News from WFAD

In my capacity of President of the WFAD, I attended three days of the Intersessionals covering Demand reduction and related measures, Ensuring the availability of and access to controlled substances exclusively for medical and scientific purposes, while preventing their diversion and Cross-cutting issues: drugs, and human rights, youth, children, women and communities.

We had from our side, Diana Joseph from Fourth Wave Foundation, India and a Board Member of WFAD as a panellist for the Cross-cutting Session. Other presentations from our perspective was given by Ms. Boi-Jeneh Jalloh (Sierra Leone), Foundation for Rural and Urban Transformation and  Mr. Wongayi Nyahuye. 

My impression from the first round was that there is quite a rift between the Member States. Really how the Chair will solve this and present a Document adopted by consensus to the Ministerial Segment in March is a Million Dollar Question.
 
Since Colombia elected a new President, their Drug Policy have shifted towards the US position, but on the other hand Mexico is taking their seat when coming to supporting the Global Commission on Drugs and their report “Regulation - The Responsible Control of Drugs ”.  In one of the last paragraphs they state, “If the international drug control framework is to be efficient, it must move away from the current repressive paradigm and better reflect the emerging focus on health, human rights and sustainable development. Crucially, reforms must introduce the possibility for member states to regulate drugs.”

This report was published the same day as Donald Trump, together with some 30 Countries presented ”Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem” in the UN in New York. The Global Call ended with:
 
“We further pledge to develop national action plans based on a four-pronged strategy:
(1) reduce demand for illicit drugs through education, awareness, and prevention of abuse;
(2) expand treatment efforts to save lives and promote recovery;
(3) strengthen international cooperation across judicial, law enforcement, and health sectors; and
(4) cut off the supply of illicit drugs by stopping their production, whether through cultivation or manufacture, and flow across borders.
We encourage the CND and each signatory Member State to provide updates on progress made, lessons learned, and best practices at the Sixty-Second Session of the CND in March 2019. ”

This Call was mentioned in a number of statements from Member States in Vienna, but there was no response from i.e. the European Union, because they were divided in the question of supporting the Call.
 
Next round of Intersessionals are in two weeks with Supply reduction and related measures, Cross-cutting issues in addressing and countering the world drug problem: evolving reality, trends and existing circumstances, emerging and persistent challenges and threats, including new psychoactive substances, in conformity with the three international drug control conventions and other relevant international instruments and Alternative development; regional, interregional and international cooperation on development-oriented balanced drug control policy; addressing socioeconomic issues.

The last day there will be continued discussions concerning the Preparations for the ministerial segment to be held during the 62nd session of the CND.
From the presentations of UNODC I have taken this slide, which shows the importance of public attitudes to prevent young people from smoking Marijuana. For us it is so obvious, but we need to repeat it again and again. The recreational use will trigger abuse for all too many – our voice is needed. Prevent. Don’t Promote.

Esbjörn Hörnberg

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All presentations can be found here