129 countries support Trump’s war on drugs, but not New Zealand

Reuters: Some 129 countries sign up to Trump’s pledge at U.N. to fight drugs

Some 129 countries at the United Nations signed on to a U.S.-drafted pledge to fight the global drug problem on Monday that U.S. President Donald Trump warned presented a public health and national security threat.

In order to attend the brief U.N. event with Trump, countries had to sign the one-page “call to action on the world drug problem.” Trump held a similar event at the annual gathering of world leaders in New York last year, focused on U.N. reform.

Countries signing the nonbinding U.S. statement pledged to develop national action plans to reduce demand for illicit drugs through education, expand treatment efforts, strengthen international cooperation on justice, law enforcement and health, and cut off the supply by stopping production.

“If we take these steps together, we can save the lives of countless people in all corners of the world,” Trump said in brief remarks.

“Illicit drugs are linked to organized crime, illegal financial flows, corruption and terrorism. It’s vital for public health and national security that we fight drug addiction and stop all forms of trafficking and smuggling that provide the financial lifeblood for vicious transnational cartels,” he said.

But New Zealand gets a mention in opposition:

Among countries that did not sign the U.S. drugs pledge was New Zealand. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern noted that the United States itself was particularly focused on tackling opioids.

“We have a number of challenges that are quite specific to New Zealand and the particular drugs that are present, but also on taking a health approach. We want to do what works and so we’re using a strong evidence base to do that,” Ardern told reporters on Sunday.

Addiction to opioids – mainly prescription painkillers, heroin and fentanyl – is a growing U.S. problem, especially in rural areas. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids were involved in more than 49,000 deaths in the country last year.

The biggest drug problems here are synthetic concoction alternatives to cannabis and P (methamphetamine).

UN support for trump (CBS News) – Trump to U.N.: “We commit to fighting the drug epidemic together”

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres applauded Mr. Trump for “focusing a global spotlight on the world drug problem,” adding, “we have never needed it more.”

Global production of opioids and cocaine has reached an all-time high, with 31 million people around the world requiring treatment for drug use and 450,000 people dying every year from overdoses or drug-related health issues, Guterres told the conference. He called the U.S. opioid crisis “heartbreaking.”

Sharing intelligence among member states, he said, will help the crackdown, and Guterres urged U.N. members to work together to deny safe haven to drug traffickers, pursue kingpins and dismantle their networks.

But Trump’s talk doesn’t match his actions:

Despite campaign promises and a high-level focus on international drug trafficking, Mr. Trump has slashed the U.S. counter-narcotics budget by cutting back on personnel at the State Department and other agencies who fight the international drug trade.

“One of the clearest constraints imposed by these cuts is on our ability to counter global threats, including narcotics,” Brett Bruen, a former White House official who now teaches at Georgetown University, told CBS News.

RNZ yesterday quoted criticism from Simon Bridges in Jacinda Ardern rejects Trump’s call for war on drugs

National leader Simon Bridges said a government led by him would sign up to the US document.

He said Ms Ardern was distancing New Zealand from more than 120 countries – including Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada – who had all signalled their intention to take part.

“The Prime Minister’s excuse for not signing up, that the government is taking ‘a health approach’ isn’t good enough. The strategy calls for countries to do more to address addiction and provide more treatment as well as working more closely together to clamp down on manufacturing and supply.

“Taken together, that’s how we will deal with the drug problem.

“But by distancing New Zealand from that work the Prime Minister risks making New Zealand an easy target and sending the message that her government is soft on crime and drug dealers.”

That’s a repackaged attack Bridges and Judith Collins have been repeating.

Mr Bridges said National would support people with drug and alcohol problems, but would also hold those who peddle drugs to account.

Which is what happens under the current Government. The methods and balance are flawed, much like under the previous government that Bridges was a minister in.

Ardern needs to step up and her Labour-led needs to do better and more in addressing insidious drug abuse problems and casualties (ruined lives and deaths). Bridges should be working positively with the Government on this, not mudslinging on the sidelines.


  1. robertguyton

     /  September 25, 2018

    Bridges calls for a war on drugs.
    The sound of heads banging on desks in New Zealand can be heard across America.

  2. Blazer

     /  September 25, 2018

    War on terror,War on Drugs=War on TRUTH.

  3. PartisanZ

     /  September 25, 2018

    Doesn’t say anything about Law reform … Good we didn’t sign it …

  4. Griff.

     /  September 25, 2018

    “Illicit drugs are linked to organized crime, illegal financial flows, corruption and terrorism. It’s vital for public health and national security that we fight drug addiction and stop all forms of trafficking and smuggling that provide the financial lifeblood for vicious transnational cartels,” he said.

