The Transnational Institute (TNI) attends the 59th session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna from the 14-22nd March. This storify features tweets, blogs and news from the event. Our team in Vienna includes Martin Jelsma, Pien Metaal and Tom Blickman.
TNI and the Global Campaign to Reclaim Peoples Sovereignty, Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity were present at the World Social Forum to meet with partners and allies and develop analyses and strategies of mobilisation on Corporate Impunity, Public Alternatives, and Free Trade and Investment Agreements.
The 7th GIZ/TNI Asian Informal Drug Policy Dialogue was organised in collaboration with the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD) of the Cambodian Government. Key issues on the agenda were recent trends in the drug market in the region and the development of effective policy responses. Specific attention went to the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Alternative Development in the Asian context, including in the implementation of alternative development programmes in conflict areas. The involvement of affected communities in policy making and project implementation was another important theme that was discussed. A major aim of the dialogue was to look at the state of the Asian drug policy before UNGASS 2016.
Applications are invited for the Young Researchers Program, a mentorship programme, offered by the Hands On the Land Alliance (HOTL) together with Transnational Institute, FIAN International and Friends of the Earth International. This programme enables young engaged scholars and activists to strengthen their capacities around understanding food sovereignty and the human right to food, including opportunities for peer-to-peer learning, benefiting from the experience of mentors, and the opportunity to attend two main events as part of the research process.
The New Urban Agenda will be adopted in the UN-Habitat Conference III in Quito, Ecuador in October 2016. Water Justice groups submitted the proposals to the Global Water Operators Partnerships Alliance (GWOPA) secretariat, which coordinates a consultation for Water for Water Stakeholders Stakeholders.
Drug users from Kachin came together last November to discuss the challenges and difficulties they experience and identify possible solutions to their problems. Read their statement and recommendations.
Representatives of the governments of Austria, France, Finland, Germany and the Netherlands (AFFGN) tabled a proposal, in April, to establish “a multilateral agreement among the [EU] Member States […] which would replace and supersede pre-existing intra-EU BITs”. With this proposal, all EU investors would effectively be able to sue any member state at an international tribunal when they feel government regulations have undermined their (future) profits. This proposal undercuts the very basis of the European Union and is the best example of how the EU has become a vehicle for business rights at the expense of democracy.
Many countries continue to incarcerate and criminalise people for possession or use of drugs, with criminalisation alone undermining employment, education and housing opportunities. In addition, many people who use drugs are often subject to human rights abuses by the state in jurisdictions which continue to criminalise them. The continued targeting of this group has not only a negative impact on the individuals in question, but their families and broader society as a whole.
UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation is preparing a report on development cooperation and the human rights to water and sanitation. The focus of the report will be on the human rights obligations of bilateral and multilateral donors in extending grants and loans, providing technical and programming support and policy advice to developing countries. The report will examine existing policies and their guidance on human rights to explore to what extent existing policies and approaches reflect human rights and how these are implemented in practice. The Special Rapporteur, Leo Heller encouraged civil society organisations to answer the guided questions. The undersigned water justice organisations submitted the following contribution to the Special Rapporteur.
TNI's fifth annual State of Power 2016 report explores the intersect of power and democracy. Featuring prominent activists and academics, its essays feature the long battle between economic power and popular democracy, expose the different powers seeking to undermine democracy today, and tell the stories of radical popular democratic alternatives emerging worldwide.
The voices of affected communities involved in the cultivation of coca leaf, opium poppy and cannabis plants are lacking in the global debate on drug policy reform in general and were at risk of being excluded from the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) 2016 on The World Drug Problem.
The UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs – held in New York in April 2016 – was hailed as an opportunity for the international community ‘to conduct a wide-ranging and open debate that considers all options’. Although the UNGASS was characterised by many shortcomings and disappointments, it was nonetheless a critical moment for global drug policy reform.
The Transnational Institute proudly presents the first issue of Dynamo, a monthly and bilingual (English and Spanish) review of current debates and new ideas on international politics and economics. Dynamo is jointly published by TNI, la diaria (a Uruguayan newspaper run by a cooperative of journalists and media workers) and a collective of Latin American scholar-activists.
Europe’s young and aspiring farmers will face increasing barriers to entry as land is rapidly concentrated in relatively few big farms. Land is even more unevenly distributed than wealth. A steep decline in Europe’s small farms is underway with damaging consequences for food security, employment, and development.