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UN: Colombian President calls for response to 'war on drugs' and Venezuela crisis03:01

UN: Colombian President calls for response to 'war on drugs' and Venezuela crisis

United Nations, New York City
September 20, 2017 at 02:25 GMT -00:00 · Published

President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos said the political situation in Venezuela is causing the international community “pain” while also urging a refreshed attempt to change drug policy, when speaking to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, on Tuesday.

Santos said the so-called 'war on drugs' had failed and a new direction was needed.

"I have said on many occasions that the war on drugs has not been won and neither is it being won, that we need new approaches, new strategies," he said. "We need to reach a concensus on key issues such as not criminalising addicts, understanding drug use as a public health issue and not as a political and criminal issue. The war on drugs has cost too many lives already. While there is consumption, there is supply and that consumption will not simply stop."

He also said that the situation in the political and humanitarian situation in Venezuela a cause for concern.

"We are extremely concerned at the precarious situation of our sister and neighbour, the Republic of Venezuela," Santos said.

“Venezuela pains us, we are pained at the gradual dismantling of its democracy, we are pained at the persecution of political opposition and the systematic violation of rights of the Venezuelan people."

UN: Colombian President calls for response to 'war on drugs' and Venezuela crisis03:01
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President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos said the political situation in Venezuela is causing the international community “pain” while also urging a refreshed attempt to change drug policy, when speaking to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, on Tuesday.

Santos said the so-called 'war on drugs' had failed and a new direction was needed.

"I have said on many occasions that the war on drugs has not been won and neither is it being won, that we need new approaches, new strategies," he said. "We need to reach a concensus on key issues such as not criminalising addicts, understanding drug use as a public health issue and not as a political and criminal issue. The war on drugs has cost too many lives already. While there is consumption, there is supply and that consumption will not simply stop."

He also said that the situation in the political and humanitarian situation in Venezuela a cause for concern.

"We are extremely concerned at the precarious situation of our sister and neighbour, the Republic of Venezuela," Santos said.

“Venezuela pains us, we are pained at the gradual dismantling of its democracy, we are pained at the persecution of political opposition and the systematic violation of rights of the Venezuelan people."

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