Finding Common Ground: A civil society conversation about prevention

In the VNGOC consultation in 2019, several respondents called for more efforts to facilitate conversations and bridge-building between the broad range of NGOs that comprise the VNGOC membership. It is therefore our pleasure to invite all civil society representatives at the CND to attend the first “Finding Common Ground” event. If such informal discussions prove to be of value for the VNGOC membership, it is hoped that they can become a mainstay of the CND calendar, potentially tackling a different related topic each year.

Thursday 5th March 2020 3pm – 5pm, Boardroom D (4th floor, C Building)

For 2020, we would like to invite our members to engage in a constructive and informative conversation about drug use prevention. The UNGASS Outcome Document includes several operational recommendations related to “Prevention of drug abuse”, as part of a “comprehensive, integrated and balanced approach to addressing and countering the world drug problem”. This “Finding Common Ground” dialogue is an opportunity to pose and address questions such as:

  • What is the role of primary prevention in such an approach to reducing drug-related harm?
  • What are the key concepts in prevention?
  • What are the strengths and limitations of this approach?
  • What are the opportunities for, or barriers to, prevention working alongside other services?
  • What are some examples of best prevention practices?
  • How can we best understand and promote the International Standards on Drug Use Prevention?

This meeting is designed for civil society representatives only, and will be facilitated by a professional moderator – Maria Pirker- There will be an opening presentation from Matej Košir, Director of UTRIP (Slovenia) and a leading expert in the field of prevention, who will help to frame the issue. Following this, participants will be invited to discuss and ask questions of one-another about their work and the role that drug use prevention plays within the world drug response.

The aim of a “Finding Common Ground” meeting is not to build a consensus position on the topic, but rather to promote a culture of dialogue and to help our members gain appreciation of each- other’s work, views and perspectives – even if they may differ from your own. We therefore urge all of our members to attend, and not just those working on prevention, as the goal of this meeting is to improve understanding on all sides, promote constructive discussion and learning on all sides, and help to answer questions about the prevention approach.

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