World Bulletin / News Desk
In a statement posted on its website late Wednesday, an executive director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said the rise in drug-related killings “contravened the provisions of the international drug control conventions” and “do not serve the cause of justice".
"I join the United Nations secretary-general [Ban Ki-moon] in condemning the apparent endorsement of extrajudicial killing, which is illegal and a breach of fundamental rights and freedoms," Yury Fedotov said.
He reminded President Rodrigo Duterte that during a special session of the UN General Assembly on the world drug problem, governments committed to ensure that “all people can live in health, dignity and peace, with security and prosperity”.
The UN official said that they will back the Philippine government in bringing drug traffickers to justice but it should be grounded on international conventions and agreements.
He also voiced support for “balanced, people-centered, evidence- and rights-based approaches to drug control.”
The UN office statement came after the International Drug Policy Consortium, a network of non-governmental organizations, urged both UNODC and the International Narcotics Control Board to "state unequivocally" that drug-related killings are unacceptable drug control measures.
According to the Philippine National Police, a total of 402 drug suspects have been killed while nearly 600,000 others have surrendered since Duterte's administration waged war against the illegal drug trade July 1.
On July 26, Philstar reported that an average of 11 people were killed daily based on PNP statistics of 239 deaths in the first 22 days of Duterte's rule.
A Senate resolution has been filed calling for an investigation into the surge in killings of suspected drug dealers and users both by police and unidentified gunmen.
The inquiry was called by Sen. Leila De Lima, a former justice secretary and Commission on Human Rights chair, who once probed Duterte's alleged links to a vigilante death squad in Davao, where he was previously mayor.
During his first State of the Nation address July 25, Duterte said that the government would not stop until "the last drug lord, the last financier, and the last pusher had surrendered or [been] put behind bars or below the ground".
Duterte, however, has also said he will be "sensitive to the State's obligations to promote, and protect, fulfil the human rights of our citizens, especially the poor, the marginalized and the vulnerable".
In the UNODC statement, Fedotov emphasized that it supports drug control approaches that are balanced, people-centered, evidence and rights-based.
These methods should also be rooted in agreed international conventions and standards, it added.