In the 64th session of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela reaffirmed its commitment to the global fight against drugs and stressed the need of international cooperation to put an end to it in the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In Venezuela’s case in particular, we have to mention additional hardships, including the imposition of illegal unilateral coercive measures, the manipulation of our actions to fight drug trafficking and the lack of cooperation due to the political, military and economic motivations of some countries,” complained the Superintendent of the National Anti-Drug Office (ONA), Richard López Vargas, in his statement.
Vargas stressed that Venezuela has reconfigured its surveillance, control actions and systems as its geostrategic position is very attractive to criminal groups trying to use its territory for drug trafficking and “meet the growing demand in the Northern hemisphere.”
The ONA superintendent pointed out that this creates complex scenarios given the proximity with Colombia, “the world’s largest settlement of coca production resulting from the optimization of facilities for this illegal activity, which threatens to overflow and disturb international stability,” he said.
Vargas expressed that despite obstacles, Venezuela has taken important actions against drug trafficking, to reduce both offer and demand, and recalled that Venezuela’s UN designation as a country free of illicit crops “with no problems of endemic drug trafficking or a high prevalence of drug consumption, and our financial system does not benefit from money laundering.”
He reaffirmed Venezuela’s rejection to unilateral blacklists and certifications “that politically prejudge the efforts of states to address the drug problem, and undermine the backbone of international cooperation, whose response must be a common, concerted and collective one,” and he stressed the need of multilateralism to face this crime.
The 64th Session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs is held in Vienna (Austria), however, due to the COVID-19 situation, the sessions will be held in a hybrid format with in-person participation in Vienna and online participation.