Ahead of the annual meeting of the UN Commission on Narcotics Drugs next week, Italian NGOs have sent an open letter to the government, urging it not to repeat the mistakes of the past and to stand up for European and humane drug policies.
2009: High Level Segment of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Vienna. The Berlusconi government breaks the European front, preventing a unified EU position in favour of harm reduction and less repressive policies. Italy is a champion of the “war on drugs”, against most other EU member states and against the will of the majority of civil society organisations.
2016: UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on Drugs, New York. The Renzi government, following the action of the NGOs working for drug policy reform, is in favour of less repressive and more social and health oriented drug policies, to mitigate the impact of prisons and ensure respect for human rights. Italy takes a first step to returning to the European front, and hopes for an open debate, invoking the need for an assessment of current policies based on evidence.
2019: High-Level Meeting, Vienna. What will be Italy’s contribution to the debate on the impact of global drug policies and the disastrous effects of the war on drugs?
On March 12, 2018, in Vienna, the 61st session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) will prepare the discussion for the 2019 High-Level Meeting. Italian NGOs are now asking the government to align itself with the common EU position, that is, to continue the open debate about the future of drug control that was initiated at the UNGASS.
The letter is signed by Forum Droghe (member of the Civil Society Forum on Drugs and ECOSOC members), Parsec Consortium (member of Civil Society Forum on Drugs), and LILA – Lega Italiana per la Lotta contro l’Aids (member of the HIV/AIDS Civil Society Forum). It is supported by Associazione Luca Coscioni, La Società della Ragione, Cgil Nazionale, CNCA (Coordinamento Nazionale Comunità di Accoglienza), Antigone, Itardd (Rete Italiana Riduzione del Danno), Legacoopsociali, and Comunità San Benedetto al Porto.
Posted by Peter Sarosi