Vienna (Austria) – From 12th to 16th March 2012, Dianova International and Dianova Portugal representatives attended the 55th session of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND). On March 13, a side event was organized to present a community, drug and alcohol prevention project implemented by Dianova in Portugal in theTorres Vedras region.
The Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) gathered in Vienna from 12th to 16th March, to discuss the international drug situation and the implementation of UN drug control conventions.
This year’s session was a special one, marking the centennial of the International Convention on Opium, the first international drug control treaty, signed at the The Hague, in 1912. Session attendees debated on a number or important resolutions prepared by member states, including the promotion of treatment alternatives to imprisonment as a strategy for reducing drug demand (Mexico); female oriented strategies and interventions for women at-risk of drug abuse and dependence (Denmark); reintegration of persons released from prison after vowing to renounce drug abuse (Ukraine), etc.
A number of discussions were dedicated to assessing prevention efforts. During the opening, Mr. Yury Fedotov, head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) urged member states to intensify prevention strategies as part of a comprehensive response to drug demand, supply and trafficking.
“At present, the balance between our work on the supply and demand sides stays firmly in favor of the supply side. We must restore the balance.”
Mr. Fedotov called on countries to recognize that drug dependence, which claims some 250,000 lives each year, is an illness.
“Prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, reintegration and health have to be recognized as key elements in our strategy,” he added. “Overall, our work on the treatment side must be considered as part of the normal clinical work undertaken when responding to any other disease in the health system.”
VNGOC Dedicated to Strengthen the Role of Civil Society
Members of the Vienna Non-Governmental Organization Committee on Drugs (VNGOC) organized an informal Civil Society Hearing (iCSH) focusing on and showcasing how NGOs can best work with member states and international organizations. (Dianova International and Dianova in Portugal are both VNGOC members, in addition Dianova International has been elected at the VNGOC Board of Officers as Deputy Secretary, represented by Mrs. Elena Goti)
“To truly address the drug problem, we need all players at the table. Working collaboratively and focusing on what can be done. VNGOC is committed to providing a greater exchange of views and consultations among civil society actors, UN Member States, key international bodies and other relevant entities.””
Michel Perron, Chairperson, VNGOC.