World Federation Against Drugs


Adopted at the founding meeting May 19, 2009, held in Stockholm, Sweden.

Revised at the Board meeting on June 26, 2009


The World Federation Against Drugs (WFAD) is a multilateral community of non-governmental organisations and individuals. Founded in 2009, the aim of WFAD is to work for a drug-free world. The members of the WFAD share a common concern that illicit drug use is undercutting traditional values and threatening the existence of stable families, communities, and government institutions throughout the world.

The work of the WFAD is built on the principles of universal fellowship and basic human and democratic rights. We believe that working for a drug-free World will promote peace and human development and dignity, democracy, tolerance, equality, freedom and justice.

The WFAD adheres to the Declaration signed at the World Forum Against Drugs signed in Stockholm, Sweden in September of 2008 (appendix 1). The work of the WFAD will be in accordance to the Basic Principles (appendix 2).

Drug users have a right to the expectation of living drug free and having the opportunity to lead productive, working lives.

The WFAD recognizes that civil society has the right to fact-based information about the risks and damage caused by drugs. All people have the right to be protected from the harms created by drug use.

The WFAD adheres to Article 33 of the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child that states:

States Parties shall take all appropriate measures, including legislative, administrative, social and educational measures, to protect children from the illicit use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances as defined in the relevant international treaties, and to prevent the use of children in the illicit production and trafficking of such substances. September 1990


The WFAD has its office in Stockholm, Sweden.                             


The WFAD comprises organisations, institutions and in special cases individuals who accept and observe the conditions for membership. The WFAD may grant membership and has final jurisdiction as regards the membership of such organisations, in accordance with this Constitution.

Membership requires an annual fee to WFAD as determined by our International Board.

1. Full Membership

Full membership in the WFAD may be granted to any organisation or any institution, or any foundation, that endorses fully the WFAD platform and requires its members to lead a life free from the use of illicit drugs. They shall have full voting rights in the Congress and their members are eligible to hold any office within the WFAD.

2. Individual Membership

Individuals may be granted membership to the WFAD if they endorse the WFAD platform. They shall have no voting rights in the Congress but may speak and are eligible to hold any office within WFAD.

3. Admission to Membership

A two-thirds majority of votes cast at an ordinary Congress in session is required to admit any new member. Pro tempore membership, valid until the next Congress, may be granted by a majority vote of the International Board.

4. Termination of Membership

Membership in WFAD may be revoked/suspended by a majority vote of the International Board if there is evidence of violation of membership conditions. Such a decision by the International Board is subject to approval by a majority at the following Congress, after which membership in WFAD is finally terminated.


1. The Congress

The Congress shall meet every other year at an agreed time and venue. The Congress may meet electronically.

2. Quorum of the Congress

At least half of the registered delegates must be present to form a quorum of the Congress.

3. Convening of the Congress

The Congress shall be convened by notice given to its membership by the International Board. Any such notice shall be in writing and shall include the time and place of the Congress, a draft agenda, and the number of delegates each organisation is entitled to send. Such notice shall be given not later than six months prior to the date of the Congress.

The agenda and the documents for the Congress shall be sent one month prior to the opening of the Congress.

4. Extraordinary Congress

An extraordinary Congress can be convened when the International Board so decides or when at least one third of the members with full membership have requested this in writing.

In the event of an extraordinary Congress, at least three months written notice shall be given to the membership, together with an agenda listing the matters to be discussed.  No other business shall be transacted at an extraordinary Congress session.

5. Representation

The Congress shall be a representative body consisting of delegates. Each fullmember of the WFAD shall be entitled to send one delegate to the Congress.

All members are permitted to attend the proceedings of the Congress and any member may speak by special permission of the presiding officer. Only delegates and members of the International Board are entitled to make motions.

The names of the Congress delegates shall be submitted to the International Board not later than one month prior to the opening of the Congress. In the event of names not being submitted and no satisfactory explanation given to the Congress, the organisation concerned may, by decision of the Congress, lose its right to vote.

