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  • Welcome to the 55th session

  • of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

  • 100 years ago the Hague open convention

  • formed the basis for drug control

  • and we have followed the long road since then.

  • Today in 2012 we recognize that

  • progress has been made

  • but there is still a need to strengthen action

  • and co-operation at the national, regional and international levels.

  • It is a 100 years since the first

  • international agreements on drug control.

  • Whether you see that 100 years of success

  • or a 100 years of failure I think there are all views across the spectrum.

  • My personal view and the view of International Drug Policy Consortium

  • is primarily we are talking about failure.

  • The architects of the system sat out to resolve

  • the global drug problem by repression,

  • so that these supply of drugs was stifled

  • and people did not want to use drugs

  • and that demonstrably has not happened,

  • so we can't call this in any way a success.

  • There are some people including I think Mr. Fedotov

  • who is calling on us to be better at repression to be stronger

  • and to be better coordinated but I think most of our members

  • and our movement are saying we know enough now,

  • there is enough clear evidence

  • that we have to change direction.

  • TNI made a position paper on this anniversary,

  • what do you say in your position paper?

  • The facts that consumption level of opium in Asia

  • has reduced so much is used as the main argument

  • to claim success for the control regime itself.

  • Part of the reduction of that widespread consumption

  • has to do with the introduction of a whole range of new medicines on the market.

  • The first treaties were not introducing immediately a prohibition regime

  • it only tried to put some restrictions on the international trade

  • of the controlled substances.

  • Yesterday Mr. Morales presented a couple of coca products

  • and he urged governments to correct a historical error

  • which is banning of coca chewing.

  • How do you comment this?

  • Yeah he is perfectly right of course,

  • it is one of the most blatant errors I would say

  • in the history of this century of drug control.

  • There is one article in the 1961 convention

  • that literally says that the chewing of coca leaves has to be abolished,

  • it is impossible to defend today.

  • They withdrew from the single convention

  • and that came into effect on the 1st of January

  • and they are now trying to become a member again to readhere

  • with a reservation which says

  • in Bolivia the use of coca and the consumption of coca

  • in its natural form will be allowed

  • and also cultivation and distribution, marketing

  • for the uses in its natural form will be allowed.

  • We had Evo Morales here on Monday

  • talking about why his country wants to make some changes

  • to their drug control policies

  • and there are many other Latin-American countries now

  • starting to explore these options.

  • At the moment we see still from the UN agencies

  • an attempt to try to stop these processes

  • where we do need to encourage them to be engaged with them

  • and look for carefully planned improved policies

  • rather than try pretend that everything is fine.

  • What we have learned does not point us to legalisation as an answer

  • in fact it is precisely because we recognize

  • the drug problem as a public health issue

  • that the United States steadfastly opposes the legalisation of drugs.

  • Yesterday Gil Kerlikowske the US drug czar probably posed his message

  • to the Latin Americans when he said that they strongly oppose legalisation

  • at the same time you hear from Latin American leaders that they are,

  • they need an open debate on legalisation

  • what do you think what are the chances of

  • of this kind of movement which is coming from Latin America now?

  • To at least open the discussion about it

  • including about the possibility of a legal regulated market

  • is getting more and more support from Latin American countries.

  • The countries that are now calling for opening of this debate

  • most of those countries have not allowed

  • also this past few years even relatively minor legislative changes

  • in their own countries, that they could introduce without

  • challenging the treaties.

  • What do you think about the impact of the resolutions

  • adopted here at the CND,

  • what is the afterlife of these resolutions?

  • CND resolutions, mostly you will never hear from them again,

  • at least not at national level, they do very little impact at national level.

  • What they do is that they enter into the UN lexicon

  • which is where a lot of these ideas around drug policies

  • are thashed out at the international level.

  • What is the most important issue for you here at the CND?

  • One of the things I am really excited about this week

  • is one of the resolutions is about reducing opium over dose deaths.

  • If that resolution goes through it means

  • the countries, member states of the UN can go to WHO, UNODC

  • and ask for help in setting up overdose death prevention programs

  • which will really, it is a real practical resolution and will save people's life.

  • ADVOCACY WORKS!

  • The UN listened to the voice of civil society!

  • The CND adopted the first resolution on overdoes prevention, that you can read here:

Welcome to the 55th session

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100 Years of Global Drug War (Sub: Eng, Hun)

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    James posted on 2015/06/21
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