From 1-3 October 2015 a regional conference on “the UNGASS 2016 and its significance for SEE” has been organised by DIOGENIS Association, Drug policy Dialogue in SEE. The aim of the conference was to inform the participants about the preparations of the UNGASS by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) and the contributions to the discussion of the United Nations Office on drugs and Crime (UNODC) and other UN Entities, the contribution of the European Union and of Non-Governmental organisations.
The Informal Dialogue on Drug Policy focused on the following issues
a. recent developments in drug policy in the SEE countries,
b. the shift from a punitive attitude to a human rights and public health oriented approach in future drug policy
c.the collaboration between competent government authorities and civil society in South Eastern Europe, the action Plan on Drugs between the EU and the countries of the Western Balkans,
d.towards the 2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS), main discussion items.
The 5th Regional Informal Drug Policy Dialogue in South East Europe organised by the Association Diogenis, has been held in Kalampaka, Greece from 20-23 June 2013.
At the dialogue participated 35 representatives of non-governmental organizations, academics, representatives from competent bodies responsible for the policy on drugs and professionals in the field of drugs, from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia. At the dialogue participated also representatives of the “Correlation” European Harm Reduction Network, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and of the United Nations Regional Office of on Drugs and Crime in Tirana, Albania.
The Dialogue was funded by the European Commission and the Open Society Foundations, aiming at an open and wide-ranging exchange of views and experiences among participants and included five sessions on drug policy in South East Europe. The first session discussed developments in drug legislation of the countries of SE Europe. An overview of the new law on addictive substances recently adopted and entered into force in Greece was presented, followed by a presentation of the common general characteristics of drug policy and drug legislation in the countries of Europe, in view of the recent publication issued by Association Diogenis in the framework of the Drug Law Reform Project in SE Europe. The second session was devoted to the new European Strategy (2013-2020) and the new Action Plan for the period 2013-2016. The third session discussed the Action Plan on Drugs between the European Commission and the Western Balkans. In the fourth session, the discussion moved around services on Harm Reduction and the activities of NGOs in South East Europe. In the fifth session, the possibilities of NGOs to develop joint initiatives in the wider Balkan region have been examined.
You can read the report here.
From 8-10 March the fourth meeting of the Drug Policy Network in South East Europe took place in Vienna Austria.
Ten (10) NGOs from 10 countries in the region participated at the meeting. The program included a discussion with the National Drug Coordinator of Austria Dr. Franz Pietsch, a visit to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and a visit to the institution “DIALOG”, Integrative Addiction treatment. At the offices of the UN the group met with the Unit of the UN agency responsible for communication with the organisations of Civil Society (Civil Society Unit), the UNODC Regional office for South Eastern Europe, the Unit for Prevention, Treatment and social rehabilitation and the Unit responsible for HIV/AIDS.
It was a good opportunity that made possible to have direct contact with the relevant UN bodies for the Region of SE Europe and to discuss issues of common concern.
You can read the report of the meeting here.
Approaches to treatment of drug dependence – quality of services and effectiveness of interventions.
A group of 24 NGO participants and policy makers from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYR Macedonia), Greece, Croatia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia participated in the meeting. This was the third meeting of the SEE network since it was formed in March 2010.
The aim of the seminar was to learn about the background, the methodology of work, the effectiveness and the challenges of the programmes implemented by the Therapy Centre for Dependent Individuals (KETHEA) and the Organisation Against Drugs (OKANA). Participants visited KETHEA and OKANA programmes in Thessaloniki and discussed the feedback of the visits in a plenary session, exchanging information about practices in other countries in the South European Region. The seminar aimed also to discuss ideas and proposals for the strategy and action plan of the Network for 2011-2012 and to share drug law developments in the SEE countries and NGO involvement.
You can read the conference report here.