CADCA Publisher March 29, 2017

A CADCA Perspective on the Commission on Narcotic Drugs Conference

The Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) was established in 1946 to assist the Economic and Social Council in supervising the “application of the international drug control treaties.” Now, the CND meets annually when it considers and adopts a range of decisions and resolutions. This year marks the 60th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, held in Vienna, Austria from March 13 – 17 and CADCA made the trip to the land of Beethoven, Mozart and the Alps.

Joined by fellow CADCA staff members Eric Siervo, Irina Broughton and Sue Thau, we flew to Austria for my first attendance at the conference. During the four-day conference, we listened attentively to numerous panels and plenary sessions about the state of the global drug field from the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC), the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Secretary-General and we heard views that ran counter to our foundational view of “Prevention.” 

Countless initiatives and resolutions were also discussed:  including substance abuse specific proposals such as the “Implementation of the Political Declaration and Plan of Action on International Cooperation towards an Integrated and Balanced Strategy to Counter the World Drug Problem,” which aims to demand reduction and related measures. The proposal will promote scientific evidence-based community, family and school programs and strategies for the purpose of preventing drug use among children and adolescents, in alignment with our own goals and mission at CADCA. The global reach of initiatives such as this and others discussed can make a real impact on not only substance abuse, but the bigger picture of drug trafficking, manufacturing and distribution.

During the week, I had the opportunity to speak with United Nations Office on Drug and Crime Director Yury Fedotov about the state of the field and what we can and must do to improve prevention efforts across the world.

The experience was one of a kind. To witness the passion and drive from countries across the world – each bringing their own perspective and experiences, was awe-inspiring. In a word, the experience was transformative.

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