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 Colombia leads forum on drugs and public health at the World Health Assembly

Ministerio de Salud y Protección Social > English > Colombia leads forum on drugs and public health at the World Health Assembly
Colombia leads forum on drugs and public health at the World Health Assembly
From left to right: Mercedes Juan, Secretary of Health of Mexico; Kofi Annan, Nobel Peace Prize and former UN Secretary General; Alejandro Gaviria, Minister of Health and Social Protection of Colombia and Ruth Dreifuss, former President of the Swiss Confederation.
12/06/2015
Press release

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• Kofi Annan, Nobel Peace Prize, participated in the forum seeking to contribute to the global debate on the drug problem.

• Minister Alejandro Gaviria promoted an open and inclusive dialogue to win the war against this global scourge.


Bogota (DC), May 20, 2015. As part of the 68th World Health Assembly held at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, the Government of Colombia led the forum on Strengthening a Public Health Approach when addressing the world drug problem, together with countries such as Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, the Netherlands, Senegal, Switzerland, Uruguay and the Global Commission on Drug Policy.

The aim of the event was to exchange views on the importance of incorporating a public health approach to drug policy and the role of the World Health Organization, in order to contribute to the global debate that will take place next year, in special session, within the framework of the UN General Assembly.

Minister Alejandro Gaviria said that “with the failure of the drug war that has been raging for more than 30 years, we need an open, inclusive and objective dialogue where all approaches are taken into account.”

He also stated that we need an approach based on public health and human rights that will provide content to these public policies. “We must have consistency between words, speeches, rhetoric, and the facts.” 

The forum was attended by Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General; Ruth Dreifuss, former President of the Swiss Confederation and current member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy; Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization, and the health ministers of Colombia, Mexico, Norway, Senegal, Switzerland and Uruguay.

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