U.N. General Assembly Special Session Addresses Global Drug Policies, With More Focus On Human Rights-Based Prevention, Treatment Approaches

Agence France-Presse: World’s nations urged to shift focus on drug problem
“World governments at a U.N. meeting on the global drug problem were urged Tuesday to move away from repression, abolish the death penalty for drug offenses, and step up treatment…” (4/19).

Deutsche Welle: World governments consider changing course from ‘war on drugs’
“The U.N. General Assembly is reconsidering its global strategy against drug use amid growing recognition that the ‘war on drugs,’ with its emphasis on law enforcement and incarceration of users, has failed. The World Health Organization (WHO) [Director-General] Margaret Chan told the assembly that the aforementioned approach was too narrow…” (4/19).

Reuters: U.N. reviews war on drugs amid global push for liberalization
“…Despite broad agreement on the need to deal with the global drug problem, there are deep divisions among the 193 U.N. member states, with some favoring a shift towards decriminalization and a greater focus on reducing the harm caused both by narcotics abuse and the war on drugs…” (Charbonneau, 4/19).

U.N. News Centre: World drug problem: U.N. adopts new framework for policies to ‘put people first’
“The United Nations [Tuesday] adopted a new framework putting people at the center of global policies on drug control, which the head of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) says can help promote the ‘urgent, united, and concerted action we need’…” (4/19).

Washington Post: More than 1,000 world leaders say the drug war has been a disaster
“The global war on drugs has proven ‘disastrous’ and ‘humankind cannot afford a 21st century drug policy as ineffective and counter-productive as the last century’s.’ So say more than 1,000 world leaders, including 27 members of the House of Representatives and six U.S. senators, in a letter to the United Nations ahead of a major international drug summit happening this week…” (Ingraham, 4/18).