From 7-9 July, 2008, 300 delegates met in Vienna for the Beyond 2008 NGO Forum meant to provide civil society input for the 10-year UNGASS review. The goal was to produce a consensus statement on behalf of the global civil society to the high level governmental meeting of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), to be held in Vienna in March 2009. The Hungarian Civil Liberty Union (HCLU) produced a 10 minute video interviewing the participants.
Before the meeting the organizers granted the HCLU permission to use their camera, but on the second day the director of the Vienna NGO Forum asked us to stop filming at the plenary, on the request of an unnamed NGO that was concerned by being filmed. According to Peter Sarosi this NGO was the Partnership for a Drug Free America, known for its close governmental links in the United States, as well as its expensive but ineffective anti-drug ads. “After listening to their presentation and comments, I m not surprised that they don’t want to be seen on video,” says Sarosi. “Especially not because it was obvious from the first moment that they had an intimate working relation with a governmental observer, June Sivilli from the anti-drug office of the White House (ONDCP). See HCLU comments on the event.
Tom Blickman, TNI