54th Commission on Narcotic Drugs

The United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), the central UN policy-making body in drug-related matters, holds its 54th session in Vienna this week (21–25 March). The CND analyses the world drug situation and develops proposals to strengthen the international drug control system. An EMCDDA delegation is attending the event and, throughout the week, will provide technical support to the European Commission and EU Member States. Visitors are welcome to the EMCDDA stand (21–23 March).

News from the EMCDDA delegation

Wednesday 23 March

This was the title of a side event organised by UNODC and the European Union (European Commission, EMCDDA). The event provided a forum to reflect on the opportunities that now exist at global, regional and national level to improve capacity to report on the drug situation. In 2010, the revision of the new Annual Report Questionnaire (ARQ) was finalised. This achievement provides us with a comprehensive basis for collecting data on the drug situation. But the questionnaire alone cannot achieve this objective: sufficient capacity is needed within countries to collect and analyse reliable data. This is a challenge for all countries. During this side event an international panel led a discussion on possible solutions for the future. Participants included delegates from: CICAD, EMCDDA, European Commission, the Hungarian Presidency of the EU, United Arab Emirates and UNODC. On the agenda:

Challenges and opportunities at global level
UNODC — current gaps in the availability of global data and the role of the new Global Programme on Drug Supply and Use Statistics (PROMISE).

Challenges and opportunities at regional level
CICAD and the EMCDDA — presentation of the new joint handbook on building national drugs observatories: an example of a successful capacity-building process.

Challenges and opportunities at country level
The United Arab Emirates — challenges of introducing and scaling up data collection at national level.

Future perspectives — supporting capacity development
The European Commission — capacity development as a basis for sound policies.

Tuesday 22 March

EMCDDA attends COPOLAD side event

The EMCDDA participated in a side event on the Cooperation Programme between Latin America and the European Union on Anti-Drugs Policies (COPOLAD). The EMCDDA sits on the steering committee of this programme which aims to contribute to improving the coherence, balance and impact of anti-drugs policies in Latin America. COPOLAD was approved by the European Commission on 18 December 2009 with a EUR 6 000 000 budget. The EMCDDA will cooperate with COPOLAD in close consultation with the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD).

Ongoing dialogue between EMCDDA and Canadian partners

Delegates from the EMCDDA and the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) met in Vienna this week in the context of ongoing dialogue to outline potential areas of cooperation. EMCDDA scientific coordinator Paul Griffiths met CCSA Chief executive officer Michel Perron. Discussion points included: drugs and driving, guidelines on interventions, monitoring drug sales on the Internet and possible joint publications. These informal talks follow meetings in Lisbon and Vienna in 2010 which identified areas of common interest. Follow-up meetings will be held later in 2011 to take this cooperation forward.

Monday 21 March

At this year’s CND, the EU is supporting resolutions on drugs and driving, data collection and strategies in response to drug use disorders.

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