This week in Vienna, Austria, more than 1,500 delegates representing Member States, inter-governmental organizations, civil society, and the media will convene for the 59th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) to discuss the growing world drug problem. This international meeting takes place against the backdrop of one of the greatest drug crises in the history of the United States -- a phenomenon also familiar to many nations around the world.
A U.S. delegation co-led by Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs William R. Brownfield and National Drug Control Policy Director Michael Botticelli are participating in a whirlwind of meetings at the CND, engaging counterparts from nations across the globe to advance a pragmatic global drug policy reform agenda. This agenda calls for a recommitment to the three international drug conventions and an approach that requires a greater focus on public health and healthcare related to drug use, rehabilitation, treatment and education.
The U.S. delegation to the CND also includes representatives of the U.S. Department of Justice, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Food and Drug Administration. These experts will engage in a number of meetings on topics ranging from to the recent scourge of new psychoactive substances to how to address tuberculosis and HIV and AIDS in the drug control context, and alternative livelihoods for those farmers cultivating illicit crops such as opium poppy and coca.
This session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs is particularly notable because it comes just five weeks before the international community will gather in New York for a major UN General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem -- the first such global meeting since 1998. This week’s meeting in Vienna is the last opportunity for the international community to come together offering solutions and proposals in advance of the meeting at the General Assembly, which will be held April 19-21.
For more information:
- Join the conversation surrounding the Commission on Narcotics Drugs 59th Session on Twitter by using the hashtags #CND2016 and #UNGASS2016
- View updates and information from the U.S. delegation by following the State Department’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Bureau @StateINL on Twitter and Facebook.
- Get on-the-ground updates from the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Vienna @usunvie on Twitter and on Facebook.
- Listen to a briefing to foreign journalists by Assistant Secretary Brownfield on global drug policy.