Today, October 23d, an intersessional meeting was organised of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna.
Encod Steering Committee member Janko Belin participated in the meeting and delivered the following statement.
We believe that drugs control policies should be subordinated to guiding principles of sound governance, such as those laid out in the the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on Biodiversity, among other international agreements. We refer in particular to those principles which guarantee respect for social, economic and political rights, and the cultural diversity of all human beings, and those which take into account the sustainability of the planet. We believe that such policies should be dedicated primarily to supporting the creation of structures which would allow for the reduction of eventual harm that the production, trade and consumption of illicit drugs can cause.
Therefore, we propose that the governments of the world take the following measures to improve current drugs control policies, thereby increasing their effectiveness, viability and credibility:
a) Non-prosecution of the cultivation of drugs-linked crops by small-scale farmers, and implementation of economic, political and social structural measures with the consensual agreement of all sectors concerned in order to offer real alternatives to dependence on the cultivation of such plants;
b) Suspension of forcible eradication operations and those eradication measures which have negative impacts on the environment and on human health, such as the devastating practice of aerial fumigation with herbicides and defoliants;
c) De-link military involvement from counter-narcotic efforts, including the demilitarisation of areas of illicit cultivation;
d) Non-prosecution of drugs consumption while looking for means of regulation which are socially and culturally acceptable to those local populations involved, and the implementation of broad measures, including harm reduction, to prevent and treat the problematic consumption of drugs;
e) Abolish any exceptional drugs control legislation which violates universally agreed legal and processual guarantees;
f) Guarantee all rights pertaining to pluralistic democratic societies characterised by tolerance and an openness of spirit, referring in particular to freedom of speech and expression on drugs-related matters for all individuals;
g) Guarantee the sovereignty of nations and peoples over their own legal systems, and avoid, in particular, possible impositions on so-called drugs-producing countries;
h) Guarantee transparency in the use of money and goods confiscated from drugs trafficking, and ensure that such goods and money are used for socially beneficial purposes.
Likewise, we propose the establishment of a new method of classifying psychoactive substances, whether currently licit or illicit, which would be based on scientific data and would evaluate these substances according to the harm they cause to human health.
According to the considerations and proposals put forward in the present text, we also call upon the governments of the world to allow for a broader margin for signatory states of the International Conventions on drugs (1961, 1971, 1988) to experiment locally with alternative policies (which may include steps for the legalisation of certain substances), from which the international community might draw useful lessons in its search for a more just and effective drugs policy.
Vienna , 23.10.2014