On March 4, 2020, during this year’s Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna, “Rome Consensus 2.0” was presented. In 2005, the leaders of 121 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies across the world agreed the Rome Consensus for a Humanitarian Drug Policy, which articulated principles for humane and effective drug policies that prioritize individual and public health.

The Rome Consensus 2.0 declaration seeks to build upon the first Consensus – broadening it out for new signatories from around the world, and providing a blueprint for policy and best practices for the coming decade.

The international community has made numerous commitments and declarations on how it will respond to drugs, but still lacks a robust and accountable system to ensure their implementation. Professional bodies, civil society and affected communities all have a pivotal role to play in the response to drugs. Success will only be achieved if we advocate at all levels to ensure more investments and public awareness to implement more humane and effective drug policies.

Working together, we can reduce and overcome the avoidable and unacceptable health and social harms associated with the world drug situation. We, our governments and our allies already have at our fingertips the tools, guidance and evidence we need to conquer these challenges. These include, inter alia, the normative guidance from the United Nations system on prevention,9 treatment,10 harm reduction,11 overdose management,12 deflection from arrest,13 human rights14 and ensuring access to medicines

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