The 48th session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), 7-11 March 2005 in Vienna, was plagued by controversy about the legitimacy of harm reduction policies. Ending in stalemate, guidance for UNODC to operate in this field remains ambiguous. In June, at the Programme Coordinating Board (PCB), a consensus was reached regarding a mandate for UNAIDS to be involved in needle exchange programmes and other harm reduction activities among injecting drug users. What options are available to clarify UNODC’s mandate in this area and more in general to achieve a breakthrough in policy dilemmas that surfaced recent years at the UN level.
The empire seems unassailable, but the empire is weak—and precisely because of its imperial ambitions. So argues Walden Bello in his provocative new book, which systematically dissects the strategic, economic, and political dilemmas confronting America as a consequence of its quest for global domination.
The second Informal Drug Policy Dialogue was co-hosted by the Department for Drug Strategic Affairs of the Hungarian Ministry of Youth, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. The two-day dialogue was focused on three themes: (1) harm reduction developments at the regional and UN level; (2) alternative development: dilemmas around coca and opium reduction efforts; and (3) preparations for the 2008 UNGASS review. Participants had the opportunity to exchange information and make comments from their own perspective on developments in these policy areas. The aim was to come to workable suggestions and ideas that could be used in the ongoing debate.