The UNITE Global Summit: Virtual 2020 aims to commit, inspire, and empower policy makers towards the achievement of the UN SDGs over the next decade, while building a roadmap on clear policy actions to eliminate the threat posed by communicable diseases. This alignment of a common vision will culminate in the signing of UNITE’s 2020 Declaration.

Register for the event here.


PANEL SESSION 5 - DRUG POLICY: TIME FOR PARLIAMENTARIANS TO PRESS FOR REFORM

Tuesday, 8 September | 11:30 – 13:00 GMT+1 (London time)

COVID-19 reinforced what civil society leaders and public experts knew already: people living with infectious diseases are not treated equal by societies, by justice systems or even by health facilities. In fact, in many settings around the world, science-based & data-driven information is alienated by ‘war on drugs’ policies and strict incarceration practices that put basic human rights at risk.

Transforming drug policy into state legislation which is evidence based and with a health, human rights and sustainable development focus requires strong lawmakers who are able to coordinate the scientific arguments, human rights advocacy and the public health treats over this issue. Moreover, lawmakers have an opportunity to see drug policy reforms as a process that allows countries to witness economic benefits through reduced spending on law enforcement and incarceration.

What is the role of policymakers in drug policy reform? How can policy-makers work with civil society in introducing measures for the regulation of cannabis for recreational use? What are the economic benefits of such reforms? Why the SDGs cannot be achieved without ending the ‘war on drugs’?

Moderated by
Mike Trace - CEO, Forward Trust

Speakers:
Report from Ghana: The fight to decriminalize drug possession | Seth Kwame Acheampong - Member of Parliament, Ghana & Maria-Goretti Anne - International Consultant, International Drug Policy Consortium

Report from Ecuador: Drug Decriminalization for The World | Rodrigo Vélez - Founder & General Director, Parametria

Report from the United Kingdom: The fight to open safe injecting facilities | Crispin Blunt - Member of Parliament, United Kingdom