and beliefs play and which generate powerful undercurrents underpinning perspectives taken at an individual and societal level throughout the last few days we have consistently heard phrases such as they then those people and addicts in our society if we are to successfully address stigma and discrimination we believe we need a shift in mindset aside from cultural societal and religious differences when we continue to see people who use drugs as other and separate to ourselves then we will never address stigma and discrimination in any meaningful way we need a change changing mindset and recognize that we all use psychoactive substances whether they are legal or illegal it is in the space between ourselves and people who have different experiences to us the prejudice grows it is not until we start to see that we are all more alike than Ana like that stigma and discrimination can be effectively addressed building our understanding of our own and other's lives is the foundation of a society based on compassion empathy and understanding we must recognize that drug use takes many forms in the vast majority of cases the use of drugs does not lead to problematic use or dependency drug use cuts across all society we have never had a drug-free world all societies and civilizations have used substances in one form or another drug use and this sense is normal it is also important to acknowledge that people who use drugs are not only those people and that even here at CNB people who use drugs are present in many different ways and not just in the groups representing user networks we believe we need to build a society in which we have a world free of drug homes if we are to achieve this we must address stigma and discrimination develop and mature are thinking about drug use we recognize that stigma and prejudice towards drug use and people who use drugs can compound existing stigma and discrimination experienced by those who are socially and economically marginalized therefore in our own country our first people are Maori communities bear a disproportionate burden of problematic use it is essential to acknowledge that drug use and drug use problems are complex and not the result of a moral weakness failing or illness but a complex interaction of factors including oppression colonization discrimination trauma and social injustice it is essential if we are to successfully build a world free from drug cards that we heed the words of a Mario brother Katanga turn heat anger – anger – what is the most important thing it is people it is people it is people thank you [Applause]

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