It is with great pleasure and excitement that the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs (VNGOC) and New York NGO Committee on Drugs (NYNGOC) introduce the relaunched Civil Society Task Force (CSTF).
The CSTF — a joint initiative of the NYNGOC and VNGOC— will serve to promote inclusivity of civil society at all proceedings leading up to and at the Ministerial Segment of the 62nd Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in 2019.
In the new CSTF, EURAD has continued its work as a representative of Western Europe.
CSTF STRUCTURE & LEADERSHIP
The CSTF is co-chaired by the chairs of the VNGOC and NYNGOC and consists of 5 additional Steering Group members, 18 representatives of global regions
and 10 representatives from affected populations and global voices.
The VNGOC and NYNGOC were established in 1983 and 1984, respectively, and serve as representative platforms for discussion and debate on drug policy issues, as well as being interfaces between civil society organisations, the United Nations system and its member states. Emerging in 2015, the CSTF was originally created by the NYNGOC and VNGOC to ensure comprehensive, structured and balanced participation by civil society at the 2016 UNGASS on the world drug problem. In the process leading up to the 2016 UNGASS, the CSTF was an effective vehicle for increasing the inclusion of civil society voices at all
stages of preparation prior to the proceeding. The CSTF successfully delivered a range of actions and consultations. This included the selection of high quality civil society speakers at the 2016 UNGASS itself from around the world. In order to maximize the engagement of civil society in the 2019 Ministerial Segment and its lead-up, the VNGOC and NYNGOC bilaterally signed the Memorandum of Understanding during the 61st CND in March 2018. Following an open call and selection process, the Task Force now comprises 35 individuals from around the world.
In order to support civil society participation in the Ministerial Segment, in accordance with CND Resolutions 60/1 and 61/3, the Civil Society Task Force has been replenished and relaunched in 2018. The CSTF’s goal is to secure the comprehensive and meaningful participation of civil society actors in the implementation of the recommendations made in the 2016 UNGASS outcome document. The CSTF will also work towards fostering an environment where evidencebased
approaches to drug issues (including methodologies and ideologies) are comprehensive and where regional and gender diversity is represented through various inputs. In preparation of the 2019 Ministerial Segment, the CSTF will promote the contributions of civil society with expertise in various drug-related areas.
The CSTF is excited to begin working immediately to ensure that civil society is active and present at all preparatory stages of the 62nd CND. In the short time available, the Task Force’s plans include: a post-UNGASS global consultation process, to inform a comprehensive output document to support the debate; civil society hearings in Vienna and New York to bring together civil society speakers and member state representatives; the selection of speakers for all opportunities at the United Nations in Vienna and New York; and the delivery of any further activities that will require CSTF attention.
In particular, the CSTF will identify and facilitate speaker inclusion for all relevant preparatory events and UN meetings, host regional and thematic online consultations, organize civil society hearings on the margins of the third committee negotiations and during the 62nd CND, co-host an Interactive Civil Society Hearing for all stakeholders with the Chair of the CND culminating in a recognized document preserving all conclusions from the event as a part of the preparatory process and ensure drug-related and wider civil society, policy makers and member delegations remain aware of relevant updates regarding CSTF projects and events leading up to the 2019 Ministerial Segment. In the pursuit of encouraging the acknowledgment of civil society contributions, the CSTF looks forward to the participation of many diverse civil society stakeholders and organisations toward the 62nd CND preparatory process.
For all questions and inquiries, the CSTF may be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please visit: https://www.cstfondrugs.org/membership/
The CSTF launch document
By Mulka Nisic