Delegate: Anri Samkharadze
Mr. Samkharadze (Georgia): First, I would like to express my gratitude to the United Nations, the world’s most important organization, and to Secretary-General Kofi Annan for giving young people of many countries the opportunity to speak before the Assembly on youth problems and how to solve them.
The Anti-drug Society, of which I am President, is a non-governmental organization in Georgia that has been fighting drugs since 1999. Student organizations from various institutions of higher education have joined our young anti-narcotics coalition. Working jointly, we are trying to crack down on the problem by arranging seminars, exhibitions and sports events.
I would like to draw the attention of the Assembly to several issues of concern to the peoples of the world, especially young people.
Today we are witnessing a critical trend: the number of young drug addicts is increasing rapidly. This is becoming a global problem with terrible consequences, because most drug addicts become socially unstable and often turn to crime. Unfortunately, such young people are not willing, nor do they have ability, to become full members of society or to be useful to it. We can even say that they are being lost as individuals and lost as citizens.
Narcotics and terrorism are interrelated, because narcotics are the main source of financing for terrorism. Also important is the harm done to economies, as countries are incurring losses of billions of dollars. Unfortunately, drug addicts often do not know that the money they pay for another dose of narcotics helps terrorists buy ultra-modern weapons and ammunition. In my opinion, this important aspect of the question merits particular attention. That money helps many terrorist organizations worldwide and enables terrorists to commit terrible acts almost every day, the world over. We young people must see that our peers think about this.
The ecological damage that the world is facing is no less important. Hundreds of thousands of acres of forests are cut down to produce drugs. Various chemicals and other dangerous substances from illegal laboratories are polluting lakes, rivers and seas and are harming both flora and fauna.
Another factor is psychological damage. Of course, this is by no means a complete list, but each of those issues includes elements with the potential for causing a major disaster. I think that this is an inarguable fact.
Political, economic, psychological and social sciences have given us a broad range of knowledge over the ages. It is important to organize the information into a kind of system and to analyse it properly. Only in that way will we be able to understand the facts.
The twenty-first century is a time of integrated thinking. I should like to take this unique opportunity to recall the events of 11 September 2001. I still cannot find a suitable definition for that destructive event, and I think I never will. One thing is obvious: an evil was done that cannot be undone.
In my opinion, the attack of 11 September was not just an attack on a particular building, country or people. It was an attack on the idea of democracy itself.
I want to address the youth of the world and ask them to unite in a resolute fight against drug addiction. We must not feed the monster which threatens us with destruction. We must explain the unpleasant truth to our peers: that with the money paid for each dose of drugs, which adds up to hundreds of billions of dollars throughout the world, terrorists do not build shelters for homeless children, hospitals or houses of worship; they use that money for their sick, vandalistic aims.
I am asking the Assembly to unite in the fight against drug addiction. We do not want the future to be in the hands of unstable individuals, which would be a [*23*] catastrophe and jeopardize the stability and the democratic development of humankind.
UN Doc.: A/60/PV.28