Position Statement, VNGOC

Civil society has, rightly, long been an integral part of CND proceedings and debates engaging alongside member states, UN officials, academics and others through interventions, side events, disseminating materials, and holding bilateral meetings. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 64th CND (12-16 April 2021) will take a “hybrid” format – with the vast majority of participants from outside of Vienna participating online.

With the precise modalities of a hybrid Commission still to be announced, the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs (VNGOC)1 would like to make the following practical and realistic recommendations to ensure strong and meaningful civil society participation despite the many challenges that exist. We acknowledge the hard work of the CND Secretariat, Bureau and others towards this, but also believe that an online CND should be an opportunity to expand participation, rather than limit it. Furthermore, 2021 could be a good opportunity to implement permanent procedures to facilitate the active, online participation of NGOs from around the world in 2022 and beyond.