PDF printable version of Australia's resolution on ice gathers support at UN drugs conference (PDF 245 KB)
12 March 2015
Australia's resolution to the 58th UN Conference on Narcotics - urging global cooperation on fighting the drug ice - is gathering support.
Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash's resolution calls for UN member states to cooperate and share research, data, experiences and treatments relating to the international fight against ice.
Other member states have indicated they will support the motion.
"Countries around the world need to work together if we're to reduce the use of ice," Minister Nash said.
"No single country can defeat ice on its own - a team effort is required. We need to work with other countries. This week, here in Vienna, I have raised this issue of ice with many parties including the UN Office of Drugs and Crime, as well as with senior representatives of the US, Germany and New Zealand, with all agreeing we should share information on strategies and treatments for this debilitating drug.
"Just as a global team effort is needed on ice, in Australia, a team effort is also required. Governments alone cannot defeat ice. We need the entire community - parents, youth, medical professionals, schools and more - to contribute.
"I've taken a deep personal interest in this issue partly because it seems ice dealers are particularly targeting regional and rural youth. I will not stand by and let this happen."
After Minister Nash raised the issue of ice during their meeting, United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime Executive Director Yury Fedotov said Australia's motion would add impetus to the UNODC efforts to crack down on ice.
In another positive and productive meeting, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Michael P Botticelli expressed enthusiasm to exchange information on ice and asked that Australia "keep in touch" with the US on the issue.
Meanwhile Australia's interventions (contributions to UN discussions) were also very well received with many countries paying tribute to Australia's stance on delivering painkilling medication to countries which experience shortages of the medicine.
Minister Nash's attendance at the UN narcotics conference is the first by an Australian MP since 2009.
Minister Nash also restated Australia's opposition to the death penalty, a position applauded and reiterated by other member states including the European Union.
Media contact: Les White, 0409 805 122
(from left to right) David Stuart, Ambassador of Australia to Austria, Assistant Health Minister, Fiona Nash, at the 58th UN Conference on Narcotics in Vienna.