66th Commission on Narcotic Drugs – Recap

Between March 13th and 17th, we, the World Federation Against Drugs, attended the 66th Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna, Austria, at the office of the United Commission on Narcotic Drugs and Crime. The week revolved around plenary sessions, bilateral meetings, side events, networking, and more. It was a fruitful week in which we were able to meet many of our members, gain knowledge from partners and through side events, share our goals and evidence-based material with international drug policy stakeholders, and conduct meetings.

We would like to share an overview of the week below.

Monday, March 13th

The first day of the CND included a VNGOC briefing as well as the opening of the plenary. In the evening, our Secretary General joined the Open House Discussion by Women without Borders on the topic of Fighting for Peace, focusing on the harsh, yet silent realities on the ground for survivors of GBV and addressing the pressing question, ‘why aren’t we moving forward?’.

VNGOC Briefing
Opening Plenary Session
Open House Discussion by Women Without Borders

Tuesday, March 14th

On March 14th, we co-sponsored various side events:

  • Synthetic Drugs Strategies and Vulnerable Populations: Strategies for Protecting Youth and Women (Main organiser: the Jordan Anti-Drug Society)
  • Data-Driven Prevention Programmes for Youth, Sports, Family Organisations, Community Included (Main organiser: Rotarian Action Group Addiction Prevention)
  • Advancing Effective Strategies in the Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery of Women (Main organiser: DFAF) – Recordings
  • Improving Multidisciplinary Approach Towards People Who Use Drugs and People in Recovery in Western Balkan Countries (Main organiser: Serbia)
  • Examples of Public-Private Partnerships Promoting Social Integration of Justice-Involved Individuals with Substance Use Disorders (Main organiser: San Patrignano)

Additionally, we had a collaborative stand during the whole week in which the Pathways of Recovery Exhibition was showcased as well as the So-Y Group. We also had the honour to meet with Minister Josephine Teo Li Min from Singapore.

Our President, Amy Ronshausen, meeting Minister Josephine Teo Li Min
Stand showcasing the Recovery Pathways as well as So-Y
One of the side events, in which the director of the EMCCDA shared a brief positive remark

Wednesday, March 15th

On Wednesday, we co-organised the following side-events:

  • The Impact of Drugs on Children and Youth: Effective Responses (Main organiser: Association Proyecto Hombre)
  • Tackling Stigma in Treatment and Recovery (Main organiser: EURAD)
  • Challenges Women with Drug Use Are Faced With and the Need for Customised Treatment Services (Main organiser: Al Najm)

We also attended the informal dialogue with the Executive Director of the UNODC, Ghada Waly, and participated in the VNGOC ad-hoc Youth Working Group

Informal Dialogue with Ghada Waly
VNGOC ad-hoc Youth Working Group
The panel of the side event organised by EURAD

In the evening, the VNGOC hosted a 40th-anniversary reception in the City Hall of Vienna. Here, the Mayor of Vienna had invited civil society to gather and various speakers, including the [previous] chairs of the VNGOC, shared the importance of civil society and the bridge the VNGOC has established towards Member States.

Thursday, March 16th

On Thursday, we organised our side event as well as co-organised others:

  • Innovations in Recovery – Strength-Based Approaches to Challenge Barriers and Improve Outcomes for Vulnerable Populations (Main Organiser: Celebrate Recovery)
  • Peer Leaders – Catalyst for Change, Mirrors of Hope (Main organiser: SANA)
  • Building Tomorrow’s Leaders! Advocacy, Professional Development, and Capacity Strengthening Among Youth (Main organiser: WFAD)Recordings

We also co-hosted the luncheon, together with DFAF and the African Union, on the ‘Impacts of Marijuana Legalisation in the United States: What you need to know. The luncheon was well attended by Member States, International Institutions, and Civil Society representatives.

Side event organised by WFAD
Luncheon by DFAF, WFAD, and the African Union
Group picture of partner organisations

Friday, March 17th

On Friday, we co-hosted the event titled: Sexual and Reproductive Health Integration and Mainstreaming in Programs that Target Disadvantaged Women from Vulnerable Population Groups: The Case of Substance Abuse Treatment and Harm Reduction Programs by Rebirth Charity Society.

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