World Leaders to Make Bold, Groundbreaking Recommendations for Major Paradigm Shift in Global Drug Policy

Kofi Annan, Richard Branson, George Shultz, Paul Volcker and Others Join With Former Presidents of Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Poland, Portugal and Switzerland 

Live-Stream of Press Conference: Tuesday, 9:45am (ET) / 1:45pm (GMT)

On Tuesday, September 9, the Global Commission on Drug Policy will release Taking Control: Pathways to Drug Policies that Work, a new, groundbreaking report at a press conference in New York City.

The event will be live-streamed and speakers include former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, former Colombian President César Gaviria, former Swiss President Ruth Dreifuss, Richard Branson and others.

The Commissioners will then meet with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson in the afternoon following the press conference.

The report reflects a new evolution in the thinking of the Commissioners, who are set to become the most distinguished group of high-level leaders to ever call for far-reaching changes to global drug policy.

In 2011, the Commission’s initial report broke new ground in both advancing and globalizing the debate over drug prohibition and its alternatives. The Commission’s work has created conditions for not just former presidents but current presidents to speak out as well.

Recent developments in Latin America and the United States instigated the upcoming UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on Drugs in 2016, and created an opportunity to lay the foundation for a new drug control regime for the 21st century.

To receive a copy of the EMBARGOED press release and executive summary, contact Tony Newman  at or 646-335-5384.

The embargo will be lifted at 8 pm (New York Time), September 8, 2014

Press Conference Details:

Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 9:45am

(Reporters should arrive at 9am for registration and seating)

The Museum of Modern Art – The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater

11 West 53 Street, NY, New York 10019

Commission Members

(those speaking at the  press conference are underlined in red):  

-Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations and chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation, Ghana

-Louise Arbour, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Canada

-Pavel Bém, former Mayor of Prague, Czech Republic

-Richard Branson, entrepreneur, advocate for social causes, founder of the Virgin Group, cofounder of The Elders, United Kingdom

-Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former President of Brazil (chair)

-Maria Cattaui, former Secretary-General of the International Chamber of Commerce, Switzerland 

-Ruth Dreifuss, former President of Switzerland and Minister of Home Affairs

-César Gaviria, former President of Colombia

-Asma Jahangir, human rights activist, former UN Special Rapporteur on Arbitrary, Extrajudicial and Summary Executions, Pakistan

-Michel Kazatchkine, UN Secretary General Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and former executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, France

-Aleksander Kwasniewski, former President of Poland

-Ricardo Lagos, former President of Chile

-George Papandreou, former Prime Minister of Greece

-Jorge Sampaio, former President of Portugal

-George P. Shultz, former Secretary of State, United States (honorary chair)

-Javier Solana, former European Union High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy , Spain

-Thorvald Stoltenberg, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Norway

-Mario Vargas Llosa, writer and public intellectual, Peru

-Paul Volcker, former Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve and of the Economic Recovery Board

– John Whitehead, former Deputy Secretary of State, former Co-Chairman Goldman Sachs & Co. and founding Chairman, 9/11 Memorial & Museum, United States

-Ernesto Zedillo, former President of Mexico