In April 2016 there will be a United Nations General Assembly Special Session on drugs.

Two previous UNGASS sessions have been devoted to drugs, in 1998 and 2009, and a third was scheduled for 2019. However, the international drug policy landscape is changing and the effectiveness of current drug policies is being hotly debated, and many countries are questioning what has been labeled as "the war on drugs". This has prompted Latin American leaders to press for the 2016 session, three years earlier than planned.

Despite international debate around drug policy, there has been little review or discussion around South African Drug policy. The UNGASS 2016 has received little attention, and to help remedy this, in the run-up to UNGASS, the RUN2016 campaign was launched. South African Drug Policy Week will be used to spark on-going debate among policy makers and other role-players.

South African Drug Policy week will run from 1-4 February 2016. The main presentations and workshops will be on the 2nd and 3rd of February, and will be for people who work within the framework, are able to influence or who are able to inform drug policy. The majority of the delegates would therefore be from national and local government, law enforcement agencies, academic institutions and civil society. There will an opening event specifically aimed at the general public that will be on the evening of the 1st of February 2016. The4th of February provides an opportunity for representatives from each sector to liaise with a writing team to inform the framework of a report on the proceedings and to assist in the development of future policy suggestions and next steps.

We encourage you to participate. South Africa, we need to talk about drugs. Register here to attend this important collaborative workshop.

Speakers will include:

  • Professor Julian Buchanan
  • Dr Lochan Naidoo (International Narcotics Control Board)
  • Jane Marie Ong'olo (African Union Commission Plan of Action on Drug Control and Crime Prevention)
  • Maria-Goretti Ane (IDPC Consultant for Africa)
  • Mr Wilson Box (Zimbabwe Civil Liberties and Drug Network and Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs)
  • And many others. 

View the event here

Keep up-to-date with drug policy developments by subscribing to the IDPC Monthly Alert

Thumbnail: Flickr David Stanley