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  1. A World with Drugs: Legal Regulation through a Development Lens (Webinar Series)

    09 September 2020

    Drugs are a development issue. Let’s stop pretending that they’re not.

  2. 7th GIZ/TNI Asian Informal Drug Policy Dialogue

    21 April 2016
    Report

    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.

  3. The problem of glyphosate spraying

    Pedro Arenas
    13 April 2015
    Article

    An article published recently in El Espectador commented on the two issues that underpin the Colombian discourse on the subject of drugs. To be precise, the government’s discourse is far from reflecting what goes on in practice, or the actions that are still being carried out in the country. Colombia is seen as the star pupil in complying with the United Nations drug treaties and it continues to do things that many other countries would avoid.

  4. Another UN agency savages the drug war

    George Murkin (Transform Blog)
    16 March 2015
    In the media

    The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN agency charged with developing strategies to reduce global poverty, has strongly criticised current international drug policy, highlighting the disastrous costs it is producing – particularly for the world’s poor. In the agency’s formal submission to the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs (PDF), launched at the annual UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs which began last week in Vienna, the UNDP argues:

  5. Myanmar returns to what sells: Heroin

    Thomas Fuller
    03 January 2015
    Article

    A decade ago, Myanmar seemed on course to wipe out the opium fields and heroin jungle labs along its eastern border, the notorious Golden Triangle. Today, valley after valley in these mist-shrouded mountains is covered with resplendent opium poppies, tended by farmers who perch on steep hillsides to harvest the plant’s sticky, intoxicating sap.

  6. gdpo2pb

    Drugs and development: The great disconnect

    • Julia Buxton
    31 December 2014

    This report argues that ‘drugs’ are a development issue and must be recognised as such by development agencies. The cultivation of opium poppy, coca leaf and cannabis for anything other than medical and scientific purposes is prohibited under the UN 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, as amended by the 1972 Protocol. However conditions of marginalisation and exclusion have sustained the cultivation of these low capital input/high yield drug crops. Poverty, insecurity and inequality also exacerbate the vulnerability of ‘bridge’ states to trafficking activities. These factors are development concerns requiring economic and political solutions.

  7. Exploring the Land-Drugs Nexus

    18 October 2014

    This conference will explore the nexus between land and drugs.

    Download Conference Agenda (PDF, 127KB)

  8. Bouncing Back

    • Ernestien Jensema, Martin Jelsma, Tom Kramer, Tom Blickman
    01 June 2014
    Report

    TNI's indepth examination of the illegal drug market in the Golden Triangle, which has witnessed a doubling of opium production, growing prison populations and repression of small-scale farmers. This report details the failure of ASEAN's 'drug free' strategy and the need for a new approach.

  9. Global Experiences with Harm Reduction for Stimulants and New Psychoactive Substances

    20 May 2014

    The objective of this seminar is to compare the findings on innovative tools for the prevention of problematic cocaine use patterns, with experiences with harm reduction measures for stimu­lants in other regions of world.

  10. First Southeast Asia Opium Farmers Forum

    02 July 2013

    In July 2013 TNI and Paung Ku organised the First Southeast Asia Opium Farmers Forum, bringing together some 30 representatives of local communities involved in opium cultivation and local community workers from the major opium growing regions in Southeast Asia: Chin, Kachin, northern and southern Shan, and Kayah States in Burma/Myanmar and Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh in Northeast India.

  11. brief41-bisbis

    Drugs as war economy and the peace process in Colombia: dilemmas and challenges

    • Ricardo Vargas
    28 October 2013

    The fourth item on the agenda of talks “to end the conflict,” on the issue of drugs, seems to reflect rather a flat and simplistic view of the classic circuit of drug production, processing, trafficking and use. The relationship between drugs and armed conflict in Colombia is in fact much more complex. This report analyses the challenges that drug trafficking poses to the development of a sustainable peace.

