In March 2008, a two-year long 'period of global reflection' on the 1998 UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the World Drug Problem started. What have been the results? What space was there be for civil society to participate in the different stages of the process? What were the key issues on the table? What kind of improvements in the functioning of the UN drug control system have been achieved?
The most recent UNGASS took place in 2016. To follow the preparations and proceedings check the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) special webpage.

  • New UN think-tank report: What comes after the War on Drugs?

    Some states, particularly in the Americas, see UNGASS 2016 as an opportunity to rethink global drug control
    The Huffington Post (US)
    Wednesday, November 3, 2015

    The UN's own thinktank, the United Nations University (UNU), published a report entitled What Comes After the War on Drugs? that argues that UNGASS 2016 will largely confirm the current approach to drug control, despite growing calls for change. The report, based on a series of consultations involving over 50 Member States, 16 UN entities and 55 civil society organizations, considers the major political and policy trends leading into UNGASS 2016, and offers recommendations for strengthening global drug policy efforts at a time of deepening divisions.

  • IDPC recommendations for the "ZERO DRAFT" of the UNGASS outcome document

    IDPC Advocacy Note
    July 2015

    Preparations are gathering pace for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs, to be held on the 19th to 21st April 2016 in New York. Following several months of discussion on procedural elements, attention is now focused on negotiating the content of the "short, substantive, concise and action-orientated outcome document comprising a set of operational recommendations" to be approved by the General Assembly next April. At the CND intersessional meeting on 12th June, countries and regional groups were invited to submit their first ideas for what could be included in this Outcome Document, by a deadline of 11th September.

    application-pdfDownload the advocacy note (PDF - outside link)

    READ MORE...
  • Civil society urges EU leadership on drug policy ahead of UNGASS

    “Budapest Group” releases recommendations on EU engagement at 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS)

    The Budapest Group is a network of European NGOs working in the field of drug policy reform, including Harm Reduction International, the Global Drug Policy Program of the Open Society Foundations (OSF), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Transform Drug Policy Foundation, the International Drug Policy Consortium (also hear public policy alumna Gloria Lai on the topic here), the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, and the Transnational Institute.

    READ MORE...
  • International Law and Drug Policy Reform

    Report of a GDPO/ICHRDP/TNI/WOLA Expert Seminar
    Final report of proceedings
    July 2015

    Drug policy reform is currently higher on the international agenda than it has been in recent memory. With a United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs set for 19-21 April 2016, the prominence of this issue will further increase. Significant legal and policy reforms at the national level have taken place in recent years that pose considerable challenges to the international legal framework for drug control, and beg important questions regarding states’ international legal obligations.

    application-pdf

    Download the report (PDF)

    READ MORE...
  • Minister Golding addresses UN Debate on international drug policy

    Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
    Thursday, May 7, 2015

    Senator Mark Golding, minister of justice, participated in a plenary session with several UN member states at the United Nations in a High Level Thematic Debate on International Drug Policy in preparation for the UN General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS) scheduled for April 19-21 2016. Minister Golding highlighted Jamaica’s perspectives called for open and inclusive discussions, including the creation of an expert advisory group to review the United Nations drug policy control architecture.

  • Improving global drug policy: Comparative perspectives and UNGASS 2016

    Vanda Felbab-Brown and Harold Trinkunas (eds)
    Brookings Institute
    April 2015

    As the world prepares for the 2016 Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS 2016), an increasing number of countries around the world now find the regime’s emphasis on punitive approaches to illicit drugs to be problematic and are asking for reform. In this moment of global disagreement, the Brookings project on Improving Global Drug Policy provides a unique comparative evaluation of the effectiveness and costs of international counternarcotics policies and best approaches to reform.

    See the content (outside link)

    READ MORE...
  • UNGASS 2016: Prospects for Treaty Reform and UN System-Wide Coherence on Drug Policy

    Martin Jelsma
    Brookings Institute
    April 2015

    This paper explores key lessons from the 1990 Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Drug Abuse (UNGASS 1990) and the 1998 Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS 1998), and tracks subsequent policy events and trends. It discusses the wide array of increasing tensions and cracks in the "Vienna consensus," as well as systemic challenges and recent treaty breaches. Various options for treaty reform are explored.

    application-pdfDownload the paper (PDF)

    READ MORE...
  • 2016: The UN's year to take on drugs

    Injecting realism into the global discussion of drug-policy objectives is crucial for designing and implementing more effective policies
    The National Interest (US)
    Monday, April 27, 2015

    Global disagreement over drug policies provides an important opportunity to reconsider the effectiveness of existing counternarcotics policies, address their problematic side effects, and propose evidence-based alternative strategies. Because of the differences in attitudes on drug policy around the world, a substantial revision of existing counternarcotics treaties is unlikely at UNGASS 2016. (See also: Improving global drug policy: Comparative perspectives and UNGASS 2016)

  • The Road to UNGASS 2016

    Process and Policy Asks from the IDPC
    IDPC Advocay Note
    April 2015

    On 19th to 21st April 2016, there will be a United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) held in New York, dedicated to the issue of drug policy. The General Assembly is the highest policy making and representative organ of the United Nations (UN), and its infrequent Special Sessions focus on pertinent topics at the request of member states. The UNGASS on drugs has the potential to be a ground-breaking, open debate about the international drug control system – but there is much work to be done to ensure that it fulfils that potential.

    application-pdfDownload the asks (PDF - outside link)

    READ MORE...
  • TNI calls for a wide-ranging and open debate that considers all options at UNGASS 2016

    An open debate is no longer open when certain ideas for improvement are declared to be off-limit
    Martin Jelsma
    Statement at the 58th Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND)
    Wednesday, March 11, 2015

    Just over one year away from the 2016 UNGASS, denying the reality that the drug policy landscape has fundamentally changed and that tensions with the UN drug conventions are occuring, is no longer a credible option. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged member states to use the 2016 UNGASS on drugs "to conduct a wide-ranging and open debate that considers all options." TNI calls for a special advisory group that should be tasked with recommending how to better deal with the contentious issues following the 2016 UNGASS, in preparation for the next UN high-level review in 2019.

    READ MORE...

Page 5 of 9