Following the annual session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in March 2015 intensive work has started to develop proposals and recommendations of the UN member states which should be discussed and approved by the Special General Assembly on Drugs. The Special Session of the General Assembly will take place in New York from 19 to 21 April 2016 (UNGASS 2016). Already some countries expressed initial thoughts on the content of conclusions and recommendations they expect from the UN Special Session of General Assembly. Non-governmental organizations wish to actively engage in the debate and have prepared draft texts that will be submitted to the competent national authorities, regional organizations and the United Nations. The Vienna NGO Committee on drugs (VNGOC) in cooperation with the New York NGO Committee on drugs (NYNGOC) and the Civi Society Task Force (CSTF) are coordinating the contributions of civil society organizations.
The European Union will discuss in September/October 2015 a first draft of conclusions and recommendations at a meeting of the Horizontal Drugs Group. The member states of the European Union have been invited to submit proposals to the EU Presidency, for the first draft discussion paper. The aim is to develop a “short, substantial, concise and action oriented outcome document “.
The expectation of NGOs is to have a substantial and open dialogue on all issues without limitations and prejudices in order to promote realistic and effective policies tailored to the needs of society and the wellbeing of citizens directly affected by drugs. The organizations of the Drug Policy Network in Southeast Europe will express their views in all actors concerned. This Newsletter will report regularly about all initiatives concerning the UNGASS in the Balkan region.