Around the world, millions of people depend on the cultivation of coca, opium poppy and cannabis for basic subsistence. The 1961 Convention introduced strict controls on the cultivation of these plants and banned centuries-old traditional medicinal, cultural and ceremonial uses. The 1988 Convention reinforced those provisions, obliging states to eradicate illicit cultivation and to impose criminal sanctions.
The admission by UN's lead agency for drugs, the UNODC, that “the drug market is thriving” in its 2017 World Drug Report is an important one given that it is months away from 2019 – the target date by which governments committed to “significantly reduce or eliminate” the global drug market. At the recent annual gathering of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Vienna, this abysmal failure to claim any progress towards these ‘drug-free’ targets was the backdrop to the latest round of tense negotiations on global drug control.
From 16 to 18 October 2019, representatives of member states, intergovernmental organisations, and civil society attended the 6th Intersessional Meeting of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. On 17 October 2019, representatives of coca and opium growers from Colombia and Myanmar delivered statements highlighting the situation of communities involved in the illicit cultivation of coca and opium in both countries. Below are their full statements.
TNI’s work is in the news almost every working day of the year. Together with our partners, we enjoy wide coverage in national and international news outlets from around the world. Here are some of the highlights from 2020 of which we are particularly proud.
John Walsh, Ann Fordham, Martin Jelsma, Hannah Hetzer
22 September 2018
The "Global Call to Action" document that the U.S. government is circulating—and heavily pressuring reluctant countries to sign—is explicitly “not open for negotiation.” Far from an effort at achieving mutual understanding and genuine consensus, it is an instance of heavy-handed U.S. “with us or against us” diplomacy.
TNI's Prof. Dave Bewley-Taylor recently delivered a statement on how states can reconcile treaty obligations with democratically mandated policy shifts at the national level to a legally regulated cannabis market, with due regard for international law, and what role the International Narcotics Control Board can play in this process.
Prof John Ruggie has shared his comments on the Zero Draft treaty on TNCs and human rights on this blog earlier this month. His core concerns are that the zero draft has not adequately deal with ‘scale’ and ‘liability’. This response argues that Ruggie’s arguments in opposition to the binding treaty are misdirected and they fail to recognise the historic opportunity offered by the Human Right Council to create a human rights remedy system for corporate abuse across national boundaries.
David Bewley-Taylor, Tom Blickman, Martin Jelsma, John Walsh
03 April 2018
Ever since the introduction of Bill C-45, questions have been swirling concerning Canada’s position relative to the UN drug control conventions: conventions to which Canada is a party and that, crucially, prohibit the creation of regulated markets for the recreational use of cannabis.
Britain’s counter-terrorism policies do not work. They do not work for the British people, for the various communities in the UK whose experience of counter-terrorism has been one of stigmatisation and criminalisation, and they do not work for the people of the Middle East, South Asia and Africa whose human rights have been systematically violated in the War on Terror.
Ruth Blakeley, Ben Hayes, Nisha Kapoor, Arun Kundnani, Narzanin Massoumi, David Miller, Tom Mills, Rizwaan Sabir, Katy Sian, Waqas Tufail
03 September 2019
This report offers an account of the failures of current counter-terrorism policies, an analysis of the reasons why they do not work and an outline of a progressive alternative that we hope will be the basis for a future Labour government’s approach.
The international dimensions of Bill C-45 are of utmost importance not only for Canada itself but for many countries around the world that are moving in the direction of legally regulating the cannabis market
On 23 and 24 October, Norway will host the “Our Ocean” conference: An annual international conference that was initiated in 2014 by the US Department of State outside of any UN process. The people who live with and are surrounded by the ocean, and who are most affected by the deterioration of the marine environment, are not present in the conference panels: Fishers, coastal communities and first-affected by climate change indigenous groups.
The UK's labour party is inspiring grassroots and workers mobilisation and showing increasingly credible leadership. Its recent annual conference and the concurrently run World Transformed Festival give hope.