The Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) is the annual gathering in Vienna of all United Nations member states to discuss and make decisions on a wide range of issues related to the global drug control system, and the work programme of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB). In March 2014, a UN High-Level Segment on Drugs will be held in Vienna.

  • On the road towards the 2019 Ministerial Segment

    IDPC Advocacy Note
    September 2018

    UN member states have agreed to hold a Ministerial Segment immediately prior to the 62nd Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) ‘to take stock of the implementation of the commitments made to jointly address and counter the world drug problem, in particular in the light of the 2019 target date’ set out to eradicate or significantly reduce the overall scale of the illegal drug market. This advocacy note outlines the key issues for consideration by member states as they reflect on what has been achieved since the adoption of the 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action, including in light of the implementation of the UNGASS Outcome Document, and the implications for the next phase of the international drug policy regime.

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  • “The drug market is thriving” while the Commission on Narcotic Drugs limps along

    The most tense and difficult negotiations revolved around the ‘modalities resolution’ for the preparations and procedure for the 2019 high-level “ministerial segment”
    Ann Fordham (IDPC)
    Sunday, April 8, 2018

    “The drug market is thriving” is one of the key messages in UNODC’s 2017 World Drug Report. This is an important admission from the UN’s lead agency for drugs given that it is now less than nine months away from 2019 – the current target date by which governments committed to “significantly reduce or eliminate” the global drug market within ten years. At last month’s annual gathering of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Vienna, the abysmal failure to be able to claim any progress whatsoever towards these so-called ‘drug-free’ targets was the backdrop to the latest round of tense negotiations on global drug control. 

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  • What comes next?

    Post-UNGASS options for 2019/2020 – Version 4
    IDPC Advocacy Note
    January 2018

    The 2016 UNGASS on drugs was hailed as an opportunity ‘to conduct a wide-ranging and open debate that considers all options’. Although the UNGASS process had some challenges, it was nonetheless a critical moment for global drug policy reform. In June 2017, the UN Secretary General welcomed the UNGASS Outcome Document as a ‘forward-looking blueprint for action’ and called on governments to ‘honour the unanimous commitments’ made.

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  • TNI at CND 2016: reports from Vienna

    Agreeing on an outcome document to be approved by the UN General Assembly at the 2016 UNGASS

    The Transnational Institute (TNI) attended the 59th session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna from the 14-22nd March. The CND negotiated the outcome document to be approved at the 2016 UNGASS on the world drug problem, to be held on April 19-21 in New York. This storify features tweets, blogs and news from the event. (See also: The UNGASS outcome document: Diplomacy or denialism?)

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  • The UNGASS outcome document: Diplomacy or denialism?

    Civil Society Statement

    Drug policy expertise and impacted communities from around the world express serious concerns about the preparations and already-drafted outcomes for the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the “world drug problem”. We call upon member states – especially those who have been shut out of the Vienna-based negotiations – to challenge the current draft of the UNGASS Outcome Document, to ensure the debate on its contents is not closed in Vienna, and to prepare statements expressing their disappointment and dissent at the UNGASS in April.

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  • The 2015 Commission on Narcotic Drugs

    Report of proceedings
    IDPC Briefing
    June 2015

    The international drug control regime is facing the most profound challenge of its existence. Member states have for some time been experimenting with new responses to the ‘world drug problem’; however, the advent of legally regulated cannabis markets has resulted in a ratcheting up of these challenges to expose the system to new levels of strain. With the 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the world drug problem fast approaching, how will the international community make use of the opportunity it provides for a free and open debate?

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  • Video report of the UN drug debate

    On the way to UNGASS 2016
    Drugreporter HCLU
    Wednesday, April 8, 2015

    This March, our video advocacy team attended the 58th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the largest drug policy gathering in the world, to find out how governments and NGOs feel about the prospects of drug policy reform. We produced a series of short thematic videos, to give you an overview of the current state of political debate on the burning issues of international drug control.

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  • Conditioning Alternative Development to previous eradication should be abandoned

    As long as the amount of hectares eradicated remains the main indicator for success, sustainable development loses
    Pien Metaal
    Statement at the 58th Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND)
    Thursday, March 12, 2015

    Conditioning Alternative Development (AD) participation to previous eradication should be abandoned as a policy, since it has proved to be counterproductive. As long as the amount of hectares eradicated remains the main indicator for success, sustainable development loses. The voice of the primary stakeholders will be represented in the preparations for UNGASS through the organisation of a Global Forum of Producers of Prohibited Plants. Their participation in the design and implementation of development policies are fundamental.

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  • TNI calls for a wide-ranging and open debate that considers all options at UNGASS 2016

    An open debate is no longer open when certain ideas for improvement are declared to be off-limit
    Martin Jelsma
    Statement at the 58th Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND)
    Wednesday, March 11, 2015

    Just over one year away from the 2016 UNGASS, denying the reality that the drug policy landscape has fundamentally changed and that tensions with the UN drug conventions are occuring, is no longer a credible option. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged member states to use the 2016 UNGASS on drugs "to conduct a wide-ranging and open debate that considers all options." TNI calls for a special advisory group that should be tasked with recommending how to better deal with the contentious issues following the 2016 UNGASS, in preparation for the next UN high-level review in 2019.

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  • WMA warns against making essential anaesthetic a controlled drug

    Scheduling ketamine would restrict its availability worldwide, which would lead to harmful impact on animal health and welfare, as well on public health
    WMA press release
    Friday, March 6, 2015

    The World Medical Association is urging its 111 member associations to lobby their governments to oppose scheduling the anaesthetic agent Ketamine as a controlled drug. The United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs is due to vote next Friday (March 13) on whether to schedule Ketamine because of concern about its use as an illicit recreational drug in many countries. But the WMA warns that if it is made a controlled drug, it would effectively prevent the drug’s use in many poor countries where it is the only alternative for short term pain relief in surgery.

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