6. Voting Procedures

A simple majority of the votes cast is required for decisions to be binding on the Congress, except where a two-thirds majority of the vote is required by the Constitution. Abstentions or invalid votes are not counted. The President shall not vote except in the case of a tie vote. In cases where the President does not exercise the tie breaking vote, the matter shall be decided by drawing lots. Elections shall be conducted by secret ballot if one or more of the delegates request it.

7. Congress Agenda

The agenda shall include the following items:

a.     Opening and approval of the agenda

b.     Election of officers

c.      Admission of new member organisations

d.     Selection of congressional committees

e.     Reports from the International Board

f.      Financial reports and the auditor’s report

g.     Motions

h.     Plan of Action

i.      Election of International President

j.      Election of  International Board

k.      Election of auditor

l.      Election of Nominating Committee

m.    Statements from the Congress

n.     Time and venue for the next Congress

o.     Closing

Motions or other items for consideration by the Congress shall be submitted to the International Board not later than two months prior to the opening of the Congress. In cases of urgent matters, the International Board can place items on the agenda.

After an ordinary or extraordinary Congress, the International Board shall publish the journal of proceedings and provide member organisations, regional councils and officers with a copy.

To be elected as an officer of the International Board the candidate must have received a majority of all the votes cast, unless there is only one nominee for an office, in which case the presiding officer, after asking if there are any further nominations, shall declare the nominee elected to the office.

8.  Nominations Committee

The Congress shall elect a Nominations Committee of four members and shall hold office until the next Congress. This committee shall organise the process of nominations and election to the International Board.

9.  The International Board

The International Board shall represent the following world regions:




Latin America

North America


Each region shall have one representative on the International Board and one Deputy Board member. The Congress shall elect to the International Board one International President (IP), six Board members and six Deputy Board members. If a Board member cannot function, or chooses not to function, the Deputy Board member can act on the behalf of the Board member. Board members shall serve until the end of the next Congress.  

The International Board shall appoint from its membership an International Vice President and a Secretary.

The International Board may meet electronically.

10.  Audits

The auditor shall on an annual basis audit the accounts of the WFAD. The auditor shall examine the accounts and other financial records, the assets of the organisation and ensure that the instructions of the Congress are observed. The auditor shall report to the next ordinary Congress. The auditing of accounts may be delegated to a firm of auditors by special decision of the Congress. In that case the Board shall appoint the firm.


National organisations are encouraged to set up Regional Committees to facilitate an effective network among affiliates in their region; to encourage mutual support by exchanging information, organising workshops and initiating joint projects. Regional committees are encouraged to find their own financial support.

The Regional Committee links the International Board and the national organisations in the area and co-ordinates work in the region. The Regional Committees may have an office if approved by the International Board. Regional Committees shall abide by this Constitution.


The fiscal year shall commence on January 1st and end on December 31st. The International Board shall make a full report of receipts and expenditures, including a balance sheet, for each fiscal year and present it to the next ordinary Congress and shall decide upon a budget for the coming period until the next ordinary Congress.


This Constitution shall not be altered except on a proposal made in writing by the International Board or a full member. Any proposed amendment shall be sent to the International Board six months prior to the opening of the next ordinary Congress. The International Board shall communicate any such amendment to all member organisations at least four months before the date of the Congress. Two-thirds majority of the delegates attending and voting is required for adoption of an amendment. Adoption of an amendment to the Constitution may be at an ordinary or an extraordinary meeting of the Congress.


The WFAD can only be dissolved by a 2/3 vote of the International Board and the Congress.


Any legal disputes or legal interpretations shall be according to the law of Sweden.


