Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Silenced NGO Partner - CND 2008 video No.1 (Sub: ENG, RUS, GER, BUL)

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"Silenced NGO Partner"

"I value the fact that you have spoken out on important issues. We don't need silent partners, we need dynamic, outspoken ones!" said UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa

You're comments will be quite important in the process ahead.

I think that the contribution of NGO's and generally speaking

your own views and whatever you do on the ground

in relation to the UNGASS targets, are important.

My name is Frederick Polak, from the European Organization ___,

I doubt you're, what you say, that you're open to be challenged.

I had a bad experience in that respect with you sir,

I'm sorry to say,

and that was at the New Orleans conference that you mentioned,

where I put a very simple question to you,

and twice I put that question to you, and you refused to answer,

and you started to stray away and talk about other things,

but you did not answer the question.

So I'll do it again now if I may.

A simple question:

In Holland, cannabis is available for everybody who wants to use it

and who is an adult over 18 years.

So there is no restriction on the personal use of cannabis

and on possession of small quantities.

Yet the levels of use of cannabis in Holland are lower

than in the countries surrounding us.

And I said to you, this must be a problem for you,

I would like to know how you explain this

because this is contrary to the theory of drug prohibition.

This is contrary to how the whole system here is working,

and I would like to know how you understand this.

And you refused to answer this question.

So I put the question to you again.

No my friend I did not actually refuse, actually I got into trouble,

because as you recall in New Orleans

when I was addressing this very point of the Netherlands.

I made certain statements that were then picked up by the Dutch press.

And there were news informant statements

about stigmatizing my own behavior in the Netherlands.

Though I did not, and I didn't recall you personally, sorry,

a thousand or two other people, but I do recall your question.

The answer to your question comes from the Netherlands itself,

for example from the very same mayor of Amsterdam,

as you know, no more than fourteen years ago there were

2600 coffee shops selling marijuana.

In the Netherlands there has been a decreasing number and size,

progressively there are about 550 now,

the administration of Amsterdam decided to move them out of the city,

out of the red district, towards the borders,

of Germany, Belgium, and France,

obviously making clear, that the government itself,

the administration can see that the experiment failed,

and I would like to put an end to that period.

Do you think that this is an answer to my question?

Well if not, forget it.

I'll hear you, this is your willingness to be challenged?

I'm not here for a personal debate,

we are not debating society,

we want to solve the world drug problem. Period.

Please sir, you are really out of order. Period.

No, I posed you a question which is really central to the issue here.

How do you explain the fact that in Holland

the levels of use of cannabis are lower than in the surrounding countries.

This is a very clear question,

and I would like to know, you must have an explanation for it.

That the mayor of Amsterdam has decided to do as I just told you. Period.

You're mistaking him with the mayor of Maastricht,

thats the first thing, and whether it's ....

Silenced NGO Partner

There is a question which you tried to raise several times already.

When did you raise it first, why did you raise it, why do you think it's important?

The first time I raised the question was at the DPA meeting in New Orleans,

and Costa, that he came there himself was very good I think,

was really okay,

and after his plenary speech he was in a discussion in a smaller group,

and there were many questions for him, and there I asked this question already,

but he simply avoided it,

and when I came back with the same question,

he got mad, and he started to scold,

and he said things like Holland is not the good guy of Europe

and Holland produces all the amphetamines,

and Holland poisons Europe, and things like that.

And again I said, sir you do not answer my question.

And I thought, in his position, he really, he must have an opinion on this.

He cannot, he is paid by us tax payers to do this work,

and he must be able to explain when something like this happens,

which is contrary to the whole idea of drug prohibition.

So when I got the opportunity here at the meeting,

I again asked him the question about the Dutch experiences with coffee shops and with cannabis,

and how he explains that the usage level is lower in Holland,

with free availability of cannabis,

and again he avoids it and he starts to talk about other things,

and I thought, I should have said clearer

that the coffee shops are really so objectionable for other countries,

they want them to disappear, and why?

Because the coffee shops prove the uselessness of drug prohibition,

and simply that drug prohibition is not necessary.

If you are upset by the highest ranking UNODC official not answering a simple but relevant question

please circulate this film, and ask Mr. Costa this question again at:

Thank you (PERIOD)

Transcribed by Anna Fischer Subtitled by Hunter Holliman

The Description of Silenced NGO Partner - CND 2008 video No.1 (Sub: ENG, RUS, GER, BUL)