Ms. Liron Zaslansky
Israel’s Delegate to the Third Committee
The scourge of drugs is a constant threat to the entire international community, and the State of Israel recognizes the need for a shared responsibility and strives to contribute to the global efforts and initiatives to address and fight against the adverse effects and impact of drugs and crime on our society.
Drug addiction is a chronic health disorder, and drug addicts must be treated with dignity and with respect. The State of Israel appreciates the enhanced emphasis placed by UNODC on compassionate and ethical demand reduction, rehabilitation and related health-protection measures as part of their efforts to put a health-centered and humanitarian approach at the heart of drug control policy. In this manner, our country aims to provide adequate and accessible treatment and rehabilitation solutions to all drug abuse victims with the goal of reintegrating them into society. A well-coordinated infrastructure led by the Israel Anti-Drug Authority, and in full cooperation with all relevant ministries, allows us to provide a continuum of prevention and treatment services, including harm reduction measures, for drug abuse victims and their families. Programs and policies take into account individual needs such as gender, age and cultural background and striving to maintain human rights and dignity. In various cases, treatment can be offered as an alternative to incarceration and in prison settings.
Much of our country’s demand reduction activities have been channeled towards youth and young adults and is aimed at changing the positive attitudes towards drug abuse and towards creating a social climate that rejects drugs and drug use. Recognizing the importance of speaking to the youth in their “own language”, there is an increase in peer to peer activities, internet based programs and prevention activities through social networks. Life skills programs are implemented in the formal education system, adapted to each age group, from kindergarten onwards. Special programs are developed for youth at risk, both in the formal and non-formal education systems and evidence-based prevention programs such as “Yes to sports no to drugs” continue to thrive. Outreach activities for youth were made possible through recently established early detection centers. In addition, recognizing the crucial role of parent in shaping attitudes and behaviors we aim to engage parents in prevention activities, and promote parent patrols across the country.
Israel is not alone in its concern with the growing synthetic drug market. According to UNODC’s publication; Amphetamines and Ecstasy: 2011 Global ATS Assessment, the situation regarding amphetamine-type stimulants remains a significant global threat. The emergence of new psychoactive substances presents a myriad of challenges to authorities, particularly as such drugs are developed at such a pace that it is difficult for regulatory norms and law enforcement to be modified in a timely manner. To cope with this phenomenon, Israel is constantly amending the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance in order to include new substances, and recently included a list of synthetic cannabinoids; after successfully amending the ordinance in 2010 to include analogs of four main substances: amphetamines, methamphetamines, cathinone, methacathinone. In addition, law enforcement officials have pinpointed 24/7 convenient stores as one of the key places where these synthetic drugs are sold;– successful operations and raids to combat trafficking targeting such locations have led to the closure of several stores.
Preventing and countering money-laundering efforts in Israel are led by "The Israel Money Laundering and Terror Financing Prohibition Authority ". The authority keeps close contact with corresponding financial intelligence units abroad, on a bilateral basis according to signed agreements and co-operation with international organizations responsible for monitoring money laundering trends. Countering drugs and money laundering is also the task of the “The National Center for the Fight Against Drugs and Money Laundering” of the Israel Tax Authority.
Data collection and evidence- and research-based policies and programs are a necessity. The need for improving the quality, monitoring capacity and the availability of comparable data are not neglected, and to achieve these goals we have established the Israeli Center for Monitoring Drugs and Alcohol. The IMCDA will serve as an essential arm of the Israel Anti-Drug Authority (IADA), promoting evidence-based practices, policies and legislation and facilitating development of best-practice models for Israeli fieldworkers and decision-makers.
The reality remains that not all countries and regions are able to develop and implement a comprehensive drug control policy and to overcome the various challenges they may face to reach this end. In this respect, the Israel Anti-Drug Authority together with Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV) in Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has built and developed a training workshop tailor made for representatives of developing countries. These participants come to Israel for one month to learn and share from our experience in fighting against drugs and drug abuse. During our last course, which took place this summer, we were honored to receive UNOCD’s support and participation. We are hoping to continue to work together with UNODC to help disseminate knowledge, capacity building and good practices through these or other training opportunities.
Israel reiterates its commitment as a signatory to all three international drug control treaties and as a member of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. The fight against drug use must not be confined to individual countries. This must be a collaborative undertaking that spans across the globe and Israel pledges to do its part. We look forward to working with the rest of the international community to further this critical effort.