HCLU's European Drug Policy Initiative this year took the form of grant-aiding a group of European journalists to cover on location the high-level meeting of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna.
This year, government representatives gathered at the high-level segment of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) to undertake the mid-term review of the 2009 Political Declaration, whose aim was to eliminate or significantly reduce demand for, and supply of, drugs. Why was this event so important? Because this was the first UN meeting where serious disagreements surfaced between those countries seeking to retain the prohibitionist status quo, and those which are disillusioned by the drug war and looking for alternatives. The high-level segment was preparing the ground for the 2016 UN General Assembly on drugs.
The HCLU’s Drugreporter has been working for several years to make the UN drug-control system more transparent and accountable. This year we invited seven journalists from across Europe to produce quality media reports on the event and provide insider stories from behind the scenes.
With the support of EDPI’s media scholarship, articles and TV and radio broadcasts were made, aired and published, covering the otherwise under-reported global drug policy issues.
Please find the full publication list below:
Serbian National Broadcaster – Serbia
Serbian National television broadcast two reports on prime-time news, as well as a featured magazine story on the CND meeting, focussing on global drug policy reform. HCLU’s Drug Program Director, Péter Sárosi, was among the people interviewed by Serbian journalist Biljana Jovicic joining us in Vienna.
Link for Serbian speakers: http://www.rts.rs/page/stories/sr/story/125/Dru%C5%A1tvo/1554954/Putevi+droge%2C+Balkan+usputna+stanica.html
IPS News Agency – International
Pavol Stracansky joined us to write for Inter Press Service News Agency, and wrote a story on the global drug policy landscape, based on his Vienna experiences:
Divisions Over Drugs Rise
A top level United Nations conference on drugs has highlighted growing divisions between member states on how to move forward in dealing with global drug problems, as calls grow for major reforms in approaches to international drug policy.
Click for the full story!
UPADTE: Pavol Stracansky published a second story, an interview from Diego Cánepa, secretary of the office of Uruguayan President José Mujica. Click here for the full interview.
Lancet Magazine – UK
Ed Holt wrote for the prestigious The Lancet Medical Magazine arguing that there was a lack of progress on health issue at CND. Click for the full story.
Vice Magazine – UK
Vice Magazine dedicated a longer analytical article to coverage of the high-level segment meeting written by UK drug policy journalist and author Max Daly.
THE MOST IMPORTANT UN DRUGS SUMMIT FOR DECADES WAS DEPRESSING
As the planet's governments come around to the idea of drug legalisation, I arrived at the United Nation’s office in Vienna for one of the most crucial meetings on global drug policy in decades.
At this "high level" meeting, officials will assess where we're at with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s (UNODC) big plan: to significantly reduce or eradicate the use and production of illegal drugs by 2019. By the end, they'll have come up with a consensus statement about what the entire world should do. Which sounds like a pretty big decision to make.
Click for the full story.
Druglink Magazine Print edition March/April 2014 – UK
Behind the scenes at the UN’s latest drug summit, frantic negotiations took place in order to acknowledge the changing nature of the drug debate. But as Max Daly discovered in Vienna, all the world could do was agree to disagree.Click for the pdf version of the Druglink article.
DrinkandDrugsNews.com Magazine – UK
Slovenian journalist Lana Durjava published a story in the British DrinkandDrugsNews.com magazine
A little less conversation…
Lana Durjava attended the CND meeting in Vienna and found it woefully short on action, as she tells DDN
Statistically speaking, the majority of people who use drugs do it in a recreational and generally functional way. Although motivational forces for any human act are of a complex nature and cannot be reduced to a single component, their drug taking generally seems to have more to do with seeking pleasure than escaping pain.
Click for the full article.
Download the pdf verison of Lana’s report:
Radio Studenti – Slovenia
Lana Durjava published a second story at Slovenia's Radio Studenti
Click here for the Slovenian article.
Think-Outside-the-Box – Romania
Andra Matzal, editor-in-chief of the Romanian independent website Think-Outside-the-Box, wrote on the hot issue of Uruguay’s state-regulated cannabis market. The Uruguayan government's representative, Diego Canepa, received major media attention for his country's progressive policy changes.
Read the Think-Outside-the-Box story in Romanian.
The second in-depth report from the Vienna CND at Think-Outside-the-Box is available here.
Krytyka Polityczna – Poland
From Poland, drug policy expert and researcher Jakub Janiszewski took up HCLU’s challenge to cover the high-segment UN meeting on drugs for Polish readers.
Index.hu – Hungary
Our colleague, journalist and human rights activist György Folk, published a longer report on the largest Hungarian news site, Index.hu.
Click here to read the Hungarian article.
HCLU Video report from Vienna
Last but not least, watch HCLU's video report from the UN CND 2014 if you haven't seen it yet.