These are interesting times for drug law reform, which, as it gathers pace, is asking important questions of international law. A UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs is set for 2016 just as national reforms are challenging international treaties that form the bedrock of a global prohibition regime that has dominated since the turn of the twentieth century. States parties to the three UN drug control conventions must now confront the legal and political dilemmas this creates. This is the situation in which the US now finds itself following cannabis reforms in various states that are at odds with these treaties.
An October statement on drug control from the US State Department has prompted much comment and speculation at home and abroad. Delivered by Ambassador William Brownfield, the ‘Brownfield Doctrine’, as it has been named by some commentators, lays out a four pillar approach the United States will follow in matters of international drug control.
TNI and the Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power & Stop Impunity of TNCs participates with a number of other global networks and alliances in the launch of a Treaty Alliance campaigning for a Binding Treaty on TNCs.
Key activities of the Treaty Alliance during May-June 2014 include:
Advocacy with national governments - members of the UNHRC
Preparation of Written and Oral Statements to UNHRC (these come on stream later in May)
Co-Convening Week of Mobilisation in Geneva (June 23-27) including a Permanent People's Tribunal (PPT)
Hearing on Necessity for a Binding Treaty (June 23) &
March & Impunity Tour in Geneva (June 25)
as well as a number of Side Meetings during the UNHRC Session.
UN’s International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) unprecedented condemnation of the use of death penalty for drug-related offences is welcome if long overdue. The bigger question is whether INCB’s consideration of human rights can be extended into a proper human rights and evidence-based examination of UN’s entire drug control regime.
Carbon trading, or the trading of permits to pollute, is a market-based approach for reducing carbon emissions which is deeply flawed, ineffective and unjust. Seeking to turn carbon in the atmosphere into a privatised commodity has created markets susceptible to corporate pressure, distracted from the systemic changes needed to convert our economies, and inflicted injustices on marginalised communities in North that become trapped in pollution hotspots and peasant communities in the South who have been dispossessed of land and livelihoods in the name of climate action.
TNI hosted the International Network for the Abolition of Foreign Bases in the early 2000s until funding ran out. However movements against foreign bases around the world continue to actively resist the occupation of their lands. This collection archives some relevant research and materials.
Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) are intended to regulate the commercial investment relationships between two countries. These are supposed to facilitate trade and investment by providing security for investments. However, it is common practice for BITS to establish ISDS mechanisms that allow for transnational companies to sue the states in which they operate based on a very broad interpretation of damage to investments. This has led to a surge in litigations against states and prompted a growing number of governments to seek to cancel or amend existing BITs.
Alternative Development programmes, aimed at encouraging peasants to switch from growing illicit drugs-related crops, play an important role in UN drug control strategies. The record of success, however, is a questionable one. Decades of efforts to reduce global drug supply, using a combination of developmental and repressive means, managed to shift production from one country to another, but have failed in terms of global impact. TNI argues for de-linking alternative development from the threat of forced eradication and law enforcement and guaranteeing peasants the support required for a sustainable alternative future.