From 15 to 18 November 2018, the Transnational Institute (TNI) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) jointly organised the 10th Asian Informal Drug Policy Dialogue (IDPD). It was organised in collaboration with the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control (CCDAC) of Myanmar and held at Inle Lake, Southern Shan State, Myanmar.
The eleventh Informal Drug Policy Dialogue took place in Athens. Topics amongst others were the national drug policy and drug situation in Greece, current affairs in Vienna, global cannabis policy developments and the upcoming UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs in 2016.
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.
The ninth Latin America informal drug policy dialogue was devoted to "dilemmas in regulation of the cannabis market." The two-day dialogues were structured around seven sessions: (1) The Uruguayan proposal for cannabis regulation: dilemmas and challenges. (2) Current models of regulation: United States, Spain and the Netherlands. (3) The fine art of regulation: state monopoly vs. self-regulated market which works better and for whom? (4) Addressing cross-border differences and market mobility. (5) Tensions between cannabis regulation and international drug-control treaties: What options do governments have? (6) Cannabis reforms under way in Latin America. (7) Strategy and paths to reform: scenarios and next steps.
The meeting is hosted by the Orthodox Academy in Kolymbari (Crete). The thirty participants include ministerial officials from several countries, representatives from UN and European institutions, and non-governmental drug policy experts. The two-day dialogue was focused on three themes: (1) explore common ground within a set of general parameters by which 'best practice' or effective drug policy is judged not on dogma or on moral principle but on scientifically evaluated, empirical evidence; (2) the policy debate on cannabis; (3) harm reduction developments at the regional and UN level; and (4) supply reduction.
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 third Informal Drug Policy Dialogue was co-hosted by the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health. Participants, most of whom are actively involved in policy, included over forty people from 21 countries, six inter-governmental organisations, five international NGOs and several academics. The two-day dialogue had four sessions focused on (1) the effectiveness of law enforcement in supply reduction, (2) recent developments around HIV/AIDS and harm reduction, (3) Bolivia and legal options for the coca leaf and (4) preparations for the 2008 UNGASS Review. In addition, participants were invited to visit the Bern city drug injection facility, where managers explained how the facility functioned and gave a guided tour of the premises.
The fifth informal drug policy dialogue took place in Berlin in cooperation with the German Federal Health ministry. The principal focus of the meeting was the UNGASS review process, the Political Declaration to be adopted at the next CND meeting in March 2009 and future goals in international drug policy. Discussion also took place on the outcomes of the five Working Groups held between June and September as part of the period of “global reflection” and the preparations for the high level segment to be held on the first two days of the 52nd CND session from 11-20 March 2009.
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.
The sixth meeting was held near Buenos Aires and was organized by WOLA and TNI, and sponsored by the Argentine Government through the Chief of Cabinet and its Scientific Advisory Committee with the support of Intercambios. Participants included people involved in the reform processes of national and international legal instruments related to drug issues. Debates centered on three key areas: (1) Reforms in policies regarding the prevention and treatment of problematic use of substances; the future of Harm Reduction programs in Latin America; (2) Decriminalization of possession; limits to and extent of current penal reforms; and (3) Legal reforms in the international arena: the case of the coca leaf.
The fifth meeting of the Informal Drug Policy Dialogues in Latin America took place in Rio de Janeiro, and was organized by WOLA and TNI, in cooperation with the Department of Mental Health of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Justice of Brazil. The discussion focused on the UNGASS review process and the Political Declaration to be adopted at the high-level segment of the 52nd session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna on March 11-12, 2009. The dialogue focused on three key issues: (1) Latin American Perspectives on the Political Declaration; (2) The Effectiveness of the Conventions: The Case of Latin America; and (3) Human Rights and Policies Related to Drug Law Enforcement.
The fourth meeting in the series of Informal Drug Policy Dialogues in Latin America was held in Cochabamba and was organised by WOLA and TNI with the support of the Government of Bolivia, in coordination with CONALTID (Ministry of Foreign Relations). People who are directly or indirectly involved in the debates on current policies participated in the meeting. Three sessions covered the following topics: (1) Progress and Challenges in the UNGASS Review Reflection Period; (2) Coca Leaf and Integrated and Sustainable Development: What are the options for the future? (3) No Escape? The Prison Problem and Drug Policy in Latin America: proposals for change.
The third meeting of the Informal Dialogue on Drug Policy in Latin America took place in Quito and was organized with the support of the Ministry of Internal and External Security and the Ministry of Government of Ecuador. It focused on the evaluation of the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on Drugs in 2008 and 2009, and the high level meeting of the Commission on Narcotics Drugs (CND) in March 2009. The dialogue had four sessions: (1) From the Andean Initiative to Plan Colombia (1989-2005); (2) Perspectives for Latin America in the 2008 – 2009 UNGASS review; (3) Criminal justice, the prison system and drugs: a human rights perspectives; (4) Proposals and strategies for the 2008-2009 reflection period and for the UNGASS review.
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 eleventh Informal Drug Policy Dialogue took place in Athens, co-organised by TNI and Diogenes Association. The programme incuded five sessions: (1) an overview of the national Greek drug policy and the drug situation in Greece, developments in drug policy in Greece; (2) the current state of affairs in Vienna; preparations for the CND high-level review and negotiations of the joint Ministerial Statement;(3) global cannabis policy developments; (4) the control of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) ; (5) the road towards the upcoming UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS on drugs) in 2016 has been discussed.
The seventh meeting of the Informal Drug Policy Dialogue series, a joint initiative of the Andreas Papandreou Foundation and the Transnational Institute was co-hosted by the Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sports and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. The two-day dialogue focused on several themes: law enforcement, human rights and proportionality of sentences; the classification of controlled substances; current developments of the Dutch drugs policy; and various UN-level drug policy developments and preparations for the upcoming CND.
The ninth meeting of the TNI/ Diogenis Informal Drug Policy Dialogue series took place in Prague. The aim of the dialogues is to provide a platform for professionals to discuss drug policy issues. Four themes were discussed: the European Union (EU) drug policy agenda, cannabis policy reform, the future of the UN drug control conventions and the upcoming 55th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. This report highlights the main issues covered during each of the sessions.
The sixth meeting of the Informal Drug Policy Dialogue series took place in Kolymbari-Chania, Crete, at the same venue where the dialogue series began in 2004. Over 35 people attended, approximately one-third policy makers and two-thirds representatives of non-governmental organizations or academic institutions. Four themes were covered over the two days: the 52nd Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), including the High Level Segment (HLS) and its Political Declaration; drug law reform, law enforcement and supply reduction; UN system-wide coherence; and the UNGASS review process and the Informal Drug Policy Dialogues.
The seventh meeting of the Informal Drug Policy Dialogues in Latin America took place in Montevideo, Uruguay. The first Informal Dialogue also took place in Montevideo in September 2007. The meeting was supported by Uruguay’s National Drug Board (Junta Nacional de Drogas, or JND). The two days of dialogue were divided into four sessions that centered on the following issues: (1) Micro-trafficking and proportionality of sentences; (2) Challenges to reforming drug policies; (3) Marijuana in Latin America: Has the time come to open the debate?; and (4) Options and debates in international and regional organizations. There was also a discussion on the impact of the decriminalization of drug consumption in Portugal.