A brand new Briefing Paper, n.7, was just added at the “Publication Series”, under the title “Drug Policy after the UNGASS 2016”, by the director of “Diogenis”, Mr Thanasis Apostolou.
The purpose of this briefing paper is :
a. To inform policy makers, researchers, members of NGOs and institutions working in prevention, treatment and social rehabilitation of drug users and everyone interested in the results of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on drugs (UNGASS), held from 19 to 21, April 2016, in New York (USA)
b. to present views expressed and which are in discussion about the importance of the UNGASS concerning the assessment of the existing policy on drugs and the strategic direction that governments will decide to follow for their drug policy in the future
c. to refer to the discussion at the regional conference organized from 1-3 June 2016 in Thessaloniki which focused on exchanging views on the post-UNGASS policy that can be followed in SEE countries.
You can read the briefing paper, here.
With the aim of “ending AIDS by 2030”, the UN agency for AIDS stresses the need for investment in Harm Reduction programs in order to ensure that people who use intravenous drugs have universal equal access to them. It calls for policies that respect human rights and the needs of injecting drug users (IDUs) and promote prevention, treatment, care and other support services associated with HIV. Similar are the recommendations from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), that also suggested the implementation of similar programs and services as a comprehensive package for vulnerable populations.
The existence of laws and policies that “do not cause harm to people who use drugs and increasing investments in harm reduction programmes and services results in a decrease in new HIV infections and improved health outcomes and delivers broader social benefits” (UNAIDS , 2016). Similarly, laws that provide alternative measures to imprisonment and prosecution for drug use and drug possession for personal use reduce the harmful effects associated with drug use use and do not lead to increased drug use. According to UNAIDS data, worldwide, there are: about 12 cm. People injecting drugs, of which 14% (1.6 mil.) Living with HIV and 50% (6 m.) With virus hepatitis C. also, in 2014 we had 140,000 new infections with the HIV virus in the population of IDUs without any apparent reduction in the annual number of these new infections in the four years from 2010 to 2014.
LONDON (2nd August 2016) – Civil society groups from across the globe, including prominent human rights NGOs, have called on UN drug control authorities to urge an immediate stop to the extrajudicial killings of suspected drug offenders in the Philippines. Since 10th May 2016, more than 700 people have been killed by police and vigilantes in the Philippines for being suspected of using or dealing drugs, as a direct result of recently-elected President Duterte’s campaign to eradicate crime within six months.
Until now, however, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) – the UN agencies responsible for global drug control – have failed to condemn the Philippines for these gross human rights violations committed in the name of drug control.
Over 300 non-governmental organisations – NGO Diogenis among them – today sent an open letter to the UNODC Executive Director, Mr. Yury Fedotov, and the INCB President, Mr. Werner Sipp, asking them to take immediate action aimed at putting a stop to the extrajudicial killings.
Heads of State, ministers and representatives of member states assembled at United Nations Headquarters from 19 to 21 April 2016, recognized that, “while tangible progress has been achieved in some fields, the world drug problem continues to present challenges to the health, safety and well-being of all humanity” and declared to “reinforce national and international efforts to face those challenges”.
An article by Thanasis Apostolou, Director of NGO Diogenis – Drug Policy Dialogue.
Read the full article here.
Translation of the UNODC document: “Drug policy provisions from the International Drug Control Conventions”
On March 2014, as part of the preparations for the high-level review on the implementation of the Political Declaration and Plan of Action on International Cooperation towards an Integrated and Balanced Strategy to Counter the World Drug Problem by Member States , UNODC prepared the document “Drug Policy Provisions from the International Drug Control Conventions”. This document is discussing the implications of the three International Conventions for drug policy.
The objective behind this initiative is to enhance a dialogue both at local and regional level, in order to bring about substantial changes in the way conventions are interpreted and implemented by governments.