The Global Day of Action was an incredible show of people power, but we need to keep this pressure on and keep pushing for reform. If we do, we can change the public and political rhetoric around drugs.
It was refreshing to hear so many government officials at this COPOLAD meeting discussing the need for evidence-based drug treatment, but also for access to harm reduction services and for the decriminalisation of drug use.
Though now under military control, it is hoped that some space for open, inclusive drug policy debate can be sustained, especially as Thailand is likely to chair the next CND in 2015, a key moment in preparations for UNGASS 2016.
On April 17, representatives from the development sector gathered to discuss the negative impacts of current drug policies on impoverished populations, and the importance of bringing the development perspective to the 2016 UNGASS.
There are clear signs that the global consensus on drugs is becoming increasingly fractured, writes Ann Fordham, who says the last 18 months have seen several exciting watershed moments on the long road towards a rational and less damaging approach to the control of drugs.
The community representatives who took part in the workshop developed a short list of challenges to harm reduction policies, coverage and accessibility, and selected issues on which to focus future advocacy.
After several marathon inter-sessional meetings in 2013, where a slightly different cohort of delegates debated contentious paragraphs of the proposed ‘Joint Ministerial Statement’, many representatives voiced disbelief that they were having to go over it all again and somehow come to a new…
By Katherine Pettus, PhDAdvocacy Officer, International Association of Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC)