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Reflection on the UN General Assembly Special Session on drugs – one year on

Reflection on the UN General Assembly Special Session on drugs – one year on PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to show a reflection of one year on how the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) event was unfolded and its impacts and longer term implications.Design/methodology/approachThis paper is a consideration of relevant past and present documentation and commentary. Experiences as a participant at some of the events described.FindingsUNGASS was called for by countries affected by the failings of the existing conventions who wanted to introduce reformed alternative policies. Representatives of the status quo who opposed such change were partially successful in retaining some aspects of the prohibition approach and in minimising dissent and debate.Research limitations/implicationsSome decision-making discussions were not open to all potential participants – governmental, regional and civil society, including the author.Practical implicationsThe wider debate prompted by the UNGASS indicated a breakdown in the previous consensus around the prohibition and punitive paradigm of the international conventions.Social implicationsGreater emphases on health and human rights aspects of international drug policy were included in the final documents. This provides scope for continued evolution of these emphases in the future.Originality/valueThe paper presents an account of the UNGASS and pre-UNGASS proceedings from the point of view of a reform-minded participant. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Drugs and Alcohol Today Emerald Publishing

Reflection on the UN General Assembly Special Session on drugs – one year on

Drugs and Alcohol Today , Volume 17 (2): 7 – Jun 5, 2017

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1745-9265
DOI
10.1108/DAT-03-2017-0009
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to show a reflection of one year on how the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) event was unfolded and its impacts and longer term implications.Design/methodology/approachThis paper is a consideration of relevant past and present documentation and commentary. Experiences as a participant at some of the events described.FindingsUNGASS was called for by countries affected by the failings of the existing conventions who wanted to introduce reformed alternative policies. Representatives of the status quo who opposed such change were partially successful in retaining some aspects of the prohibition approach and in minimising dissent and debate.Research limitations/implicationsSome decision-making discussions were not open to all potential participants – governmental, regional and civil society, including the author.Practical implicationsThe wider debate prompted by the UNGASS indicated a breakdown in the previous consensus around the prohibition and punitive paradigm of the international conventions.Social implicationsGreater emphases on health and human rights aspects of international drug policy were included in the final documents. This provides scope for continued evolution of these emphases in the future.Originality/valueThe paper presents an account of the UNGASS and pre-UNGASS proceedings from the point of view of a reform-minded participant.

Journal

Drugs and Alcohol TodayEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 5, 2017

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