The first week of March 2020 saw over 1000 participants consisting of government officials, representatives of international and regional organisations, civil society organisations and experts in the field of drug policy gather at the Vienna International Conference Center under the framework of the UNODC 63rd Convention on Narcotic Drugs (CND).
The CND provides a unique opportunity for partners and stakeholders, engaged in the field of drug policy, to gather and discuss the latest challenges, trends and achievements relating to demand and supply reduction as well as harm reduction and prevention. The forum also provides an inclusive platform that supports debate and discussion to address key issues relating to drug policy and international cooperation. Alongside the main plenary sessions, a number of awareness raising side-events are organised which enables projects to showcase their work and further facilitate dialogue and collaboration.
The Global Illicit Flows Programme (GIFP) was well represented this year with stands and side events organised by projects EU-ACT, CRIMJUST and ENACT. Representative team experts were able to deliver presentations and personally meet with CND participants in order to develop topics, conversations and relationships.
EU-ACT held four separate events concentrating on topics and activities concerning supply reduction, harm reduction and prevention: (1) Efficiency of treatment and rehabilitation interventions for drug dependants in prison, organised by the Government of Georgia and the European Union. (2) Harm reduction and rehabilitation programme for inmates in prison with mental and behavioural disorders due to use of psychoactive substances – Spain and Ukraine cooperation in the context of European Union cooperation programme, organised by the Government of Spain and Ukraine and the European Union ; (3) Partnership of police, health and civil society organisations in public health and public security in EECA, organised by the European Union and the UNODC Regional Programme Office for Eastern Europe ; (4)Modern approaches in countering new challenges and threats in the sphere of illicit drug trafficking in the Kyrgyz Republic, organised by the Government of Kyrgyzstan and the European Union. Know more about EU-ACT activities.
CRIMJUST presented the challenges and importance of regional and international cooperation along the cocaine supply chain. The presentation, entitled “Shared responsibility in addressing the cocaine threat along the supply chain” focused on initial and post seizure investigation, the continued investigation in support of effective prosecution and the dismantling of Drug Trafficking Organisations. The event, organised by the European Union, UNODC CRIMJUST, the UNODC Drug Research Section and the UNODC Regional Office for West and Central Africa saw a panel of experts, supported by representatives from Brazil and Senegal, present drug trafficking context as well as relevant and recent examples of positive case work. Know more about CRIMJUST activities.
ENACT tackled drug trafficking across Africa at their event “Drug Trafficking, demand and use patterns in Africa and policy Implications” whilst also showcasing their latest research paper entitled “From the Maskani to the Mayor: the political economy of heroin markets in East and Southern Africa”, a publication that highlights the impact of the heroin trade via the southern route on the local and regional economy in East and Southern Africa. Know more about ENACT activities and read more publications.
The GIFP side events generated great interest, were well attended and demonstrated the EU’s continued commitment to working relentlessly to address the global drug situation, using all the instruments available: legislation, policies, operational action, and cooperating with international partners.