Nick Clegg joins the Global Commission on Drug Policy

Former Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg has joined the Global Commission on Drug Policy, an international group that advocates for drug policy reform on a global level. Nick Clegg joins a host of influential names from business and politics on the Commission, including entrepreneur Richard Branson, former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and former US Secretary of State George Schultz.

The purpose of the Global Commission on Drug Policy is to bring to the international level an informed, science-based discussion about humane and effective ways to reduce the harm caused by drugs to people and societies. The UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs which will take place in New York next April, represents a vital opportunity for a shift in approaches in drug policy. Nick will be working with members of the Commission to ensure that the outcome of the session is a positive and progressive vision for the future.

Nick Clegg spoke about his new role:

“I am delighted to be joining the Commission at this crucial moment in the global debate about drugs policy. The ‘war on drugs’ has failed and there is now a real momentum gathering behind reform. Governments around the world are now exploring new approaches to reduce the harm that drugs cause, including decriminalisation and regulation.

“Instead of criminalising millions of young people and setting unrealistic goals like eradicating all drugs, now is the time to encourage governments to look for evidence-based alternatives.”

Chair of the Global Commission on Drug Policy and former President of Brazil, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, said:

“The Global Commission on Drug Policy has just had its first meeting outside Europe and the Americas in Rabat, Morocco. The meeting’s agenda was centred on the messaging and political advocacy toward the Special Session of the UN General Assembly to be held next year in New York. We were lucky to have Nick Clegg joining the Commission at this historic moment.”

“From his very first statement about the need to build a coalition of like-minded countries to influence the New York proceedings we were extremely impressed by the passion and quality of Nick’s contribution. In the upcoming months he will surely play a pivotal role in our common effort to put people’s health, community safety and human rights as the cornerstone of effective and humane drug policies.”

Notes to Editors:

More information about the work of the Commission is available here:

Full list of commissioners:

  • Aleksander Kwasniewski, former President of Poland
  • Asma Jahangir, human rights activist, former UN Special Rapporteur on Arbitrary, Extrajudicial and Summary Executions, Pakistan
  • Anand Grover, HIV and human rights activist, former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, India
  • Carlos Fuentes, writer and public intellectual, Mexico – in memoriam
  • César Gaviria, former President of Colômbia
  • Ernesto Zedillo, former President of Mexico
  • Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former President of Brazil (chair)
  • George Papandreou, former Prime Minister of Greece
  • George Shultz, former Secretary of State, United States (honorary chair)
  • Javier Solana, former European Union High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Spain
  • John Whitehead, banker and civil servant, chair of the World Trade Center Memorial, United States – in memoriam
  • Jorge Sampaio, former President of Portugal
  • Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations, Ghana
  • Louise Arbour, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, president of the International Crisis Group, Canada
  • Maria Cattaui, former Secretary-General of the International Chamber of Commerce, Switzerland
  • Mario Vargas Llosa, writer and public intellectual, Peru
  • Michel Kazatchkine, professor of medicine, former Executive director of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria
  • Nick Clegg, UK Member of Parliament for Sheffield Hallam
  • Olusegun Obasanjo, former president of Nigeria, chairs the West Africa Commission on Drugs.
  • Paul Volcker, former Chairman of the US Federal Reserve and of the Economic Recovery Board, US
  • Pavel Bém, former Mayor of Prague, member of the Parliament, Czech Republic
  • Ricardo Lagos, former president of Chile
  • Richard Branson, entrepreneur, advocate for social causes, founder of the Virgin Group, cofounder of The Elders, United Kingdom
  • Ruth Dreifuss, former President of Switzerland and Minister of Home Affairs
  • Thorvald Stoltenberg, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Norway