Talking Points on International Drug Policy and UNGASS 2016

All our efforts to respond to drug abuse and tackle drug trafficking and production must be within the framework of the three international drug conventions, in full compliance with human rights standards and norms;
  • Human rights
An integrated response to the drug problem should consider alternatives to criminalization of drug use and incarceration of people who use drugs including those with drug use disorders and focus criminal justice efforts on those involved in supply of drugs, for example trafficking and diversion.
  • Alternatives to punishment
The most vulnerable in the chain of production and trafficking must benefit from development opportunities that include the creation and strengthening of effective alternative livelihoods, access to opportunities and other social welfare services;
  • Development/SDGs

2. Countering the drug problem in full compliance with human rights standards and norms requires an emphasis on the underlying spirit of the existing drug conventions, which is about health protection;
  • Human rights

3. Implementation of the drug conventions has been uneven and imbalanced. Human rights must be respected as the problems related to illicit drugs are addressed;
  • Human rights

4. A better approach to implementing the conventions could be to balance supply and demand reduction strategies, giving public health, prevention and treatment of drug use disorders, and access to controlled medicines for medical purposes more attention, in line with human rights standards.
  • Access to controlled medicines

5. Only an integrated development, security, public safety, policing, governance, public health, and human rights centered approach can effectively address the challenges posed by the world drug problem;
  • Human rights

12. The right balance means that access to controlled medicines for the relief of pain and suffering should be ensured in all cases while preventing their diversion and abuse;
  • Access to controlled medicines

13. A public health response to drug use and drug use disorders includes implementation of interventions to reduce drug-related risks of transmission of HIV and other infections;
  • Harm reduction

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This was produced as a contribution for the 2016 UNGASS by the UN Task Force, established as a coordination and engagement mechanism for all relevant UN agencies. The Task Force, however, has been relatively dormant throughout the UNGASS process.