At its 54th session the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) adopted a resolution aimed at improving the participation of civil society in responding to drug problems. The resolution was in the context of agenda item 6 of the CND which was concerned with implementation of the Political Declaration and Plan of Action adopted at the high level UNGASS review in 2009.
This resolution is a great opportunity for NGOs to seek engagement with their governments and to contribute their information and experience to the development of national and international drug policy and practice. For information the resolution is attached. In summary, it:
Recalls that NGOs and affected populations should be enabled to play a participatory role in drug demand and supply policy;
That NGOs highlight issues and make a substantial contribution to address the world drug problem;
Calls on Governments to consult with NGOs in developing policy and programmes;
Encourages Governments to cultivate an environment that promotes innovation and takes account of promising approaches taken by civil society; and
Encourages Governments to provide UNODC with information on their experience of working with civil society in UN forums, to provide suggestions for improving participation and asks UNODC, if requested, to make that information available at the 55th session of the CND.
The Commission also adopted a resolution on promoting rehabilitation and reintegration-oriented strategies. This resolution again calls for the involvement of NGOs and calls for the development of comprehensive drug demand reduction policies and programmes from prevention and early intervention to rehabilitation and reintegration. The resolution is also attached for information.
Finally, the Commission adopted a resolution on improving access to drugs under international control for medical and scientific purposes. This resolution recognized that millions of people around the world do not have access to essential medicines and that there is a need for major action to change this situation.
Together, these three resolutions provide a great opportunity to take forward the Declaration and Resolutions adopted by consensus at Beyond 2008. This document provides guidance for NGOs' advocacy work.