Kofi Annan calls on the World Health Assembly to legally regulate drugs
“I believe that drugs have destroyed many lives, but wrong government policies have destroyed many more”28 May 2015
Yesterday saw the 68th edition of the World Health Assembly, the supreme decision-making body of World Health Organisation, and the largest and most high-profile health-related event in the world.
The event, which drew the attention of hundreds of public health professionals, medical networks, human rights experts and drug policy reform advocates, also included the UN Special Envoy on HIV, Michael Kazatchkine, and representatives of the health ministries of the Netherlands, Australia, Senegal, New Zealand, Albania and Guatemala.
Addressing all of them, Mr. Kofi Annan declared, “I believe that drugs have destroyed many lives, but wrong government policies have destroyed many more”. Drawing on the work of the GCDP and WACD, he urged country representatives to decriminalize drug use, saying:“punitive measures do not work and put lots of people in prison where their drug use may actually get worse.”
Going further, he noted: “We need to regulate drugs because they are risky. Drugs are infinitely more dangerous when produced and sold by criminals who do not worry about any safety measures. Legal regulation protects health. Consumers need to be aware of what they are taking and have clear information on health risks and how to minimize them.”