Human Rights Council resolution ‘Contribution of the Human Rights Council with regard to the human rights implications of drug policy’: Analysis and implications
On 4 April 2023, the Human Rights Council adopted a resolution under the title ‘Human Rights Council contribution with regard to the human rights implications of drug policy’. The key objective of the resolution was to ensure that UN human rights entities engaged meaningfully in the mid-term review of the 2019 Ministerial Declaration on drugs, set to be held at the 67th session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Vienna in March 2024.
The 2024 mid-term review is the next key moment for the international community to take stock of progress made in international drug policy and pave the way forward for the next five years. Ensuring that the human rights dimension of drug policy is as prominent as possible will therefore be critical in this regard. The Human Rights Council resolution sets the framework for the contribution of the UN human rights system to the mid-term review by requesting the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to produce a report on the human rights implications of drug policy, and calling for a panel discussion on the issue at the Human Rights Council.
The resolution also represents the most ambitious UN political document on the human rights dimension of drug policy to date. It contains a number of significant gains in terms of progress on UN agreed language, demonstrating that UN bodies in Geneva and New York are becoming spaces for a more productive and constructive conversation on drug policies.
An ambitious strategy for the OHCHR report and for the thematic Human Rights Council panel discussion on the human rights implications of drug policy is now necessary to ensure that they have an impact on the mid-term review.
A translation to Italian of this advocacy note is available here.