The fifty-ninth session of the CND, including UNGASS special segment, took place from 14th to 22nd March 2016 in Vienna, Austria. The CND meets each year to discuss the global state of drug control and adopt resolutions to guide the way forward.
This year’s Commission of Narcotic Drugs was particularly important as it was the final meeting before the UNGASS, which will take place from 19-21st April 2016. This year, at least 19 representatives from EURADs member organisations attended the CND in Vienna.
EURADs Formal Written Statement
EURADs statement this year focussed on the draft output document of the UNGASS process. In particular, we highlighted areas that we were supportive of, such as the emphasis on recovery, prevention and continued support for the UN drug control conventions as well as highlighting issues that concerned us that were to date not included, such as the abolition of the death penalty for drug related offences.
The full statement can be accessed here.
EURAD organised a series of side events in collaboration with partners, affiliates and member states within the official programme.
Alternative Development:EURAD hosted side a side event on Alternative Development: What Can Europe Do? This event was co-sponsored by Actis and the Norwegian Directorate of Foreign Affairs and featured speakers from the European Commission, The German Development Agency (GIZ), FORUT – Solidarity and Development as well as the The Mah Fae Luang Foundation, Thailand. The event focused on the inputs from the European area towards alternative development projects and looked at aspects of community inclusion, the importance of value chains and the need for further investment in AD in the future. EURAD’s publication on Alternative Development was also provided to delegates.
WHO Event on the Public Health Elements of Drug Policy:EURAD’s Secretary General Fay Watson was invited to speak at the WHOs event specially on prevention aspects of UNGASS 2016. During the speech, Fay highlighted EURAD’s support for the WHO’s broad and holistic definition of public health and that due regard was being paid by WHO to prevention within this. Fay also highlighted some recommendations on how prevention could still be expanded during the UNGASS process, for example by referring to all levels of prevention programmes from universal, to environmental, selective and indicated measures. EURAD also called for the use of prevalence indicators to be used widely in future.
Briefing by the Civil Society Task Force for UNGASS 2016:Fay Watson, Secretary of EURAD presented the outcomes of the Western European UNGASS Consultations, which EURAD had been responsible for. The consultations conducted by EURAD included the views of over 214 individuals from 181 organisations from 35 countries. EURAD thanked their partners Dianova International and Actis for making the consultations possible. EURAD’s Board Member Linda Nilsson also presented the overall final results of the Global Civil Society Survey.
Families and Drugs:San Patrignano, EURAD, RUN, UNICRI and WFAD. organized a side event on Families and Drugs. The speakers included Monica Barzanti from San Patrignano, Libby Cataldi, author of the book “Stay Close; a mother’s story of her son’s addiction, Veronica Risch from the Dutch foundation Addicted to You as well as Dr. Cindy J. Smith, Director of UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute. The speakers highlighted the serious impact of drug use for families and close friends and emphasized the need for families to get support and be involved. The event was moderated by EURAD board member Boro Goic.
Cannabis legalization: EURAD affiliate Actis co-sponsored and EURAD president Stig Erik Sørheim chaired a side-event on the experiences with cannabis legalization. The panel featured brain researcher Fred Nyberg from Uppsala University, Professor Kevin Sabet, Director of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, Eze Eluchie, Director of PADDI foundation in Nigeria and Erik Lejonmarck, Secretary General of ECAD. The speakers expressed concern about the rapid commercialization of cannabis in a legal environment, and also about the long term consequences of cannabis legalization in countries that lack both the institutional framework to control the market and the health and social services that are needed to handle the consequences of increased use.
Roads to Recovery: Organized by the Government of the United States, the UNODC Drug Prevention and Health Branch, the World Health Organization and the Civil Society Task Force . The speakers included Mr Yury Fedotov Executive Director of UNODC, Michael Botticelli Director of National Drug Control Policy at the White House, Vladimir Poznyak Coordinator of Department of Mental Health and Substance abuse at the WHO and EURAD’s Board Member Boro Goic who presented the overall final results of the Global Civil Society Consultations. The event aimed to highlight quality standards for the treatment of drug use disorders and importance of recovery oriented drug policies.
Recovery Models:Organized by the Turkish Green Crescent Society, the Recovered Users Network and the Christian Center for Help and Rehabilitation of Addicts and their Families “Stijena”.
EURAD and RUN organized an exhibition in Vienna International Centre (VIC) entitled“Recovery can, will and does happen!”.This exhibition was co-sponsored by 11 EURAD affiliates. The exhibition brought together 7 posters describing the way Recovery improves lives of individuals, families and communities.