Canvassing for Opinion - aka "Blairs Brain on Cannabis"

IMHO prohibition sentiment requires inherent addiction to status quo, an incapacity to visualise beyond the here and now and a desperate desire to know others might feel the same... Reform is not revolutionary, rather it is evolutionary. Having survived banging your head against a brick wall the evolutionist relishes having stopped. / Blair

Sunday, March 09, 2014

IDPC Special Alert: 57th Commission on Narcotic Drugs & High Level Segment

IDPC Special Alert: 57th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and High Level Segment

The 2014 Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) will take place from the 13th to 21st March in Vienna, Austria – including the High Level Segment which will take place on 13th and 14th March.
The High Level Segment
The High Level Segment will review progress and challenges since the agreement of a Political Declaration on drugs in 2009. Ministers will come together to share experiences and sign-off on a Joint Ministerial Statement by consensus (the Statement is currently being negotiated in Vienna). The High Level Segment will include three roundtables on demand reduction, supply reduction and money laundering.

The Commission on Narcotic Drugs
Starting Monday 17th March will be the normal CND session. As usual, the CND will include a thematic debate at the Plenary, as well as two panel discussions, one of which on the scheduling of substances and the other on preparations for the 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on Drugs. Member states will also negotiate 12 resolutions in the Committee of the Whole. These resolutions need to be agreed by consensus.

Attendance & practical information
IDPC is collecting the contact details of people attending the CND in order to send them updates on the event closer to the date of the event. If you would like to receive these updates, please send your contact details to the IDPC Secretariat.

Several Guides have now been released if you wish to access any logistical information:
If you are unable to attend, the High Level Segment will be broadcast here, and the CND will be streamed via Skype. During the CND, in case the quality of the streaming is not of sufficient quality, please use a standard phone line to dial into the conference listening service. Call +43-1-26060 and enter the following listening number: 77713.

Side events
IDPC will be co-organising a series of side events during the CND:

Monday 17th March:
  • 9:00 - 9:50 - Sentencing policies for drug offences: Best practices in the UK, organised by the Academic Council on the UN System, the Vienna Liaison Office and IDPC - Conference Room M2
  • 13:10 - 14:00 - A tool for debate: The OAS report on drug policy, organised by Guatemala, Colombia, Mexico, IDPC - Conference Room M2
Tuesday 18th March:
  • 13:10 - 14:00 - Monitoring and evaluation of the Uruguayan cannabis legislative and regulation process, organised by Uruguay, TNI, IDPC, WOLA - Conference Room M2
Wednesday 19th March:
  • 9:00 - 9:50 - Health: the cornerstone of future drug policy (with a focus on access to essential medicines), organised by Lithuania, IDHDP, IAHPC and IDPC - Conference Room M3
  • 9:00 - 9:50 - Current drug policies: Evaluating indicators, examining future options, organised by Finland, IDPC, Global Drug Policy Observatory, LSE Ideas, ICSDP - Conference Room M6
  • 13:10 - 14:00 - Modernising drug law enforcement, organised by Switzerland, IDPC, IISS and Chatham House - Conference Room M3
  • 14:20 - 15:10 - Drug trafficking and consumption in West Africa, organised by Cape Verde and co-sponsored by the African Union, the West Africa Commission on Drugs, Benin and IDPC - Conference Room M3
The official agenda of the CND which includes all side events is available here.

On Sunday 16th March (9:45 to 12:30 at the NH Danube Hotel), Transform and Mexico Unido Contra la Delincuencia will also organise a workshop on how to constructively engage with - and win - the debate on drug regulation. If you wish to attend, please email

Informal Civil Society Hearing
The VNGOC has organised an Informal Civil Society Hearing to take place on 12th March from 15:00 to 18:00 – ahead of an Informal Civil Society Briefing for member states, which will take place on Thursday 13th March from 13:00 to 15:00 (i.e. during the High Level Segment itself).

Informal dialogues with the INCB and UNODC
On Tuesday 18th March, the VNGOC will organise informal dialogues with the President of the International Narcotics Control Board (from 10:00 to 10:45, location TBC) and with the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (from 11:00 to 11:45, Conference Room M3).

Communications and media
This year, IDPC will collaborate with the New Zealand Drugs Foundation and the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care to update the CND Blog. This Blog, available in English and Spanish, provides hour-by-hour updates on the discussions and decisions taken at the CND.

If you are tweeting from the CND, please use the hash-tag #CND2014.

IDPC has prepared a short media 'Frequently Asked Questions' document about the CND and High Level Segment. A Press Conference with UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov will take place on Friday 14th March at 17:00 in the MOE Press Room, M-Building, Vienna International Centre.

Further information
We will keep updating you on the CND process as we get closer to the event. For now, you can find more information by clicking on the following links:

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