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Global drug control norms will shift

Friday, February 27, 2015

Subject

Shift in the global fight against drugs.

Significance

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will convene a UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the World Drug Problem in 2016. The last UNGASS on the World Drug Problem was held in 1998. A ten-year review of global drug policies had previously been scheduled for 2019, but insistence by Mexico, Colombia and Nicaragua brought the session forward. Pro-reform countries are pushing to reframe UN drug policy around reducing social and economic harms of drugs, rather than eliminating their use.

Impacts

  • UN drug control policy is likely to be re-centred around development, human rights and health, as well as law enforcement.
  • After marijuana legalisation in some states, US authorities may reiterate their call for "flexibility" in interpreting UN drug conventions.
  • Harm reduction programmes that stem HIV/AIDS transmission among injecting drug users will gain increased international acceptance.
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