President Trump Asks Countries To Join The War On Drugs At UN Meeting

Trump speaks at UN conference regarding global drug epidemic.
Spencer Platt / Getty Images

On Monday, President Trump gave a speech to the United Nations calling other countries to act in the war on drugs. CBS News reports that the president reiterated the U.S.’s tough stance on the opioid epidemic and pleaded with other countries to fight the war “together.” The meeting was fittingly titled the “Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem.”

“Illicit drugs are tied 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 trans-national cartels,” Trump said.

He also reiterated the tough policy that the U.S. has set into action under his lead. Trump said the key to the battle would be reducing drug supply, which he says the U.S. is handling with its tough border security actions. CBS says that Trump has also enforced tougher policies on opioid companies and harsher punishment for drug dealers.

“The call is simple. Reduce drug demand, cut off the supply of illicit drugs, expand treatment and straighten international cooperation. If we take these steps together, we can save the lives of countless people in all corners of the world.”

Apparently, 124 other countries have already committed to joining the U.S. in its aggressive effort to fight the ongoing global opioid crisis, CBS says. However, not all countries are on board with the president’s strict plans. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern does not support the policy and will not be signing on, says Radio New Zealand. Apparently, the document, which requests other countries to follow the U.S.’s footsteps by securing borders and ramping up efforts to reduce drug demands, does not line up with the prime minister’s vision.

“No it’s not our intention to [sign] and there are a number of other countries who haven’t either,” said Ardern.

New Zealand’s policy would instead like to focus on the health issues involved with the drug epidemic, claiming that the country’s struggles are unique and require unique measures to be taken. Furthermore, the U.S. media is reporting that some countries are signing the document more out of fear than agreement, says Radio New Zealand.

Back in February, Trump released budget changes that focused much more on “war on drugs” enforcement programs than Obama’s previous healthcare approach, which centered on treatment and prevention, reported the Drug Policy Alliance. Highlights of the budget changes included law enforcement incentives for incarceration and reduction of funds for the Second Chance Act, which helps incarcerated individuals succeed in society after being locked up.