Declaration of the World Forum Against Drugs

Stockholm Sweden, September 10, 2008

Drug abuse is a global problem. Drug abuse is any use of illicit/psychotropic drugs (as defined in the UN Conventions) that is not medically approved or the inappropriate use of licit drugs. Millions of people are directly harmed by drug abuse. This includes: drug users and addicts, the parents, relatives, friends or employers of drug users and the victims of drug-related crimes.

The UN Conventions are the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961; the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971; and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988.

Various actions are taken internationally to counteract the social, economic, health, spiritual and crime problems caused by drug abuse. Even though the world is against drug abuse, some organizations and local governments actively advocate the legalization of drugs and promote policies such as “harm reduction” that accept drug use and do not help drug users to become free from drug abuse. This undermines the international efforts to limit the supply of and demand for drugs. “Harm reduction” is too often another word for drug legalization or other inappropriate relaxation efforts, a policy approach that violates the UN Conventions.

There can be no other goal than a drug-free world. Such a goal is neither utopian nor impossible. Too often, we seem to act according to what we think is possible, rather than what is necessary or desirable.

To achieve a drug-free world we declare

1. We support the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which stipulates in Article 33 that children have the right to be protected from drug abuse. All people, governments, and organizations should commit themselves to preventing drug abuse among young people. For example, we can do this by ensuring that schools are drug-free.

2. We all have the right to be free from drug abuse. Drug abuse and drug trafficking violate the human rights of the most vulnerable individuals – those whose free will has been compromised by addiction. Drug dependence is a modern form of slavery that robs drug users of their free will, condemns them to crippled lives and often premature deaths, creates massive social burdens and spreads drug-using behavior. All people have the right to expect their governments to protect them and their families from drug abuse and to have a life free of drug abuse.

3. A balanced policy of drug abuse prevention, education, treatment, law enforcement, research, and supply reduction provides the most effective plat form to reduce drug abuse and its associated harms.

4. We support and are guided by the 1961, 1971 and 1988 UN Drug Conventions and the resolution resulting from the 1998 UNGASS-meeting. The UN Conventions provide a good platform for international cooperation in fighting drug abuse.

5. We urge all people to work with their governments to strengthen, support, and encourage the UN drug control system that includes the Office of Drugs and Crime, the International Narcotics Control Board, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the Economic and Social Council, the World Health Organization, and other bodies, in order to reduce the global demand for and supply of illicit drugs.

6. The work of the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) and the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) are positive and essential in international drug demand and supply reduction.

7. We support the INCB statement in its 1993 report that drug demand reduction activities are crucially important in international drug policy and we call on governments to consider demand reduction as one of their first priorities in the fight against drug abuse.

8. We support the INCB statement that ‘harm reduction’ programmes are not substitutes for demand reduction programmes and should not be carried out at the expense of other important activities to reduce the demand for illicit drugs, such as drug prevention activities.

9. All forms of differentiation between so-called “soft” and so-called “hard” drugs must cease. Extensive research confirms that the use of cannabis is detrimental to health, causes crime, and is addictive. Cannabis, and certain other drugs regarded in some countries as “soft” should be viewed in the same way as other types of illicit/psychotropic drugs when it comes to control policy, rehabilitation and preventive measures.

10. Commercial outlets for illicit/psychotropic drugs, including coffee shops, and other open drug markets or drug scenes in Europe, must be closed immediately.

11. The so-called “medical” projects for distribution of heroin to drug addicts as a means of “harm reduction” are nothing but an attempt to legalize drugs through the “back door.” This must be prevented by authorising the United Nations to withdraw all import licenses for heroin intended for use by drug addicts.

12. We oppose so-called “shooting galleries” or injection rooms, where drug abusers can administer drugs. This practice violates the UN Conventions. It provides for the congregation of addicts, facilitates illicit drug trafficking, and promotes drug abuse. The so-called “medical trial” of injecting rooms is yet another example of trying to legalize drugs covertly. As an alternative, we call on governments to provide appropriate evidence-based treatment for drug abusers.

