The fourth informal drug policy dialogue took place in Rome in cooperation with the Italian Ministry of Social Solidarity. The two-day dialogue had seven sessions focused on (1) New developments in the field of Harm Reduction; (2) Drugs and prisons; (3) Social spending of confiscated criminal assets; (4) Access to controlled medications; (5) Evaluating the UN drug control system and the 1998 UNGASS review; (6) Towards another control model for cannabis and a reassessment of the coca leaf?; and (7) What to expect from the UNGASS review process.
The first meeting of the Informal Dialogue on Drugs Policy in Latin America took place in Montevideo, Uruguay. The meeting had the support of the National Drugs Council in Uruguay (Junta Nacional de Drogas or JND). Twenty-five people took part from eight countries in Latin America, Europe and the US. Three sessions centred around: (1) Consumption of base paste and crack in the South of Latin America; scientific and political responses. (2) Overview of the UNGASS review and evaluation process for the period 2008/2009, and discussion of the contributions from the point of view and practices of Latin American countries. (3) The prison problem in the region associated with drug related crimes: realities, problems and proposals.
The 50th Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) was the last such event before the watershed year of 2008, when the international community will review progress against the objectives set at the General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS), held in New York in 1998. This CND was notable for a significant improvement in civil society involvement in the proceedings – there were a record 81 civil society delegates and NGO representatives included in government delegations. On the other hand, there were repeated moves by some country delegations to marginalise NGO involvement. The global consultation with NGOs to feed in to the UNGASS review process as formally launched.