Civil society engagement at the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) and related meetings has improved dramatically over the past decade – in terms of the numbers attending, the opportunities to interact and participate, and the levels of experience and professionalism of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) themselves. These changes are very important given that the contribution of NGOs and civil society organisations make policymaking more responsive to the needs of society.

Moreover, youth involvement specifically makes the voice of those who are normally excluded from policymaking but are disproportionately affected by the results heard. In their efforts to promote an inclusive and evidence-based debate, SSDPers have been organizing side events and have even been elected on the board of the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs (VNGOC) and the New York NGO Committee on Drugs (NYNGOC) which advocate for and oversee civil society involvement with the UN.

In order to encourage youth engagement with international policymaking, this Advocacy Handbook gives an overview of the main UN institutions involved with the making of global drug policy, as well as highlights the ins and outs of advocacy. We hope that such an overview will help you make valuable contributions to the work of the CND and related processes, this way advocating for evidence-based drug policy embedded in the protection of human rights.