  12. sea-illicit_crops

    The first forum of growers of crops declared illicit in Southeast Asia

    Gloria Lai
    25 July 2013
    Article

    In July 2013, the Transnational Institute (TNI) in cooperation with Paung Ku (a consortium aimed at strengthening civil society in Myanmar) held the first Southeast Asia forum of growers of crops declared illicit in Yangon, Myanmar.  As a senior policy officer for the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), based in Bangkok and working primarily on drug issues in Asia, I took part to find out more about the situation faced by opium growers in the region. In the movement in support of drug policies more grounded in health and human rights, a lot of attention has been (justifiably) paid to establishing harm reduction approaches for people who use drugs.

  13. brief40

    The illicit drugs market in the Colombian agrarian context

    • Amira Armenta
    31 January 2013

    The distribution of land and its unjust use are the major causes of violence in Colombia. For this reason land issues are the starting point of current peace talks between the Santos government and the FARC guerrillas. Remedying these structural problems at the heart of rural Colombia is the best guarantee of progress of the current peace negotiations that could bring an end to a half-century-old violent conflict.

  14. Between Reality and Abstraction

    • Pien Metaal, Mirella van Dun, Hugo Cabieses Cubas, Sebastian Scholl
    31 December 2012
    Report

    At the International Conference on Alter­native Development (ICAD), held 15-16 November 2012 in Lima, the Peruvian Government continued to insist on the relevance of “Alternative Development (AD),” with particular emphasis on the so-called San Martín “miracle” or “model.” The model, started with the support of in­ternational cooperation, is proposed by Peru as a paradigm to be followed world­wide by regions and countries that also deal with problems associated with crops grown for illicit purposes.

  15. UN International Guiding Principles on Alternative Development: Part II

    Coletta Youngers
    20 November 2012
    Article

    The International Guiding Principles on Alternative Development approved last week at an international meeting in Lima, Peru, represents a lost opportunity to promote equitable economic development in some of the world’s poorest regions. The final document on the Guiding Principles bears little resemblance to the document that was originally drafted in November 2011 in Thailand by a group of more than 100 governmental and non-governmental experts.

  16. Valencia Declaration on Alternative Development

    09 November 2012
    Declaration

    Producers of crops declared illicit, such as opium, coca and cannabis, from throughout the world convened at the Observatory of Crops Declared Illicit (OCDI) in Valencia (Spain)

  17. An opportunity lost

    Pien Metaal
    09 November 2012
    Article

    At the International Conference on Alternative Development (ICAD), held in Lima from 14 to 16 November, the Peruvian Government supported by the UNODC claimed that currently in Peru the surface planted with alternative development crops is superior to the amount of coca, used for the production of cocaine. Allegedly, the 80 thousand hectares with cocoa and coffee have successfully replaced an illicit economy, or prevented it to establish itself.

  18. UN International Guiding Principles on Alternative Development

    Coletta Youngers
    08 November 2012
    Article

    In November 2011 I was invited by the Thai government to take part in an international delegation to develop a set of UN International Guiding Principles on Alternative Development. Our work began with a five-day journey along the Thai-Burma border to see first-hand the development programs that have been successful in virtually eliminating poppy production in that country. Over 100 government officials and experts from 28 countries visited the Thai “Royal Project,” which has research stations and development projects in five Northern provinces of the country.

  19. The impact of Alternative Development in Burma and Laos

    Ernestien Jensema
    25 October 2012
    Article

    At the Asia-Europe People’s Forum (AEPF) in Vientiane, Laos, from 16 to 19 October 2012, the Transnational Institute (TNI) organised a workshop on alternative development and crop substitution programmes in Northern Burma and Laos. The final declaration of the AEPF should also be looked upon as a helpful guideline for the International Conference on Alternative Development (ICAD) in Peru next month. TNIs Ernestien Jensema attended the workshop and reflects on its outcomes.

  20. Financing Dispossession - China’s Opium Substitution Programme in Northern Burma

    • Tom Kramer, Kevin Woods
    20 February 2012

    China’s opium crop substitution programme has very little to do with providing mechanisms to decrease reliance on poppy cultivation or provide alternative livelihoods for ex-poppy growers. Financing dispossession is not development.

     

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