    No shite.

    After fifty plus years of “:the war on drugs” we have seen an increase in supply a shift to stronger forms and usage increase. The war on drugs has failed to make any head way despite it costing hundreds of billions and wreaking millions of lives.
    The more you limit supply the more the black market makes from selling drugs .

    Here is a random idea . Try a different approach if the one you have used for decades has not only failed it has magnified the problems .
    Remove the supply of drugs from criminals and take their income stream from them by selling drugs in a legal market . Put the billions formally used to make war into addiction services and education .
    Maybe all those negative problems created by prohibition will go away and we will see gains for society .

    • robertguyton

       /  September 25, 2018

      Simon, progressive thinker that he is, will doubtless take up your idea, Griff, and run with it (into a dark corner where he will strangle it to death – it’s the National Party way).

    • PartisanZ

       /  September 25, 2018

      Yeah … sorry Griff … WAY TOO RADICAL … despite a number of countries successfully doing more-or-less exactly this …

      We’re too colonized by neoliberalism [in a country prone to colonization I guess?]

      You’ve gotta ask: What’s the massive ‘Crime & Punishment’ industry going to do?

      Like … downsize? ……… Yeah … Right!

  5. robertguyton

     /  September 25, 2018

    mac1 says:
    “The war on drugs was well critiqued by Michael Moore in his recent film where he contrasted the Portuguese approach to the American war on drugs. Moore made the point that the American war on drugs was actually a war on blacks which was used to oppress and jail black males especially when the civil rights movement was gaining momentum in the 60’s. The war on drugs disenfranchised black voters by removing voting rights from convicted drug users to the extent that Presidential election outcomes were influenced as in Florida.

    Authoritarian politicians need enemies abroad and at home in order to frighten the voters and influence events. You can hear the beating of that drum in Bridges’ rhetoric. After the drumbeat comes the battle smoke. The naming of the ‘war on drugs’ is deliberate use of language.”

    • PartisanZ

       /  September 25, 2018

      And mac1 is correct …. and … the Yanks exported it to us …

      Which, according to the intractable laws of economics that organize and govern the entire universe, means there must have been a demand for “war on drugs” here?

      I wonder where that demand came from …???

    • Corky

       /  September 25, 2018

      Michael Moore??!!! 😃

    • PartisanZ

       /  September 25, 2018

      @robertguyton – “The naming of the ‘war on drugs’ is deliberate use of language.”

      Indeed, I’m inclined to say the Corporate-Political Elitist ‘Inverse Totalitarian’ State’s use of language is the new “secret police”?

  6. sounds like MrT is aligning himself with Duterte & other extremists (mostly in Asia) on this issue.. meanwhile; more USA states decrim. or regulate cannabis & ‘big pharma’ make massive profits from over-prescribing opioids etc.

    go figure ?

    “Good onya Jacinda”.. NOT jumping on the ‘continue the mindless WAR on DRUGS’ bandwagon !! 🙂

    • Zedd

       /  September 25, 2018

      meanwhile ‘pissweak Bridges’ says he would jump on the bandwagon.. to continue down the FAILED; WAR on DRUGS approach.. appealing to the Rednecks, ignorant & apathetic mob !

      • Corky

         /  September 25, 2018

        You have to play to your voter base, Zedd. By the way do you understand what I was saying about Tiger Woods?

        • PartisanZ

           /  September 25, 2018

          I suggest that voter base is rapidly diminishing … and that National’s recent tactics on that strategic front will only drive away more …

          • Corky

             /  September 25, 2018

            I don’t know..you may be right. Time for a poll. If National need a wake up call…now would be the time.

        • Zedd

           /  September 25, 2018

          ‘By the way do you understand what I was saying about Tiger Woods?’ sez corky

          “Frankly my dear.. I dont give a damn !” sez I

  7. I also saw a news story (AlJz); an Intl. group of ex-politicians etc. (inc. Ms Clark) have condemned the WAR on DRUGS & are calling for alternative options.. inc. cannabis regulation !

    It looks like Jacinda is ‘making Intl news’ for her stand on this 🙂

  8. seer

     /  September 26, 2018

    Could someone post a list of the countries (of the 193 in the UN) that have signed up to Trump’s war on drugs (fighters using amphetamines, captagon ?!!!)?
    I spent 10 minutes looking but my search skills were not daquate.

  1. 129 countries support Trump’s war on drugs, but not New Zealand — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition
  2. 129 countries support Trump’s war on drugs, but not New Zealand | The Most Revolutionary Act