As per the workplan agreed upon on 24th June 2019, thematic discussions will take place every autumn during the period between 2019-23, addressing the challenges identified by the taking stock paragraph of the 2019 Ministerial Declaration.
For 2023, immediately preceding the 2014 mid-term review, there will be a comprehensive stock-taking of progress made in implementing all international drug policy commitments to address the challenges identified in the Ministerial Declaration.
Two series of thematic sessions are organised on 23-25 October and on 4-6 December. A 'Chair's summary' will be the outcome of these thematic sessions.
In preparing for these stock-taking sessions, consider checking out the list of side events co-organised by members of the IDPC network at this year's CND. Here you will find links to [real-time] transcriptions and recordings, as available.
Call for civil society speakers
For each topic up to 3 NGOs will have the possibility to present their work and positioning. In order to ensure an inclusive, comprehensive and meaningful civil society participation, NGOs will work through the Vienna and New York NGO Committees on Drugs (VNGOC & NYNGOC). Each speaker will have 3 minutes to present their work on the thematic focus of the half-day.
Interpretation will not be available during the meetings and all abstracts and statements have to be submitted in English.
To apply for a speaking slot, please fill out this online form.
DEADLINE: 5 NOVEMBER 2023 at 5:45 PM ET (New York) / 11.45 PM CET (Vienna)
Make sure that your abstract is relevant to the topic of the half-day, and clearly describes what you will be presenting about.
We strongly suggest consulting the CND Discussion guide before submitting your abstract. Statements focusing on good practice examples and lessons learned with regards to addressing each challenge identified in the 2019 Ministerial Declaration are especially welcome. NGO representatives that spoke in previous thematic discussions are invited to re-apply and could provide an update since their last intervention.
The VNGOC & NYNGOC Boards will follow the speaker selection guidelines established in 2018.
The thematic sessions taking place between 4-6 December 2023 (10:00 - 13:00 & 15:00 - 18:00) are structured as follows:
Day I - 4 December 2023
Morning: "Drug treatment and health services continue to fall short of meeting needs and deaths related to drug use have increased";
Afternoon: "The rate of transmission of HIV, the hepatitis C virus and other blood- borne diseases associated with drug use, including injecting drug use in some countries, remains high";
Day II - 5 December 2023
Morning: "The adverse health consequences of and risks associated with new psychoactive substances have reached alarming levels";
Afternoon: "Synthetic opioids and the non-medical use of prescription drugs pose increasing risks to public health and safety, as well as scientific, legal and regulatory challenges, including with regard to the scheduling of substances";
Day III - 6 December 2023
Morning: "The availability of internationally controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes, including for the relief of pain and palliative care, remains low to non-existent in many parts of the world";
Afternoon: 1⁄2 day closing - Way forward
As was the case in previous years, the thematic discussions aim to provide an inclusive platform for the exchange of views by governmental experts, representatives from the United Nations system, representatives from international organizations, and experts nominated by civil society through the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs. Experts who presented during panel discussions at the previous iterations of the thematic discussions will be contacted by the Secretariat and be invited to provide an update on the relevant challenges.
Following the introductory presentations and Q&A, a guided discussion with interventions from the floor will be held with all participants. In light of the limited time available per challenge, there will this time not be panel discussions with experts nominated by the Regional Groups.
To promote a focused discussion given the short time available to discuss each challenge, the Chair may ask guiding questions as contained in the discussion guide, which is under preparation. The guided discussion would focus on key updates regarding progress made in addressing each challenge since 2019.
To ensure a dynamic exchange, it is strongly recommended that interventions from the floor are made in the form of short replies to the Chair, replies or questions to other participants, or comments on the specific challenge (not longer than 3 minutes), rather than a read-out of written statements prepared in advance.
During the guided discussion, delegates and experts participating in person can raise their flag or nameplate to indicate their wish to speak. Participants joining the meeting online can indicate in the meeting chat if they wish to intervene. A few speaker slots during each discussion will be provided to experts nominated by civil society through the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs.
It will be the prerogative of the Chair to give the floor to speakers according to the flow of the discussion.