European Civil Society Consultations

Društvo UP, associate member of Dianova International, participates in two important meetings on drug policy developments

In-person event during European consulations

Participants at the in-person meeting in Ljubljana (Slovenia) – from left: Dr. Jože Hren, Head of the Health Promotion and Addiction Prevention Sector (Ministry of Health, Slovenia); Matej Košir, Chairperson of the VNGOC; and Mirella Dummar Frahi, Chief of Civil Society Unit (UNODC) – Photo: Drustvo UP, all rights reserved

European Civil Society Consultations in preparations for the CND 2024 mid-term review

To facilitate meaningful civil society contributions to the 2024 high-level segment of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), the Vienna & New York NGO Committees on Drugs (VNGOC & NYNGOC) in cooperation with the UNODC Civil Society Unit (CSU) organized a series of regional civil society consultations in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the Americas.

The European consultations were conducted in partnership with the Civil Society Forum on Drugs in the EU (CSFD) with a series of online and hybrid consultations held on 16 January in Ljubljana, Slovenia, with support from the Slovenian government.

In UP Society (Društvo UP) we were glad to be a part of this important networking event. The consultations were built on the regional contributions to the CND thematic discussions held between 2019 and 2023 and enabled us to exchange on civil society contributions to the joint international commitments, as well as put forward recommendations to further accelerate implementation towards 2029. Preliminary results of the global online survey, as well as summaries from the online consultations were presented by Ms. Sarah Pirker, UNODC Consultant and Project Manager at Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs, while Mr. Matej Košir,  Chairperson of the VNGOC, shared an overview of the 2024 Mid-term review as well as insights on civil society contributions to the implementation of the 2019 Ministerial Declaration. We also had a space for Q&A, and discussions and debates on the way forward, including a presentation of the processes leading up to the 67th session of the CND, presented by Ms. Mirella Dummar Frahi, Chief of Civil Society Unit at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Documents on civil socieyt participation

The UNODC believes that the active involvement of civil society is essential to help carry out its global mandates – Photo: Drustvo UP, all rights reserved

International Conference on Recovery and Addiction Treatment

Next day, on January 17th, we attended an International Conference on Recovery and Addiction Treatment organized by the Ministry of Health (Slovenia) in cooperation with the Vienna NGO Committee, an event sponsored by the European Social Fund.

The goal of the conference was to strengthen and create new services for people with substance addiction and it was held with the participation from many addiction professionals from all over Europe. The introductory speeches were delivered by Mr. Matej Košir (VNGOC); Ms. Vesna Marinko, Director of the General Public Health Directorate; and Dr. Jože Hren, Head of the Health Promotion and Addiction Prevention Sector, Ministry of Health, who emphasized that the conference would also be dedicated to spreading a better understanding of addiction-related  issues, beyond the borders of a single profession or scientific field.

The conference was both instructive and thought-provoking. Contributions made by lecturers were especially versatile, with viewpoints from the academia and fieldwork, and from the health and social sectors. All participants are active in the field of drugs and addiction, including Prof. David Best, Director of the Centre for Addiction Recovery Research, Trinity University (Leeds, UK); Mr. Oriol Esculies, International commissioner at Asociación Proyecto Hombre (Spain); Mr. Boro Goić, Chairman, Recovered Users Network (RUN); and Dr. Andrej Kastelic, Head of the National Center for the Treatment of Drug Addiction in Ljubljana (Slovenia) and a teacher for Addiction, Psychiatry and Mental Health at the University of Ljubljana.

Lastly, we would like to thank the Ministry of Health and the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs for their seamless organization of this important event.