13. We denounce so-called “medical marijuana” policies where marijuana is used as a “medicine”, contrary to the Conventions, without such use first being approved by the competent regulatory authority of a nation and its usefulness recognized by the medical community.

14. We oppose all forms of legalization of illicit/ psychotropic drugs because such policies do not withstand critical evaluation, tend to run contrary to general experience and violate the Conventions. The term “legalization” can have any one of the following meanings: Total Legalization: All illicit drugs such as heroin, cocaine and marijuana would be legal and treated as commercial products. No government regulation would be required to oversee production, marketing, or distribution. Regulated Legalization: The production and distribution of drugs would be government regulated, with limits on the amount that can be purchased and the age of purchasers. There would be no criminal or civil sanction for possessing, manufacturing, or distributing drugs unless these actions violated the regulatory system. Drug sales could be taxed. Decriminalization: Decriminalization eliminates criminal sanctions for drug use and provides civil sanctions for the possession of drugs.

15. All drug abuse treatment should have the goal of making drug users drug-free. Treatment aimed at helping drug users to become drug-free should be expanded and readily available. Programs that keep addicts on drugs unnecessarily violate the human rights of addicts.

16. We condemn “drug zones” in cities where the drug laws are not enforced on small amounts of drugs for personal use.

17. We urge that governments and charities provide resources for drug abuse treatment for drug users, drug addicts, and their families.

18. We urge that governments and charities provide resources to make schools drug-free and that school administrators work with parents to make schools drug-free.

19. We urge that governments, charities, and businesses provide resources to make workplaces drug-free and that business management work with labor and unions to make workplaces drug-free.

20. We urge that governments provide resources to reduce drug-related crime, including drugged driving. We also urge that the criminal justice system use criminal sanctions, when appropriate, to deter drug use and alternatives to incarceration such as drug treatment courts, when appropriate, to deter and treat drug abuse.

21. We support an increase in advocacy work to increase funding and policy and legislation changes that support drug demand reduction and interdiction efforts.

22. We support the launch of a global network of organizations which are united behind the UN conventions.

23. We support the organization of regular, global drug-free world conferences in the future.

24. It is important to state that drug abuse greatly harms the developing countries. Drug abuse and drug trafficking destroy local cultures and hinder political and economic development. Drug abuse and drug trafficking impact most heavily on some of the poorest countries. The developed countries must reduce the demand for drugs and assist the developing countries in the fight against drug abuse and drug trafficking.


The Basic Principles of the World Federation Against Drugs

a. We support the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which stipulates in Article 33 that children have the right to be protected from drug abuse.

b. All people have the right to expect their governments and civil society to help them and their families to be free from drug abuse.

c. A balanced policy of drug abuse prevention, education, treatment, law enforcement, research, and supply reduction provides the most effective platform to reduce drug abuse and its associated harms.

d. We support the UN Drug Conventions of 1961, 1971 and 1988 because they provide for a unified and cooperative effort in fighting drug abuse.

e. All drug abuse programmes should have the goals of preventing drug use or of helping drug users be drug-free. Harm reduction programmes should not be carried out at the expense of other demand-reduction and deterrence and prevention programmes.

f. The misinformed classification of drugs as “soft” or “hard” must cease. Extensive research confirms that the use of cannabis, or any other illicit drug, is detrimental to health, causes crime, and has the potential to be addictive.

g. We oppose all forms of legalization for illicit/psychotropic drugs as such policies do not withstand critical evaluation, tend to run contrary to general experience, and violate the international U.N. Drug Conventions of 1961, 1971 and 1988.

h. Drug  abuse and trafficking greatly harms developing countries. The demand for drugs must be reduced throughout the world. Assistance must be provided to reduce drug use, abuse and trafficking in developing countries.

i. Women have equal rights to be free from drug related harms as they experience drug- related gender-based violence and other harms as a result of drug use. Women who seek treatment for drug use should have equal ability to gain access to and benefit from treatment.