Introducing the UN System’s new Common Position on Drugs

In November 2018, the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) adopted the first ever “United Nations system Common Position supporting the implementation of the international drug control policy through effective inter-agency collaboration”. The CEB is the main instrument for coordination between 31 UN agencies – including the UNODC. 

The Common Position can be found online at https://www.unsceb.org/CEBPublicFiles/CEB-2018-2-SoD.pdf (it is Annex 1, starting on Page 12) – but is currently only available in English.

The purpose of the common position is:

  1. To guide approaches across the United Nations system, stepping up efforts to ensure that no one is left behind.
  2. To inspire the planning and implementation of United Nations activities, including joint inter-agency activities.
  3. To speak with one voice and raise awareness of the multifaceted nature of the world drug problem.

The document recognises that “the concern for the health and welfare of humankind underpins the three international drug control conventions” and aims to “support the development and implementation of policies that put people, health and human rights at the centre”. 

Building on the UNGASS 2016 outcome document, and echoing the 2019 Ministerial Declaration on drugs, this document can be a valuable tool for your work around the world – and is a further endorsement of the work being done by civil society organisations in respect of prevention, harm reduction, treatment, rehabilitation, access to medicines, universal health coverage, alternatives to conviction and punishment, measures to reduce stigma and eliminate discrimination, and “changes in laws, policies and practices that threaten the health and human rights of people”.

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