Thank you, Madam President.
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic States: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and my own country – Latvia.
We welcome the Working Group’s continued efforts to prevent and end the practice of arbitrary detention, and thank them for presenting their latest report on arbitrary detention relating to drug policies.
The Nordic-Baltic countries are alarmed that some States use drug charges to suppress the activities of human rights defenders, journalists, political opponents and other critics of the Government. We concur with the Working Group’s recommendations in this regard and call on all States to ensure that human rights defenders, activists and journalists are able work free from persecution, violence, arbitrary arrests, threats of criminalisation or other forms of harassment.
We agree that civil society should be granted a meaningful consultative role in developing national policies, including on drug issues.
To this end, what are the best practices in ensuring meaningful civil society participation in all levels of policy development?