Meeting of the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs

Peter, NGO marketplace presentation – It is an online platform where NGOs can find each other if they need certain services. When you go on the website, you see which services are trending, and services that are required worldwide. You can also find projects requiring specific services. You can also narrow this down to certain regions, and projects that support UN declarations. We can go even further than that, filtering by projects that are currently in place. If you click on the full profile of the project, you can instantly contact the people involved in the project, the project progress where you can post deliverables, the budget.

The service matching is at the heart of the marketplace, through its powerful search engine. You can find where the project is located and what it does. The database automatically finds NGOs that work in the same area, on the same service. This is also a database of people, we can for example find the directors in a specific geographical area. It is a powerful way for NGOs that share the same vision and ambition to get in touch.

The platform will be launched at the UNGASS. The data on organisations, projects and people can be added directly by themselves on the website, which is easily editable. Setting up a profile would take no more than a few minutes. Regarding quality control, the market place works in the context of UNODC and VNGOC. Currently, if an NGO registered, it has to be agreed by the moderators of the marketplace. Only NGOs working on drugs issues will be able to register on the marketplace. NGOs will be able to input their information probably before UNGASS.

Key contact for the marketplace: contact@packviz.com.

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Presentation of the marketplace at the VNGOC meeting

Mirella,UNODC – The Civil Society team continues to try and help you all, in particular the Civil Society Task Force and regional consultations, in particular those that took place in Sub-Saharan Africa and the one in South Asia. UNODC as a whole is facing a new financial system which has been imposed which forces us to compromise to respond to the priorities of UNODC. We have discussed this at CND, and this major change requires a lot of efforts.

This has been a busy week, a scientific consultation took place on Monday, it was impressive to see so many people. UNGASS is certainly mobilising many people, including NGOs working on other fields. There will be a report that will be shared once ready. UNGASS is definitely a benchmark and we will continue to try and help the CSTF and VNGOC as much as we can. It is challenging but it is definitely interesting.

CND will be from 14th to 22nd March 2016. There has been an announcement which went out officially for side events, the deadline is 22nd January.

News from VNGOC members 

Katherine Pettus, IAHPC – When I joined the VNGOC we ticked the box that we subscribed to the Beyond 2008 document. It is a fantastic document and I was positively surprised by the breadth of the analysis. A second thing I found going through the statutes of the VNGOC is that the primary purpose is to educate membership. What I would like to do as vice-chair is to chair an educational sub-committee for those willing to be involved. I think it would be useful to conduct a survey among the members to see what people would like to know – alternatives to incarceration, harm reduction, access to essential medicines, etc. If this interests people, we could hold educational events in addition to the VNGOC events, and support the membership to hold educational events with their members. This could be added to the marketplace, as well as webinars.

Luciana Pol, CELS – For countries from the south, it is important to educate the north on our issues. We have different policy issues and it is a place to exchange information.

Penny, Foundation for a Drug Free Europe – We do drug education, this is vital to anyone and it is therefore of great use that the marketplace can hold webinars, we could incorporate this as part of our educational programme. Our programme is translated in 17 languages so anyone can have access to our materials: www.drugfreeworld.org.

Marie Nougier, IDPC – We would need to be clear about what the marketplace is about – is it to put people in touch with one another or is it a collection of documentation?

Esbjorn Hornberg, VNGOC – We will need to discuss this further down the line with the Board. We shouldn’t put too much into the marketplace.

Peter, Markerplace designer – We need to have clear guidelines that keep us objective and away from clear disagreements.

Luciana Pol, CELS – The pillars of the UN will be a framework. We can think that security, human rights, health will have different meanings, but we also need to have some tolerance for people’s freedom of speech. In the marketplace, we talk about NGOs’ work, but we also have to live with differences.

Esbjorn Hornberg, VNGOC – Traditionally, we hold our next meetings in March. The first 3 days will be on the UNGASS, then there will be the regular session. We will probably hold the meeting on Thursday 17th March.

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