Recap of the 67th Commission on Narcotic Drugs – Regular Sessions – March 18-22, 2024

WFAD actively partook in the 67th Commission on Narcotic Drugs Regular Sessions in Vienna, Austria from March 18th until 22nd. The week revolved around the plenary sessions, informal sessions, side events, and meetings with partners. This year, WFAD was honoured to [co-]host 10 side events and 1 luncheon and attended side events from their members also.

Below, we would like to share an overview of the week, including recordings from side events that were held in a hybrid format, exhibitions, and other activities.

Side Events

During the CND, WFAD [co-]hosted 11 side events out of which 5 were held in hybrid format.

The in-person only side events included:

  • Unveiling Gender Dynamics – Exploring Drug Dependence, Recovery, and Policy Matters in the Global Conversation Around Women by EURAD
  • A Global Position Paper on Recovery – United Voices for Drug Demand Reduction by Serbia Government
  • We Are All Together- Working on Drug Demand Reduction Strategies Through the Continuum of Care by Drug Free America Foundation
  • Responses to Synthetic Drugs – Areas for Action by Nusroto Al-Anashid Association
  • The Declaration of Oviedo -2024 Global Initiative on Drug Use Prevention by Association Proyecto Hombre

The hybrid events included:

  • Connecting Parallels – Reaching Milestones in Substance Use Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery through East African Network Partnerships by RECOVI – Watch the Recordings here
  • Achieving Social and Work Integration for Justice-Involved Individuals with Substance Use Disorders: Good Practices and Key Principles by San Patrignano Foundation
  • The Role of Youth Participation in Drug Policy and Drug Prevention by Pakistan Youth Organization
  • Normalisation of Substance Use on Digital Platforms and its Influence on Youth Lifestyle Choices by WFAD – Watch the Recordings here
  • Best Practices and Lessons Learned from Implementing Synthetic Drug Strategies by the Jordan Anti Drugs Society – Watch the Recordings here

Exhibitions

During the CND, WFAD as well as Drug Free America had set up two exhibition stalls. WFAD’s stall was in collaboration with Fourth Wave Foundation and So-Y in which the youth’s voices for prevention were highlighted, showcasing that children matter. DFAF’s stall was in collaboration with various partners, including Celebrate Recovery, united the voices of drug demand reduction by highlighting that we are all in this together.

Special Meetings/Other Activities

Global Initiative on Drug Use Prevention – Meeting with the Executive Director of UNDOC, Ghada Waly

The Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Excellency Ghada Waly, received a delegation of the Global Initiative on Drug Use Prevention “the Declaration of Oviedo” on Thursday, March 21.

In the framework of the 67th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna, the main proposals of the initiative were introduced to her, as well as the scope and development of this civil society-led global claim for governments to invest more in drug use prevention. The declaration is endorsed by more than 1,000 organizations from 98 countries.

The delegation was composed of Oriol Esculies from Spain representing the Asociación Proyecto Hombre and as global coordinator of the initiative, Augusto Nogueira from Macao SAR representing ARTM and Asia, Souraya Frem from Lebanon representing CDLL and the Middle East, Kasyrie Rogers from Uganda representing the World Federation Against Drugs and Africa and Sonja Phutachad Neef from New Zealand also representing the Asociación Proyecto Hombre and youth.

Luncheon

On Wednesday, March 20, DFAF, together with WFAD and the African Union, organised a luncheon in which they presented the global impacts of changing marijuana policies. Speakers of the luncheon included Amy Ronshausen (DFAF), Stig Erik Sorheim (EURAD), Yvonne Olando (NACADA), Edna Joseph (So-Y), and Abel Basutu (African Union). The speakers presented how the changing policies have fed into the normalisation of marijuana use, how normalisation has been widespread and targeted towards youth through advertisement, and the impacts it has on youth.

Informal Session with Executive Director UNODC Ghada Waly

During the CND, the Executive Director of UNODC, Ghada Waly, took an hour from her busy schedule to meet with Civil Society Organisations to answer their questions. A total of 4 WFAD member organisations posed their questions, including UYDEL, San Patrignano Foundation, Drug Policy Centre Sweden, and OPADEC. The questions were answered thoroughly and with enthusiasm reassuring that UNODC will continue its efforts in prevention and is looking into opening an office in the DRC in 2024.

Additional informal sessions with, for example, the WHO, CND Chair, INCB President, OHCHR, UNAIDS, and UNDP were also held in which WFAD members asked their questions.

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