On October 6, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, gave an intervention before the Third Committee of the Seventy-First Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Agenda Items 106 and 107 dedicated respectively to “Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice” and “International Drug Control.”
In his statement, Archbishop Auza reiterated Pope Francis’ words to the General Assembly last year that the narcotics trade is a “new kind of war against society that is “poorly fought” because of widespread corruption, a war that is accompanied by human trafficking, money laundering, arms trade and child exploitation. Drug trafficking exists, Archbishop Auza said, because of demand, and to fight consumption must involve fighting the demand. Legalizing illicit drug use, therefore, is counterproductive because “the fight against drugs cannot be won with drugs.” Those addicted to drugs must be treated with compassion and understanding. Families must likewise be assisted because they are the cornerstone of prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, reintegration and health strategies. Saying no to drugs is insufficient, he stressed: without saying yes to positive realities like love, life and family, efforts will be insufficient.
The statement can be found here.