August 5, 2016

Welcome to the VNGOC e-home

Welcome to the Vienna Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Committee on Drugs (VNGOC) e-home!EH(1)

The committee is a vital link between NGO’s and the key intergovernmental and international agencies involved in drug policy, strategy and control: the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), the International Narcotics Control Board and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), as well as other United Nations bodies in New York (the General Assembly – GA and the Economic and Social Council – ECOSOC) and Geneva (the World Health Organisation – WHO)

Established in 1983, the Committee works with these organisations to provide information on NGO activities, draw attention to areas of concern, build partnerships between governmental and non-governmental organisations and to involve a wide sector of civil society in contributing to the development and implementation of global drug policies.

The VNGOC is composed of members representing international, national and local NGOs and represents a key mechanism for NGOs to substantively contribute to global drug policy. I urge you to learn more about the VNGOC by exploring this web site and then to contribute to its work through applying for membership by completing the Membership Application Form and returning it to info[@]vngoc.org.

Beyond 2008“, an initiative of the Committee in partnership with UNODC, provided a platform for civil society to contribute to the review of the 1998-2008 United Nations General Assembly Special Session on illicit drugs. It produced a Declaration and three Resolutions adopted by consensus by all the participants of the Vienna Forum in July 2008. These produced proposals that command consensus across the rich diversity of philosophies and approaches within the NGO community.

Building on this track record, the VNGOC facilitated civil society participation in the preparatory process of and during the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the World Drug Problem (April 2016). As part of the Civil Society Task Force (CSTF) for UNGASS 2016, a joint initiative with the New York NGO Committee on Drugs (NYNGOC), the VNGOC facilitated a comprehensive, structured, meaningful and balanced participation of civil society during the UNGASS process, providing grass roots organisations the opportunity to report on what is working and what can be improved on the ground. Our efforts continue in the aftermath of UNGASS, as we invite civil society speakers to participate in CND discussions on the implementation of the UNGASS Outcome Document.

Our work, as illustrated above, is based on our Strategic Plan 2014-2017. The Board and membership are strongly committed to the implementation of our objectives. We will continue developing NGO capacity and providing opportunities for NGO engagement with UN Member States and relevant UN bodies. We advocate for NGO inclusion in international drug policy decision making, and represent a global NGO voice at key strategic events related to the implementation of the UNGASS outcome document and the 2019 review.

It is my belief that much progress has been achieved in recent years in opening up the international drug policy debate to civil society, especially during the UNGASS process. Civil society is recognised now more than ever as a valuable contributor to the debate, providing evidence from the ground on what works and what stands to be improved in terms of drug policies and their implementation. However, this wealth of expertise and experience can still be put to further use. It is my hope that you will join us in this work through your active membership of the VNGOC, enabling a comprehensive participation of civil society. As with Agenda 2030, no voice and no one should be left behind. Through this, we can achieve the changes we wish to see in the world.

Most importantly, the VNGOC remains committed to a respectful and constructive dialogue with Member States at all levels. It is our belief that this dialogue will go a long way in ensuring an effective implementation of international drug policy commitments in the framework of the Sustainable Development Agenda and Human Rights.

In closing, let me reiterate my strong commitment to guide the VNGOC through these exciting times. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me at info[@]vngoc.org.

Sincerely,

Esbjörn Hörnberg
Chair
Vienna NGO Committee

 

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