President of IBSSA at the 59th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs

Prof. George Popper – President of IBSSA participated at the 59th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) of UNODC (United Nations Office on Drug and Crime), along with its UNGASS Preparatory Session, which was held between 14 – 22 March 2016 at the Vienna International Centre (VIC) in Vienna, Austria.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is a global leader in the fight against illicit drugs and international crime, in addition being responsible for implementing the United Nations lead programme on terrorism. Established in 1997, UNODC has approximately 1500 staff members worldwide. Its headquarters are in Vienna and it operates 21 field offices covering over 150 countries, as well as two liaison offices in New York and Brussels. By working directly with Governments and non-governmental organizations, UNODC field staff develops and implements drug control and crime prevention programmes tailored to countries' particular needs. Website:

The Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) was established by ECOSOC Resolution 9(I) in 1946, to assist the ECOSOC in supervising the application of the international drug control treaties. In 1991, the General Assembly further expanded the mandates of the CND to enable it to function as the governing body of the UNODC, and to approve the budget of the Fund of the United Nations International Drug Control Programme, which accounts for over 90 per cent of the resources available to the United Nations for drug control. The CND meets each year to discuss the global state of drug control and adopt resolutions to guide the way forward.

During the 59th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) the ”UNGASS 2016” preparations, prevention and treatment of drug use, alternatives to incarceration and the death penalty were the focus of informal dialogue with civil society organisations.

UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, commended civil society organizations (CSOs) for their global activities, including their invaluable fieldwork.

"UNODC works with over 500 non-governmental and civil society organizations at the local, national, regional and global levels. Together, we have helped increase access to evidence and rights based treatment and care in over 40 countries," said Mr. Fedotov in his opening statement. Answering a question on the death penalty, Mr. Fedotov noted that UNODC followed successive resolutions on the issue from the UN Gen”letter or the spirit of the international drug control conventions”.

Regarding UNODC's views on alternatives to incarceration, he said that the office has highlighted the fact that the conventions provide for alternatives to conviction or punishment, where appropriate. Mr. Fedotov said UNODC would ”advocate for this approach in appropriate drug-related cases of a minor nature, including possession for personal consumption”. eral Assembly and had raised the matter in discussions at the highest levels with countries. He said his own position was entirely clear and he once again reiterated that the death penalty was neither in the

The whole article can be found here:

The United Nations General Assembly decided to convene a Special Session on the world drug problem from 19 to 21 April 2016 at the UN Headquarters in New York, following the 59th Session of the CND. This special session will consist of a general debate and interactive multi-stakeholder round tables conducted in parallel with the plenary.

“But, UNGASS 2016,” said the Executive Director of UNODC, “is not the final destination, it marks a new journey towards 2019 and the review of the Political Declaration and Plan of Action on the world drug problem.”

More information about UNGASS:

Please click here for reading the “Organisational arrangements for the Special Session” …

Registration is available via this link:

You will need to register before 28 March 2016.

In his closing remarks, Mr. Fedotov – UNODC Executive Director told delegates, “I look forward to meeting you again in New York next month at UNGASS 2016 as you continue the vital work of enhancing global approaches to international drug policy.”

Report about the closing of the 59th CND Session:

22nd March 2016