· In recent years, the terms of the debate have changed: a consensus has begun to emerge in favor of a meaningful reform of the international drug regime, he said.

·The scheme based essentially on prohibition, the so-called war on drugs, which began in the ‘70s, has failed to prevent global drug production, trafficking and consumption.

· “So far, the answers implemented by the international community have been frankly insufficient,” he declared.

· “Given the limitations of the prohibitionist paradigm, the global drug issue must be addressed from a human rights perspective. Only then can we offer more comprehensive, balanced responses that promote development,” he stated.

· “Participants in the forums also highlighted the importance of increasing, in keeping with international standards, the amount of marijuana that can be considered for personal use, in order not to criminalize users,” he said. 

· President Peña Nieto thanked the specialists, academics and representatives of civil society in Mexico who have contributed ideas to achieve a new consensus.

· He participated in the General Debate at the UN Special Session on the World Drug Problem 2016.

During his participation in the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the World Drug Problem 2016, President of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto, said today that, “In recent years, the terms of the debate have changed: a consensus has begun to emerge in favor of a meaningful reform of the international drug control regime.”

The Mexican president declared that the scheme based essentially on prohibitionism, the so-called war on drugs, which began in the ‘70s, has failed to prevent global drug production, trafficking and consumption.

He therefore called: “For us to shift from prohibition alone to effective prevention and regulation” in this issue.

He noted that Mexico, “Forms part of the nations who have paid a high price, an excessive price in terms of tranquility, suffering and human lives, lives of children, youth, women and adults,” which is why, “like few others, we know the limitations and painful implications of the eminently prohibitionist paradigm.”

That is why, he said, “My administration has sought to address the drug phenomenon in a more comprehensive way, through a strategy that avoids creating more violence and in which virtually all the agencies in the Mexican government have taken part.”

The Mexican president said that, “Despite the efforts made and the results achieved, we will not be totally free from the criminal threat as long as there is a growing international demand for drugs.”

Under the current paradigm, he added, “it is necessary for consumer countries to increase their commitment, both in reducing demand, and in the fight against transnational organized crime.”

He explained that, “The scale, sophistication and corruptive power of criminal groups are also present within own consumer countries, where the final sale takes place.”

“So far, the answers implemented by the international community have been frankly insufficient,” he declared.

President Peña Nieto declared that in view of this situation and with global responsibility, “Given the limitations of the prohibitionist paradigm, the global drug issue must be addressed from a human rights perspective. Only then can we offer more comprehensive, balanced responses that promote development.”

He noted that this profound change involves modifying the eminently disciplinary approach to place people, their rights and their dignity at the center of our efforts, rather than substances or judicial proceedings.

He added that Mexico also proposes that, “Drug use should be primarily addressed as a public health problem, since it constitutes a threat to people’s full development, especially that of our children and youth.”

Drug addiction, he added, “Must be addressed through comprehensive prevention mechanisms and therapeutic solutions rather than penal instruments that criminalize users and harm the development of their personality.”

He added that Mexico also proposes to, “Ensure availability and better access to controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes, while preventing their improper use and trafficking.”

He explained that, “This proposal stems from the broad national debate on marijuana use, convened by the Mexican government, with experts, academics and representatives of civil society.”

He declared that participants in the forums convened by the Mexican government, “Highlighted the importance of increasing, in keeping with international standards, the amount of marijuana that can be considered for personal use, in order not to criminalize users.”

The Mexican president announced other proposals put forward by Mexico to address the world drug problem, such as the fact that the current situation, “Requires that the international community endorse the principle of common, shared responsibility through more intense, effective international cooperation.”

He also considered it necessary to, “Strengthen the common front against transnational organized crime, to reduce the scope for their financial operations and related crimes" and to promote, “

greater coordination and collaboration between the specialized agencies of the United Nations system in order to address all aspects of the world drug problem.”

He said that, “The public policies and actions arising from international drug policy must be aligned with the efforts to achieve sustainable development of the 2030 Agenda.” Moreover, he said, “The social harm related to the illicit drug market must be addressed.”

After stating that drug addiction should be addressed with comprehensive prevention mechanisms and therapeutic solutions, he said that, “In drug-related crimes, emphasis should be placed on proportional penalties and alternatives to imprisonment that also incorporate a gender perspective.” He added that, “International efforts must combine to prevent drug use through a global campaign oriented towards children and youth.”

President Peña Nieto declared that over the next few days, “The Mexican government will outline the specific actions to be taken in this direction, in keeping with the public health and human rights principles we have proposed in this Special Session.”

From the highest forum of the international community, he thanked the, “Specialists, academics and representatives of civil society who have contributed ideas and proposed a direction for a new consensus.”

The Mexican president hoped that this dialogue convened by the UN, “Will enable us to begin creating the vision, tools and new consensuses we need to counter the drug phenomenon in the 21st century.”