ON THE OCCASION OF THE INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST DRUG ABUSE AND ILLICIT TRAFFICKING, DIANOVA INTERNATIONAL INSISTS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF PREVENTION AND TREATMENT AND TAKES A STRONG STANCE AGAINST DRUG LIBERALIZATION.
Montreal, June 26th 2015
On the occasion of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking of the United Nations, which is celebrated on June 26th, and in order to support the preparation of United Nations General Assembly Special Session 2016 (UNGASS), Dianova launches its new ¨Corporative positioning on Addictions and Drug Policies¨.
The Dianova network operates in 11 countries of Europe and the Americas in the fields of education, youth, addiction treatment and prevention, and social development, with over 30 years of experience in these areas.
Dianova is deeply engaged in the preparation of the UNGASS, the most important international debate on drug policies in the last two decades. The UNGASS, to be held from 19 to 21 April 2016 at the UN headquarters in New York City, will undoubtedly mark a historic milestone in the drug field.
Dianova has long been participating in forums and international networks dealing with drug policies (such as the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs and the Civil Society Forum of the European Union) to help raise the voice of civil society at the UNGASS. The organization has brought up to date its positioning document in relation to illicit drugs so as to contribute more effectively to UNGASS.
This positioning reviews the various options for regulating the drug market, from the prohibitionist agenda to the legalization of psychoactive substances; it also explores the international context in which current policies were developed. Finally, a number of recommendations are made to help bring about more efficient and humane drug policies, in light of today's trends and challenges.
“Despite the failures in drug policies in these past 50 years, we consider that the global situation of drug users has developed positively in many countries. As an international network of NGO operating in 11 countries and in 3 continents, we believe it essential to stop criminalizing drug users and focus on balanced public health approaches based on proven methodologies”, points out Montse Rafel, Director General of Dianova International.
Drug policy should be designed with the aim of preventing and/or reducing risk behaviours and human suffering while assisting those concerned by addiction-related problems and their families. According to Dianova’s standpoint, prevention and treatment should be at the very heart of future addiction strategies based on coherent and responsible policies and the implementation of evidence-based measures, while on-going evaluation and monitoring practices are ensured.
In its position statement, Dianova urges governments to: examine critically the deficiencies of the prohibitionist and repressive strategies promoted by the international drug control system; bring the criminalization of drug users to an end and regard drug use and addiction as a matter of public health; promote large public debates regarding the addiction problem and the search for policies consistent with each country's history and culture; implement complementary and innovative approaches and strategies based on scientific evidence rather than ideological lines, without favouring one over another; promote universal access to essential medicines and pain relief. Finally, Dianova deems it would be unnecessary and counter-productive to regulate or liberalize illicit substances and takes a strong stance against such proposals.