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.
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.
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.
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.
Investment protection and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms are perhaps the most contentious aspects of TTIP and CETA. These mechanisms provide foreign investors with the right to sue the EU or its Member States in private tribunals over potential losses in profit due to current or new public welfare regulations.
A Dutch economic trade mission visited Indonesia from the 21st to the 24th of November. Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who heads the mission, is accompanied by Minister Ploumen (Foreign Trade and Development), Minister Schultz van Haegen and State Secretary Dijksma (Infrastructure and Environment).
Armed drones have created a top-down view of the world, in which military officials and politicians assert an ideology of inherent superiority over subjugated, racialised people — or even dehumanised non-people — far beneath the drone's gaze. But as the technology becomes cheaper and accessible, activists are starting to use drones to turn the gaze back on the oppressors.
Cannabis use has never posed major problems in Indonesia, yet prohibitionist policies prevail. Despite the high prevalence of cannabis use, local or national discussions on cannabis policies are nearly non-existent, exacerbated by strong anti-drug views and public institutions' failure to design and implement comprehensive policies based on evidence.
The new publication ‘Connecting Smallholders to Markets’ supports advocacy efforts by social movements on market issues by making the recommendations adopted at the Committee on World Food Security more understandable and accessible.