by Eurad

As the March 2015 United Nations Commission of Narcotics Drugs draws closer, we look at how NGOs are preparing their input into the wider UNGASS 2016 process.

23rd January 2015

Over the last year, NGOs have talked about the creation of a Civil Society Task Force (CSTF) which would ensure civil society engagement in the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs, which is due to take part in 2016. After a meeting with Mr. Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, on the margins of the 57th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs High-level Review in March 2014 and extensive consultations within the NGO community working on drug related issues, a proposal outlining the terms of the CSTF was drafted and then finalised in November 2014.

The purpose and mission of the Civil Society Task Force is therefore to serve as the official liaison between the United Nations and civil society in the preparatory process and at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the world drug problem in 2016, with the objective being to ensure a comprehensive, structured, meaningful and balanced participation of civil society during this process. The plan is to involve 26 members, representing all regions as well as affected populations. Organisations active in the field of drug policy were asked to nominate themselves for this task force, through the Vienna and New York Committees and the make-up of the task force is currently being finalised.

EURAD’s Position

EURAD’s advocacy strategy towards the UNGASS 2016 will be drawn from evidence in our recent publications on human rights, public health, alternative development, recovery, as well as our previous publications. Our strategy will be further strengthened through the support of our member organisations, who are currently being asked to participate in a survey. The result of our members survey will be used to ensure that through every stage of the process, the Secretariat and Board of EURAD are speaking truly on behalf of our member organisations. The survey is also an opportunity for member organisations to become more familiar with the topics we believe will grow in importance during the UNGASS 2016 process.

What will EURAD present at the United Nations Commission of Narcotic Drugs (CND) in 2015?

Alongside following political developments during the CND and our commitments to the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs, EURAD will be involved with four side events to take place at the United Nations. These are:

1) Drugs Policy and Human Rights: Event hosted by EURAD, co-sponsored by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (Drug Prevention and Health Branch), The Norwegian Policy Network for Alcohol and Drugs (ACTIS) and The San Patrignano Foundation. Wednesday 11th March.

2) A Public Health Approach To Drugs: Event hosted by EURAD, co-sponsored by The Norwegian Policy Network for Alcohol and Drugs (ACTIS), The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) with a speaker from The World Health Organisation (WHO). Thursday 12th March.

3) Recovery: Policies, Research and Grass Roots Voices From Italy, Norway, UK, Sweden and The Balkans. Hosted by The San Patrignano Foundation, co-sponsored by EURAD, RUN, WFAD and the Home Office, UK. Tuesday 10th March.

4) Eurobarometer Findings On The Situation on Drugs in Europe: Through The Eyes Of Youth Organisations. Hosted by Active-Europe, EURAD, The Icelandic Centre for Social Research and Analysis, with a speaker from the European Commission. Tuesday 10th March.

EURAD Member Participation

If you are a member organisation from EURAD and would like to participate in the United Nations meetings from 9th – 17th March 2015, please e-mail fay.watson@eurad.net as soon as possible. We will attempt to find United Nations passes for our members who would like to contribute to this forum but we must know within the next 7 -10 days about your intention to participate.

Additionally, EURAD will host a meeting for its members on Sunday 8th March in Vienna.

Dates For Your Diary:

– 8th March 2015: EURAD Meeting in Vienna

– 9th March 2015 – 17th March 2015: United Nations Commission of Narcotic Drugs 2015. Vienna. This includes a Special Segment on UNGASS planning from 9th-12th March.

– 7th May 2015: High Level Meeting, United Nations Headquarters, New York. This date is provisional.

– March 2016: Commission of Narcotic Drugs 2016. Vienna.

– Spring 2016: United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs.

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