The 13th issue of the Drug Policy Network of South East Europe Newsletter has arrived and brings to us the news of the network and its member organizations for the trimester January – March 2018!
You can read or download it for free here.
The Annual Regional Conference in South East Europe was organized by “Diogenis Drug Policy Dialogue” in Thessaloniki from 8-9 June 2018, at Capsis Hotel.
The conference brought together representatives of NGOs, Policy makers and researchers from 9 countries, active in the drugs field in the region, in order to discuss drug policy developments and trends, in view of socio-political developments and the implementation of the recommendations of the UNGASS outcome Document 2016.
Issues that were discussed at the conference:
1. Youth culture, summer festivals, drug use and harm reduction in South East Europe: Policy implications for the competent authorities, the organizers of the festivals and harm reduction services.
2. Refugees and migrants in the countries of South East Europe and the drugs issue. An exploration of the state of affairs, the contribution of the NGOs and the National authorities.
3. The evaluation of the Political Declaration 2009-2019 in relation to the UNGASS outcome document. The South East Europe perspective.
4. Evaluation and follow up of the Harm reduction project in SEE.
5. Current topics of importance: a. The regulation of cannabis for medical purposes, b. the current regional project, “Strengthening NGO capacity and promoting public health and human rights oriented drug policy in South East Europe”, and the way forward, c. other topics.
The conference is part of the regional project “Strengthening NGO capacity and promoting public health and human rights oriented drug policy in South East Europe”, supported financially by the European Commission and the Open Society Foundations.
The detailed report from the conference will be available on line within the next months.
On May 10th a meeting took place in Belgrade, Serbia between representatives of Non-Governmental organisations active in the field of drugs and National drug co-ordinators from the Countries in South East Europe. The meeting was organised by Diogenis, drug policy dialogue, in co-operation with the Drug Policy Network South East Europe (DPNSEE) and the office for combating drugs of Serbia. At the meeting participated drug policy co-ordinators and NGOs from respectively 9 and 10 countries of South East Europe. The meeting was an opportunity to exchange information and experiences of good practices and to reflect on possibilities of future cooperation on the national and regional level.
After an introduction of the participants the current situation of cooperation between National Authorities and NGOs was discussed. There is a variety of co-operations structures in the countries of South East Europe. Some countries have a formal structure of co-operation with regular consultation, participation in decision making bodies concerning drug policy and financial support of activities of NGOs. Other countries are on the way to create co-operation structures and are discussing about embedding rules for cooperation between NGOs and competent authorities in national law. All countries recognise the importance of the work that NGOs do, but much more needs to be done for full cooperation. An extensive discussion took place on quality standards, requirements that NGOs must fulfil for the implementation of government-funded projects and training opportunities for capacity building. A session has been devoted to drug policy issues related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the recommendations of the UNGASS outcome document 2016. It is agreed to repeat such meetings at the regional level. A report of the meeting will be published soon.
The Annual Regional Drug Policy Conference in South East Europe 2017 was organised in Thessaloniki from 8-10 June 2017, under the title:
“Drug policy challenges and implementation in South East Europe”
The Regional Conference aimed to: bring together NGOs, policy makers and researchers active in the field of drugs across the region of South East Europe, in order to discuss drug policy developments and trends, exchange experiences and best practices in the region, Europe and the United Nations. Invited were members of NGOs active in the field, members of the Drug Policy Network in South East Europe (DPNSEE), policy makers and academics. This regional conference was part of the regional project “Strengthening NGO capacity and promoting public health and human rights oriented drug policy in South East Europe”, supported financially by the European Commission and the Open Society Foundations.
You can read or download the report (eng) here.
On the occasion of International Human Right’s Day, celebrated each year on December 10th, Civil Society organizations from South East Europe, make a call for change towards human rights’ oriented drug policy.
Worldwide, we have seen large-scale abuses of international human rights in the name of the drug control system. During the last decades, repressive policies – particularly focused in law enforcement – have been the main strategy of addressing the drug phenomenon. This approach is clearly in total contradiction with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948. Among others, the right to life, the right to health, the right to be free from discrimination, the right to an adequate standard of living, the right to due process and a fair trial are violated on a regular basis against a particularly vulnerable and marginalized population, that of people who use drugs. Read more