This report aims to provide an overview of the central issues debated during the 61st session of the Commission, held at the Vienna International Centre (VIC) between 12 and 16 March 2018. With the ongoing objective of adding an often missed, yet crucial and holistic, human element to the formal UN reports of the meeting, as well as focusing on inter-state relations, the publication devotes considerable space to civil society engagement. This includes the now regularised NGO dialogues with representatives of the core UN drug control bodies (the UNODC and the International Narcotics Control Board – INCB or Board) as well as with the CND chair. Moreover, in attempting once again to go beyond a merely descriptive account, it offers some analysis of key topics of debate. In so doing, the report seeks to identify emerging issues of concern as expressed by delegations – for example the rise of crypto-drug markets – and common narrative themes to emerge from member state statements, interventions and negotiating positions. Where appropriate, comparisons are also made with past CND sessions to identify trends and patterns within particular issue areas. As in previous years, a supplementary – and searchable – account of the entire session can be found on the CND Blog. Alongside the CND App, this now well-established civil society initiative aims to enhance transparency within the international policy making process and provide real time monitoring and reporting of proceedings. Official documentation relating to the session, including the ECOSOC report can be found on the UNODC website.

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