Our Work

UN level engagement

UN level engagement

Screenshot from 'The 2016 UNGASS: Challenges and opportunities', a side event at the CND.

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As a global network, IDPC is uniquely placed to connect advocacy efforts and bridge policy debates between the national, regional and international levels, facilitating participation, promoting accountability and leveraging positive developments to advance progressive reforms.

IDPC’s engagement in international debates on drug policy has contributed to growing and accelerating momentum for reform. We provide expert advice to UN member states and agencies, develop capacity and awareness about UN processes on drug-related issues, and bring focus to the intersections between drug policy and related UN mandates, including human rights, gender and development, in Vienna, Geneva and New York.

IDPC’s work to shift global norms is enhanced by the support that we provide our membership to make their voices heard in regional and global forums, and to leverage international progress to effect change domestically. From its inception, IDPC has prioritised the promotion, protection and expansion of civil society space at the UN level. This is particularly important in light of the barriers and hostility that civil society often faces from public authorities at the national level, including in relation to authoritarianism and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finally, we work with our members and partners to promote and improve cross-UN engagement and coherence in relation to drug policy – especially by promoting the landmark UN System Common Position on drug-related matters, which contains strong normative support for decriminalisation, harm reduction, development and human rights.

Read more about IDPC’s work with various UN bodies and entities by browsing the resources section below.

Resources

UN General Assembly (UNGA)

The UN General Assembly is the main policy-making and representative body of the UN. IDPC’s work in relation to the UNGA focuses on the UN General Assembly Special Sessions (UNGASS) on drugs, like the one held in 2016, and the negotiation of the yearly Omnibus Resolution by the UNGA’s Third Committee.

Human Rights Council (HRC)

United States Mission Geneva - Flickr - CC BY-ND 2.0

Human Rights Council (HRC)

The Human Rights Council is the main UN body responsible for promoting and protecting human rights around the globe, and holding governments accountable. We work to ensure that human rights violations associated with drug control are present in the agenda of the Council through statements, submissions, side events, and advocacy.

Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)

UN Women - Flickr - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)

The CSW is an intergovernmental body set up to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women. IDPC engages with CSW sessions via written statements and the organisation of side events.

Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ)

UNIS Vienna - Flickr - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ)

The CCPCJ acts as the principal policy-making body of the UN on crime prevention and criminal justice. IDPC collaborates with NGO partners to promote policy reform and gender sensitivity in the work of the CCPCJ.

Universal Periodic Review (UPR)

UN Geneva - Flickr - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Universal Periodic Review (UPR)

The UPR is a unique process whereby the human rights situation in each of the 193 UN member states is reviewed in one single day by all other member states. Partnering with national-level members, IDPC provides information and recommendations on human rights abuses connected to drug policies.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

UN Geneva - Flickr - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

The OHCHR is the leading UN agency on human rights. It supports the work of the Human Rights Council, UN experts, governments and civil society in protecting and promoting human rights. IDPC engages with OHCHR to inform its work on the human rights impacts of drug control.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

UNODC - Flickr - CC BY 2.0

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

UNODC conducts research, offers practical assistance and encourages transnational approaches on drugs, crime and terrorism. IDPC seeks to promote a health and rights-based approach in UNODC’s work, including via the UN Strategic Advisory Group on HIV and Drug Use (SAG) and the global UNODC-CSO Group on drugs.

International Narcotics Control Board (INCB)

UNIS Vienna - Flickr - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

International Narcotics Control Board (INCB)

L'OICS est l'organe d'experts indépendant et quasi-judiciaire chargé de surveiller la mise en œuvre des traités des Nations Unies sur le contrôle des drogues. L'IDPC vise à accroître la transparence des travaux de l'OICS et encourage le Conseil à adopter une approche de politiques en matière de drogues fondée sur la santé et les droits.

Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND)

UNIS Vienna - Flickr - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND)

The CND is the principal decision-making body on drug policy within the UN. CND sessions are a key opportunity for IDPC to influence international drug policy debates and help bring the voices of civil society to the discussions.

Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council

United Nations Photo - Flickr - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council

UN Special Procedures are independent experts appointed by the Human Rights Council, with a mandate to report on human rights issues from thematic or country-specific perspectives. IDPC provides information to Special Procedures on a broad range of issues relating to drug control.

Human rights treaty bodies

Sincerely Media - Unsplash

Human rights treaty bodies

Treaty bodies are panels of independent experts that review and provide authoritative guidance on the implementation of UN human rights treaties, such as the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), or the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Working with national-level members, IDPC provides information to treaty bodies on all aspects relating to drug control.

World Health Organization (WHO)

United States Mission Geneva - Flickr - CC BY-ND 2.0

World Health Organization (WHO)

The WHO directs and coordinates international health within the UN system. The WHO’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence also reviews substances and submits recommendations for their scheduling in the UN drug control treaties. IDPC supports the WHO’s role in drug policy through recommendations and policy engagement.

Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)

UNAIDS

Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)

UNAIDS is the main advocate for accelerated, comprehensive and coordinated global action on the HIV/AIDS pandemic. IDPC aims to ensure that harm reduction and decriminalisation features high on UNAIDS’ priorities.

UN System Common Position on drugs

ANA via / Latin America News Agency via Reuters Connect

UN System Common Position on drugs

The Common Position was adopted in 2018 by all 31 heads of UN agencies, enabling them to speak as one on drug policy issues, including on harm reduction, human rights and decriminalisation. IDPC seeks to disseminate and help the implementation of this key high-level document.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

United Nations Photo - Flickr - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and 17 SDGs were adopted by all UN Member States in 2015. The 2030 Agenda provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet. IDPC aims to ensure that drug policy is aligned with the SDGs and associated indicators of success.

As a global network, IDPC is uniquely placed to connect advocacy debates between the national, regional and international levels, to promote progressive reforms that advance social justice and human rights.