In November 2018, the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination adopted the ‘UN system common position supporting the implementation of the international drug control policy through effective inter-agency collaboration’, expressing the shared drug policy principles of all UN organisations and committing them to speak with one voice.
Multistakeholderism has become a new buzzword for global governance, shaping standards for products, setting the rules for global initiatives and increasingly entering every arena of global governance including the UN. They are driven by transnational corporations to consolidate power and profits and have disturbing implications for democracy, accountability and for communities most affected by corporate human rights violations.
This briefing aims to deepen discussion on the Belt and Road Iniatiative (BRI) in Myanmar. The BRI is often described as a ‘grand strategy’ led by President Xi Jinping, centrally planned and rolled out by obedient state-owned enterprises (SOEs). The sheer size of the initiative – 136 countries have received US$90 billion in Chinese foreign direct investment and exchanged US$6 trillion in trade with China - can make the BRI appear monolithic and inevitable. However, using a political economy analysis, this briefing demonstrates that the BRI is not a grand strategy, but a broad framework of activities that seek to address a crisis in Chinese capitalism. An examination of four BRI projects in Myanmar using Chinese language sources shows the extent of lobbying by Chinese SOEs and the Yunnan provincial government to promote the projects, with support from the central Chinese government.
In July 2016, the Colombian government enacted Law 1787, which regulates the use of medicinal cannabis and its trade in the country. With this decision and a series of subsequent resolutions, Colombia joined the more than a dozen countries that have put into practice different types of regulation to explore the advantages of this plant as an alternative pharmaceutical.
No stakeholder-based global governance system comes close to matching the democratic legitimacy of a citizen-based and nation-state-based governance system, but there are ways global governance can and should be reformed.
In order to better understand the situation around, and possibilities for, local and regional cannabis regulation, a series of six country reports were developed. The country reports provide detailed information about the state of cannabis policy, and the possibilities for change, within each country. This briefing identifies some of the key findings and implications for policy makers and advocates from this research.
John Walsh, Martin Jelsma, Tom Blickman, David Bewley-Taylor
19 March 2019
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD or Expert Committee) released in January 2019 the outcomes of the first-ever critical review of cannabis, recommending a series of changes in the current scheduling of cannabis-related substances under the UN drug control conventions.
Over the past decade, methamphetamine use has grown more popular in Myanmar, Thailand and Southern China. Based on in-depth interviews conducted with individuals who use methamphetamine, this briefing sheds light on the importance of promoting an environment that reinforces, rather than undermines, the ability of people who use methamphetamine to regulate their drug use, preserve their health and adopt safer practices.
For most farmers and their families, opium cultivation is a means of survival, especially in the context poverty, insecurity, and repression. This film sensitively portrays the lives of two opium farming families in Myanmar and sheds light on their plight.
Cities accumulate capital, people, aspirations, and power. But, whose power? Whose aspirations? How can we find in the city a place of possibility? Laura Flanders introduces TNI's Transformative Cities programme in Amsterdam during June 2018.
The voice of communities involved in illicit cultivation had long been excluded from policymaking platforms. However, thanks to growing networks such as the Myanmar Opium Farmers Forum, more and more farmers have gained more space to provide input to drug policy discussions at the UN level.
Countries that embrace legal regulation find themselves in breach of international law. In this video, we explain a strategy to resolve those treaty tensions and to enable progressive and sustainable change at the global level.
On 28 May 2018, the Transnational Institute and the Epicurus Foundation co-hosted the second edition of the “The Transparent Chain,” a conference on transparent cannabis supply chains in Utrecht, Netherlands.
Where would you mark Europe's border? Would it include Bangladesh? This video introduces the EU's policy of border externalisation and why it should concern all those who care about democracy, human rights and development.
Industrial fishing, from deep sea trawling to coastal fish farms, is damaging the environment and emptying our oceans. But there is an alternative. Small-scale fishers around the world rely on traditional methods and practices, working in harmony with the environment to feed themselves and their communities. Around the world they are rallying around the idea of food sovereignty and the vision of a global food system with with food producers and human rights at its center.
As a growing number of countries move towards legal regulation for non-medical cannabis, governments are pushing the boundaries of the three UN drug control treaties. At the 61st session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), TNI co-organised a side event to explore the issue, addressing the various challenges and opportunities involved.
Martin Jelsma, Neil Boister, David Bewley-Taylor, Malgosia Fitzmaurice, John Walsh
15 March 2018
Legal tensions are growing within the international drug control regime as increasing numbers of member states move towards or seriously consider legal regulation of the cannabis market for non-medical purposes. Amongst reform options not requiring consensus, inter se modification appears to be the most ‘elegant’ approach and one that provides a useful safety valve for collective action to adjust a treaty regime arguably frozen in time.