SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, thank you very, very much.  Amery, Alicia, thank you so much for those important, powerful, insightful interventions.  It’s a great way to close out the session today.  And thanks to everyone who has participated in today’s ministerial, the expert panels, and to every country and every regional and international organization that is joining the global coalition.

On behalf of all the signatories, I am very proud to adopt the Joint Ministerial Declaration that formalizes the creation of this coalition.  And I am grateful to all the governments that helped shape its text and put it together.  This was a very good, collaborative process.

This declaration, simply put, signals our collective commitment to curb the threats from synthetic drugs through global partnerships amongst ourselves, in coordination with nongovernmental stakeholders, including civil society and the private sector.

And it reaffirms the critical role that the United Nations and other relevant organizations play, and commits our coalition to continue collaborating with them to address this threat.

Today is just the beginning.  The candid exchange of experiences, of ideas, of strategies that we engaged in today; the coalescing around shared priorities; the commitment to cooperation – that’s what we created this global coalition to do.

So we have a lot of work ahead of us.  I think of course coming together at a ministerial level is very, very important to continue to drive this process, but it’s also going to be really critically the day-in, day-out work of our different lines of effort that countries and organizations will engage in that’s going to make all the difference.

We look forward to a lot more collaboration as we work together to develop practical policies, to deliver concrete results, to diminish the public health and public security threats posed by synthetic drugs, and indeed, improve the lives of our people.

So again, to each and every one of you, thank you, thank you, thank you for joining in today.  Lots of work ahead.  We look forward to doing it together.  Thank you.

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