From 14-22 March, the annual meeting of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) is organized in Vienna, this year focusing on the assessment of the UN’s 10-year program on drug policy (2009-2019) and the debate on whether or not to adopt a new declaration for the next decade. This session will also decide whether to approve or not the changes proposed by the World Health Organization regarding the legal status of cannabis.
As UN member states are currently negotiating the declaration to be adopted at the 2019 UN Ministerial Segment on drugs, the Civil Society Forum on Drugs (CSFD) -in which organization Diogenis participates as a member – wishes to offer the following recommendations to the EU and its member states, with the hope that these will be helpful for the next stage of the negotiations process.
More specifically, the CSFD calls “on the EU and its member states to continue to champion the fundamental principles of evidence, human rights, health, development, and the role of civil society throughout the negotiations process – and to continue to promote UNGASS implementation and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the basis for the post-2019 global drug strategy. As such, the CSFD believes that it would be counterproductive to adopt a resolution that significantly rolls back on progress made at the 2016 UNGASS. This means that, as the negotiations continue in the next few weeks, a decision might need to be made as to whether no consensus – and no declaration in March – is preferable to a weak outcome that would reverse the hard-fought gains of the UNGASS. That being said, we remain at your disposal for further discussions, or requests for specific language that would be helpful to the negotiations”
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On the occasion of the Human Rights Day (December 10th), organization “Diogenis – Drug Policy Dialogue”, concludes its awareness campaign entitled “Persons Who Use Drugs Count”. This year we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the UN General Assembly in 1948.
Worldwide, we have seen large-scale abuses of international human rights in the name of the drug control system. The “Persons Who Use Drugs Count” campaign, is calling for a drug policy focused on human rights, where the epicenter is the human being and its fundamental needs, ensuring that “no one is left behind”.
You can read the full document here.
The International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) presented today the report “Taking stock: A decade of drug policy – A civil society shadow report” in Vienna today. The findings are a response from the International Consortium, a network of 174 non-governmental organizations around the world, in the failure of governments and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to substantially evaluate the ten-year program they adopted in 2009. Member states of the UN declared in 2009 that they “will eliminate or substantially reduce and reduce measurably illicit drug supply and demand, trafficking, diversion of precursors and money laundering.” The report finds that UN Member States are still pursuing a policy that causes devastating effects on health, human rights, security and development, without reducing global supply and use of illicit drugs.
According to UNODC’s annual reports on drugs, over the past decade there has been an increase of 145% of drug-related deaths, noting that in 2015 drug deaths already amounted to 450,000
• At least 3,940 people have been executed for drug offenses over the past decade, while 33 countries have maintained the death penalty for drug-related offenses in violation of international standards.
• About 27,000 out-of-court executions took place in the Philippines as part of its repressive drug policy.
• More than 71,000 overdose deaths in 2017 are the current policy review in the United States of America.
• The global epidemic of pain resulting from restrictions on access to controlled medicines remains. The drug control system has left 75% of the world’s population without adequate access to pain relief.
• Mass imprisonment fueled by the criminalization of people using drugs – with one in five detainees being in prison for drug offenses – mainly for personal use. ”
On the occasion of the International Overdose Awareness Day (August 31st), the organization “DIOGENIS Drug Policy Dialogue” continues the awareness campaign with the slogan “Persons Who Use Drugs Count” . This International Day was established as a day of remembrance for people who have lost their lives or have suffered harm as a consequence of overdose. Although overdose deaths can be prevented, the necessary emphasis has not yet been given to effective management of this phenomenon.
In the effort to prevent overdose deaths, in EU, 10 Nationwide Naloxone programs are being implemented, including training for relatives and friends of users with the ability to have their own Naloxone home program. Also in 7 EU countries there are supervised consumption rooms (78 in total) to prevent overdose deaths to those who are homeless or do not have a supportive environment.
Diogenis organization supports the need Greece to follow this example and, through the adoption of a National Strategy, which includes the grant of Naloxon as a measure to prevent death from overdose. The adoption of a corresponding policy is also part of the EU’s drugs policy (2017-2020) and of the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
This campaign is within the frame of the project “Strengthening NGO capacity and promoting public health and human rights oriented drug policy in South Eastern Europe”, funded by the European Commission and by the Open Society Foundations.
You can read more here.
In view of the on-going progress in the field of the medical use of cannabis at international level, as well as the current developments in our country, NGO Diogenis within a network of collaborating civil society organizations – with years of experience, knowledge and activity in this specific area of interest – is undertaking the initiative to set up and coordinate the establishment of the “Greek Observatory for the Medical Use of Cannabis”.
The common goal of our organizations is to ensure the immediate, unhindered and legal access of patients to quality cannabis for medical use based on international evidence based data and best practices.