Towards the decriminalization of drug use and possession to advance health and human rights

14 March 2017 // 2.20pm – 3.10pm // Vienna International Centre // Room M7

To mitigate the harms related to drug use, to alleviate the risks faced by people who use drugs, to improve their health condition and enhance social reintegration, to focus law enforcement measures on illicit activities of a larger scale or more serious nature, and to support health and social workers in delivering services to those who need them, among other elements, some governments have implemented the decriminalization of drug use and possession of reasonable amounts.

These policies vary in nature, in scope and in implementation. To discuss the opportunities, challenges and benefits of the decriminalization of drug use and possession, the governments of Colombia, Czech Republic, Portugal and Switzerland, as well as  the Global Commission on Drug Policy, invite you to their side-event at the 60th session of the CND with the following speakers:

Former President of Switzerland
Chair of the Global Commission on Drug Policy

Minister of Justice of Colombia, a.i.

Ambassador for Global Health and Vice-Director General of the Federal Office of Public Health, Switzerland

National Drug Coordinator, Portugal

National Drug Coordinator, Czech Republic

Moderated by:

Commissioner, Global Commission on Drug Policy


“Over the past decade, my country, Portugal, has implemented innovative policies that are people-centered, focused on health and aimed at keeping people alive while respecting human rights.”
Jorge Sampaio, Former President of Portugal, member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy

The conventions … allow States Parties to provide, in appropriate cases of a minor nature, for example possession or purchase of drugs for personal consumption, alternatives to conviction or punishment, using such measures as education, rehabilitation and social reintegration.
Yury Fedotov, Executive Director, UNODC

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