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The White House
For Immediate Release

Promoting International Cooperation to Prevent Drug-Affected Driving

Vienna, Austria – Today, the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council, Commission on Narcotic Drugs passed the following resolution concerning drugged-driving prevention:

The resolution text is as follows:

The Commission on Narcotic Drugs,

Recalling its resolution 51/2, in which the Commission considered the harmful consequences of driving under the influence of cannabis,

Recalling also the General Assembly resolution 64/255 of 2 March 2010, in which the Assembly proclaimed the period 2011-2020 as the Decade of Action for Road Safety, and the declaration adopted at the first Global ministerial Conference on Road Safety, held in Moscow on 19 and 20 November, 2009

Welcoming the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, which underscores the growing problem posed to road safety, particularly in developing countries, and includes as one of its pillars for action, a call for safer road users, to be achieved by, inter alia, developing comprehensive programs, sustaining or increasing enforcement of laws and standards and increasing public awareness and education programs,

Recognizing the importance of addressing the health and public safety consequences of drug-affected driving by encouraging the exchange of information and know-how on evidence-based responses,

Recognizing also that the current lack of national data regarding the extent of the problem of drug-affected driving is preventing public awareness of the issue in many countries,

Recognizing further that the current lack of information on drug-affected driving, in some countries, prevents the development of effective responses aimed at, inter alia, raising awareness among relevant target groups, enhancing enforcement options and reducing the risk of accidents,

Welcoming the activities of Member States that are making efforts to raise public awareness, develop standardized and reliable means of testing for impairment in drivers affected by drugs, collect data on crash victims who were using drugs at or near the time of the accident, conduct roadside testing and enact and enforce national laws to prevent drug-affected driving,

  1. Urges Member States, where appropriate, to develop national responses to address the issue of drug-affected driving, by assessing and monitoring the magnitude of this phenomenon at the national level and by exchanging information and best practices on effective responses, including through engagement with the international scientific and legal communities, while respecting the principles of human dignity and physical integrity and relevant ethical considerations;
  2. Encourages Member States to support national and international efforts to collect global prevalence data, in accordance with the relevant data-protection legislation, develop effective roadside testing options to assess drug-affected driving consistent with their legal framework, raise public awareness and increase safety by developing, where appropriate, a coherent and comprehensive strategy to decrease the occurrence of drug-affected driving, including through the collaborative efforts that included academia, the private sector, professional associations, non-governmental organizations, civil society, national red cross and red crescent societies, victims organizations, youth organizations, and the media;
  3. Underscores the importance of prevention and enforcement measures that tackle the phenomenon of drug-affected driving being focused on increasing road safety and the need for such measures to be deployed in coherence with the enforcement of measures tackling other road safety risks, such as driving under the influence of alcohol;
  4. Invites member States to take notice of existing research standards developed at the national and international levels, which improve the quality, comparability, reliability, and utility of research findings in this field;
  5. Urges member states interested in this issue to participate in the first international symposium on drug-impaired driving, to be held in Montreal, Canada, on 17 and 18 July, 2011, by sending national delegations that included researchers and governmental policy makers;
  6. Encourages Member States to provide the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime with relevant global data, where appropriate and in full respect of existing data protection legislation, on the prevalence of drug-affected driving, as well as the methodologies used to collect such data, and requests the office to submit to the Commission, at its fifty-fifth session, a report on the submissions received and to work with other relevant international organizations in the preparation of this report;
  7. Requests the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, subject to the availability of extra budgetary resources, to participate fully in the efforts by the international community to implement the Global plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 in matters described by the contents of this resolution;
  8. Also requests the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to incorporate, as appropriate, public awareness of the public safety issue of drug-affected driving into future public awareness programs, which may include awareness of the legal situation, including law enforcement methods and the likelihood of being detected, together with the consequences of the dangers of drug abuse, and requests the Office to coordinate those efforts with its field offices;
  9. Invites Member States and other donors to provide extra budgetary resources for these purposes, in accordance with the rules and procedures of the United Nations.