The UNGASS was a disappointment to both progressives and hardliners alike. Whilst we may decry the small progress in the outcome document, we can find solace in the fact that an increasing number of countries seem intent on acting unilaterally outside the UN Drug Conventions. Principled non-compliance may start to become the norm.
We the undersigned call on Governments and Parliaments to recognise that: Fifty-five years after the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs was launched, it is clearly evident that the global war on drugs has had many unintended and devastating consequences worldwide, and has failed to eliminate drug production or drug use.
It seems to me that a question we have to grapple with, no matter where we live and what the circumstances, is whether the criminalisation of drug use and possession among adults is justifiable on the grounds of protecting children. I think it's not.
Saving lives of his people dying of AIDS is Kofi Annan's legacy. Ban Ki Moon's legacy could be ushering us into a new era of drug policy. The world is ready.
Next April's important UNGASS is an opportune moment to align these parallel universes and ensure that global drug policy genuinely has the promotion and protection of human rights at its centre. The devastating human rights violations committed in the name of drug control must end. We will be judged by history.
Isn't it about time we afforded society and all of its members the dignity of treating a possible dependency through professionalism and basic levels of understanding. We set ourselves up for a fall when we try to distinguish who's entitled to care based on the noun of what their problem may be. Addictions shouldn't be feared, but they should have default impartiality.
As governments, policy makers, academics and civil society gather together, it is time to call for a new approach that puts public health, human rights and development at the heart of global drugs policy.
Collateral Damage: How the War on Drugs Has Ruined Lives, Health and Livelihoods in the Global South
There are millions of people living in the Global South whose lives have been altered or ended by the war on drugs. Lives of people who never opted-in to the war, some never even knew such a war existed, but nevertheless they have been caught in the crossfire.
A growing number of governments believe that current drug control leads to disastrous consequences for human rights, public health, citizen security and sustainable livelihoods, and that it has to be modernised.