Welcome to our latest Progress Report which chronicles another remarkable year for IDPC. The most critical highlight is our civil society shadow report, Taking Stock: A Decade of Drug Policy, which we produced together with many IDPC members and partners from around the world. We undertook this ambitious report to address the lack of a formal review by governments, or the UN, of progress towards the goals and targets set out in the 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action on drugs to significantly reduce or eliminate the global drug market by 2019.
The report attracted widespread global media attention and helped to secure the comprehensive ‘stock-taking’ language in the 2019 Ministerial Declaration by not allowing governments to shy away from the inconvenient truth of a growing global drug market despite the billions invested to eliminate it. The first report of its kind in UN drug control fora, it represented a watershed moment of civil society creating crucial accountability in the UN debate on drugs and consolidated the IDPC network’s role as watchdog in this space.
The drug policy reform movement continues to strengthen and diversify with many new players joining the calls for a serious re-think of repression and punishment as instruments of drug control. Repressive drug control measures are increasingly being understood as a form of state violence that serves to deepen and entrench structural inequalities which has garnered stronger interest in challenging current drug policies from other social movements such as those working on racial inequality, women’s rights, indigenous rights, LGTIQ+ rights to prison abolition and beyond. Building cross-movement solidarity on key human rights and social justice issues is more important than ever in the current troubling geo-political context and will be a core focus of the IDPC Secretariat in the coming years.
This year, I am pleased to share this foreword with Alison Holcomb, Chair of IDPC’s Board of Directors and Bikas Gurung, Asia representative on IDPC’s Members Advisory Council, who give their reflections on the past year for the network. We hope you enjoy reading this Progress Report!