The Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) is the annual gathering in Vienna of all United Nations member states to discuss and make decisions on a wide range of issues related to the global drug control system, and the work programme of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB). In March 2014, a UN High-Level Segment on Drugs will be held in Vienna.

  • TNI at CND 2016: reports from Vienna

    Agreeing on an outcome document to be approved by the UN General Assembly at the 2016 UNGASS

    The Transnational Institute (TNI) attended the 59th session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna from the 14-22nd March. The CND negotiated the outcome document to be approved at the 2016 UNGASS on the world drug problem, to be held on April 19-21 in New York. This storify features tweets, blogs and news from the event. (See also: The UNGASS outcome document: Diplomacy or denialism?)

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  • The UNGASS outcome document: Diplomacy or denialism?

    Civil Society Statement

    Drug policy expertise and impacted communities from around the world express serious concerns about the preparations and already-drafted outcomes for the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the “world drug problem”. We call upon member states – especially those who have been shut out of the Vienna-based negotiations – to challenge the current draft of the UNGASS Outcome Document, to ensure the debate on its contents is not closed in Vienna, and to prepare statements expressing their disappointment and dissent at the UNGASS in April.

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  • The 2015 Commission on Narcotic Drugs

    Report of proceedings
    IDPC Briefing
    June 2015

    The international drug control regime is facing the most profound challenge of its existence. Member states have for some time been experimenting with new responses to the ‘world drug problem’; however, the advent of legally regulated cannabis markets has resulted in a ratcheting up of these challenges to expose the system to new levels of strain. With the 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the world drug problem fast approaching, how will the international community make use of the opportunity it provides for a free and open debate?

    application-pdfDownload the briefing (PDF)

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  • Video report of the UN drug debate

    On the way to UNGASS 2016
    Drugreporter HCLU
    Wednesday, April 8, 2015

    This March, our video advocacy team attended the 58th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the largest drug policy gathering in the world, to find out how governments and NGOs feel about the prospects of drug policy reform. We produced a series of short thematic videos, to give you an overview of the current state of political debate on the burning issues of international drug control.

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  • Conditioning Alternative Development to previous eradication should be abandoned

    As long as the amount of hectares eradicated remains the main indicator for success, sustainable development loses
    Pien Metaal
    Statement at the 58th Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND)
    Thursday, March 12, 2015

    Conditioning Alternative Development (AD) participation to previous eradication should be abandoned as a policy, since it has proved to be counterproductive. As long as the amount of hectares eradicated remains the main indicator for success, sustainable development loses. The voice of the primary stakeholders will be represented in the preparations for UNGASS through the organisation of a Global Forum of Producers of Prohibited Plants. Their participation in the design and implementation of development policies are fundamental.

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  • TNI calls for a wide-ranging and open debate that considers all options at UNGASS 2016

    An open debate is no longer open when certain ideas for improvement are declared to be off-limit
    Martin Jelsma
    Statement at the 58th Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND)
    Wednesday, March 11, 2015

    Just over one year away from the 2016 UNGASS, denying the reality that the drug policy landscape has fundamentally changed and that tensions with the UN drug conventions are occuring, is no longer a credible option. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged member states to use the 2016 UNGASS on drugs "to conduct a wide-ranging and open debate that considers all options." TNI calls for a special advisory group that should be tasked with recommending how to better deal with the contentious issues following the 2016 UNGASS, in preparation for the next UN high-level review in 2019.

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  • WMA warns against making essential anaesthetic a controlled drug

    Scheduling ketamine would restrict its availability worldwide, which would lead to harmful impact on animal health and welfare, as well on public health
    WMA press release
    Friday, March 6, 2015

    The World Medical Association is urging its 111 member associations to lobby their governments to oppose scheduling the anaesthetic agent Ketamine as a controlled drug. The United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs is due to vote next Friday (March 13) on whether to schedule Ketamine because of concern about its use as an illicit recreational drug in many countries. But the WMA warns that if it is made a controlled drug, it would effectively prevent the drug’s use in many poor countries where it is the only alternative for short term pain relief in surgery.

  • The ketamine controversy, continued

    UN legal opinion adds confusion while China changes its scheduling proposal
    Martin Jelsma
    Friday, March 6, 2015

    The Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Vienna will decide next week between two opposite proposals by China and the WHO about international control of ketamine, an essential anaesthetic in human and veterinary medicine. China originally proposed bringing ketamine under the 1971 Convention’s most severe control regime of Schedule I, which would dramatically affect its availability for surgery in poor rural settings and emergency situations. The WHO Expert Committee reviewed all the evidence and advised against any international control of ketamine, arguing it would trigger a public health disaster.

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  • Indonesia's executions: Drugs diplomacy in a diplomatic crisis?

    In 2007 the Indonesian constitutional court cited the international drug trafficking treaty of 1988 to justify such killings
    The Huffington Post (UK web)
    Thursday, February 26, 2015

    All diplomatic efforts earlier this month to save Brazilian and Dutch citizens from execution in Indonesia failed. Both were executed by firing squad. The harrowing final hours of Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira have since been revealed. Australia has been told that two of its citizens face imminent execution and nationals of the United Kingdom and elsewhere must now be losing hope. Indonesian Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo has said that 'nothing whatsoever' will stop the executions.

  • CND decision to schedule ketamine would undermine WHO treaty mandate

    The UN Commission considers to bring ketamine under the control of the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances contrary to WHO recommendations
    Martin Jelsma
    Monday, February 16, 2015

    The 58th Session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in March 2015 has been asked to consider a Chinese proposal to place ketamine – an essential medicine used for anaesthesia – in Schedule I of the 1971 Convention (E/CN.7/2015/7 and E/CN.7/2015/81). Ketamine is the only available anaesthetic for essential surgery in most rural areas of developing countries, home to more than 2 billion of the world’s people. Scheduling ketamine under any of the 1971 treaty schedules will reduce its availability and further deepen the already acute crisis of global surgery.

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