The United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) On Drugs 2016
The NGO Re Generacija, within the framework of the European Drug Policy Initiative project and in collaboration with the Rights Reporter Foundation invites you to attend a public discussion about UNGASS in the Center for Cultural Decontamination, Birčaninova street 21, Belgrade on Monday, 23rd May at 7 pm.
This event will also feature:
– An open exhibition of selection of the best posters submitted to the open call entitled “Let’s Get Real About Drugs” organized by our partners the Rights Reporter Foundation that focused on the young artists’ views of “War on Drugs”;
– A screening of the film shot during the UNGASS in New York;
– An initial debate on future of the damage control programs in Serbia, as well as the legalization of medicinal usage of cannabis.
The speakers at the event will be: Nebojša Đurasović as a representative of the Prevent NGO, Miloš Stojanović (TBC) as a representative of the UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) as well as the representatives of the Re Generacija NGO. The overall aim of the debate is to stress the biggest challenges and international drug control problems, as well as to discuss the results of this year’s UNGASS. The purpose of the discussion will also be to create “post-UNGASS” statements that will include recommendation for decision makers and those that make new laws concerning the national policies and possibilities of their further development not only within the framework of drugs policies but also the ones policies that deal with public health, human rights and culture.
During the last couple of decades the international “War on Drugs” had a negative impact on public health, mass arrests and numerous prison sentences, on corruption and development of a black market that fuels violence. National states and their governments started promoting changes, and reforms implemented in some countries have generated a will for a change. The UN General Assembly Special Sessions (UNGASS) of the UN member countries are dedicated to assessing and discussing global issues such as health, gender equality or, as in this case, priority of drug policies.
Why is UNGASS important?
The international dialogue on drug use related problems rarely represents something more than reaffirming the already set up systems. But, this year, 2016, was different. Never before so many governments had expressed dissatisfaction with the existing regime of drug control. Never before there was so many civil initiatives that have enabled reforms in drug policies through referendums and other civil activities (for instance, the legalization of cannabis in Uruguay or some states of the USA). Never before the public health damage control programs – especially those dealing with prevention of the HIV transmission – had been beneficial. The UNGASS 2016 was an ideal opportunity put a stop on the war on drugs and to support health, human rights and security.