The IDPC launched its Drug Policy Guide at a lunchtime satellite event on Day 2 of the CND. The guide has been a collaborative effort between IDPC members and partners over the past nine months. The document is aimed at national level policy makers and brings together global evidence and best practices on the design and implementation of drug policies and programmes.
The session was opened by Mike Trace, Chair of the IDPC. Referring to the weakness of the Political Declaration that came out of the High Level Segment of the 52nd CND in 2009, he highlighted the continuing challenge for policy makers of formulating a balanced approach to drug control. The IDPC Drug Policy Guide is a resource for policy makers to support them in this endeavour. The guide is also an important advocacy tool for civil society to use in reviewing government drug policy and outlining where policies do not meet best practice.
The second speaker was Mr Thanasis Apostolou of the Andreas Papandreou Foundation based in Greece. Mr Apostolou is setting up a network of policy makers and NGOs in the South East Europe region to work towards better drug policies that incorporate principles of human rights and public health. He outlined some of the challenges of the South East European region and welcomed the guide as an important resource in supporting the work of this new network.
The final speaker was Mr Milton Romani, General Secretary of the National Drug Secretariat, National Drug Council of Uruguay. Mr Romani congratulated IDPC for releasing this important resource that will support policy makers in the field of drugs. In Uruguay, drug policies are strongly grounded in principles of human rights and public health. He said that continuing to criminalise drug users was an absurd, ineffective and inefficient policy and that member states must now widen the lens at which they look at the issue of drugs.
IDPC is committed to producing the guide in Spanish and Russian in the coming months. This version is the first edition and the as a constantly evolving resource, IDPC welcomes comments and suggestions for improvements for the next version.