Representatives of the Office for Combating Drugs, together with representatives of the Ministry of Health, took part at the 60th Conference of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, which was held in Vienna in period 13-17 March 2017. After the agenda had been adopted, the work on plenary session was divided in two segments. The operational segment referred to directives in implementation of the UN program on drugs- UN Office on Drugs and Crime, as well as to strengthening these programs and the role of the UNODC as a leading body, including administrative, budget issues and the issues of strategic management.
During this part of the session and in accordance with the agenda, participants paid special attention to the issues of UNODS work, the role of the Commission as a managing body in UNODC program on drugs, as well as to the staff of this body.
The second segment, which was much broader and which was elaborated on 14-17 March, referred to normative issues in combating drugs, and it was divided into several items.
Item 5 referred to the implementation of Political Declaration and Action Plan in international cooperation aimed at integrated and balanced strategy of the world problem of drugs. This item particularly considered the issues such as:
- Reduce demand and related measures
- Reduce supply and related measures
- Fighting money laundering and promoting judicial cooperation for the purpose of strengthening international cooperation.
Within this item, the delegation of the Republic of Serbia presented in its addressing the data on what had been reached in the area of decreasing offer and demand in our country, and in accordance with the international standards. Additionally, efforts and results reached by Serbia in the area of prevention were emphasized, as well as that the Ministry of Health with its partners prepared Protocol on Early Warning System.
Item 6 presented follow up of the General Assembly Special Session on the world drug problem, held in 2016, including seven fields of the final document of the respective session.
Item 8 was about the analysis of international agreements on drug control, with special emphasis on the following:
- Challenges and future work of the Commission and the World Health Organization in evaluating substances for possible recommendations
- Changes in the area of controlled substances
- International Narcotics Control Board
- International cooperation for enabling availability of narcotics and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific purposes, preventing at the same time their redirecting for other purposes.
- Other issues resulting from the agreement on international control
- The last day of session dealt with items referring to recommendations of Commission’s associated bodies, framework schedule for the next Conference, as well as with adoption of the Commission’s report on previous session.
Apart from the plenary session, there were multiple side sessions during the Conference, which dealt with certain ongoing issues in the area of drug policy.
Representatives of our delegation took part in several sessions, whose topics were recognized as the ones of interest and useful for further elaboration in the Republic of Serbia.
NEW PERSPECTIVES ON INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES IN DRUG DEMAND REDUCTION organized by the Governments of Croatia and Greece, the UNODC Drug Prevention and Health Branch and the Pompidou Group of the Council of Europe. Possibilities of use of technologies in reduction of drug demand were presented during this session. Internet surveys that were carried out by the healthcare workers, anonymous and protected, would contribute that more people, first of all those that have already stated abusing drugs, would obtain the right information on drug addiction and dangers.
SCHOOLS AS VALUABLE SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS FOR PREVENTION AND TO BUILD SOCIO-EMOTIONAL SKILLS organized by the Governments of Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Lions Clubs International Foundation, the UNODC Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Section, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the Vienna and New York NGO Committees. Apart from the participation of the delegation of the Republic of Serbia at this session, diplomatic representatives of our country in Vienna took part in preparing this accompanying event. During this session, the benefits of prevention program implementation carried out with the help of Lions Clubs International Foundation were underlined.
ALTERNATIVES TO COERCIVE SANCTIONS AS RESPONSE TO DRUG LAW OFFENCES AND DRUG-RELATED CRIMES organized by the European Union. This presentation was dedicated to investigations on possibility of replacing coercive measures with some alternative methods for criminal drug-related offences. Investigations were carried out in the EU countries, based on surveys created by the national experts. It was concluded that implementation of such measures must be expanded and that they needed to be used more often.
CANNABIS AND THE CONVENTIONS: AFTERMATH OF UNGASS organized by the Washington Office on Latin America, the Global Drug Policy Observatory, the Transnational Institute, the Transform Drug Policy Foundation and the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network.
General evaluation is that the session was a success, in spite of opposing position of delegations regarding sensitive issues such as: participation of civil society in drug policy, death penalty, human rights and freedoms as well as the rule of law.
The Youth Ambassador at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and representatives of the organization “Inicijativa Mladih” (“The Youth Initiative”), Radmila Doder, visiting the Office for Combating Drugs (Belgrade, 5 April 2017)
With the aim of achieving activities within its competencies, representatives of the Office for Combating Drugs of the Republic of Serbia initiated on 05/04/2017 a meeting with representatives of the organization “The Youth Initiative”, having in mind that drugs problem affect mostly the young population. The meeting was held in the premises of the Office and with the UNODC Youth Ambassador, Radmila Doder.
On that occasion, representatives of the Office presented Office activities, as well as plans for implementation of the respective activities. Representative of the “Youth Initiative” presented, also, the work of her organization, with special attention on the help and support that they receive from the UNODC. “Imitative” is active through various tribunes and promotions of healthy life, as well as through participation in creation of expert literature dealing with the topic of drugs and drug abuse. So far, they have had several international campaigns lead by the UNODC auspices. Education was, most often, organized at primary schools, in partnership with the UNODC “Global Youth Initiative”. One of the successful activities is implementation of the program “Prevention among Youth”.
Since a mutual will for establishing active cooperation with the Office was shown, it was agreed to carry out the analysis of possible cooperation by identifying the areas and methods for joint activities, and scheduling of a new meeting in the shortest possible notice was agreed, in order to identify guidelines for further activities.