Gilberto Gerra (UNODC) offers perspective on drug policies to EU delegates

Gilberto Gerra (UNODC) offers perspective on drug policies to EU delegates

Gilberto Gerra was in Brussels last week to explain the UN Drug Control Conventions and to overcome assumptions about them.

13th November 2014

On 4th November, Gilberto Gerra from the UNODC, attended the UN Offices in Brussels and the Council of the European Union to explain new perspectives and orientations in global drug policy.

Always an avid presenter, Gilberto was easily able to get across to the delegates the difference between what the UN Drug Control Conventions state and then how they are implemented by member states. For instance, Gilberto was able to show how the UN Drug Control Conventions have a health-based approach at their heart, although on a member state level, some countries take a punitive approach to drug users, something which is not condoned by the UN drug control conventions.

Gilberto also spoke about how drug addiction is not yet being taken seriously as a health issue and that those treating people are sometimes not adequately trained. He noted how shocking it would be if someone who had a heart condition was treated by an untrained person yet that this is somehow still acceptable within the drug treatment arena.

He also noted that some drug lobby groups were claiming a "drug free society" to be a ridiculous goal. He challenged this by arguing that we do not see an ebola-free world or an aids-free world as ridiculous goals, so why should we not aim also for a world without the problems of drug dependency.

Gilberto's presentation was backed up by a document prepared by UNODC entitled "Drug Policy Provisions From The International Drug Control Conventions" which was published earlier this year.

Note: The accompanying photograph for this article is not related to this particular event.