April 19-22, 2016
UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs
The UN General Assembly will hold a Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs in 2016. This Special Session will be an important milestone in achieving the goals set in the policy document of 2009 “Political Declaration and Plan of Action on International Cooperation towards an Integrated and Balanced Strategy to Counter the World Drug Problem”, which defined action to be taken by Member States as well as goals to be achieved by 2019.
In March 2014, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) conducted the high-level review of the progress made in the implementation of the Political Declaration and Plan of Action, the results of which are included in the Joint Ministerial Statement adopted. Member States identified achievements, challenges and priorities for further action on the way to the target date of 2019.
The General Assembly (GA) has requested the CND, as the United Nations organ with the prime responsibility for drug control matters, to engage in the preparatory process for the UNGASS. In response to this request, the Commission adopted resolution 57/5, entitled “Special session of the General Assembly on the world drug problem to be held in 2016”, in which it decided to ensure an adequate, inclusive and effective preparatory process for the 2016 Special Session.
As an initial step to facilitate that broader consultation with UN entities, international and regional organizations and non-governmental organizations, this website http://www.ungass2016.org has been created, which is meant to enable global dialogue in an inclusive and transparent manner and to function as a resource tool for the Commission in its preparations for the 2016 Special Session. All relevant UN entities, international and regional organizations as well as all NGOs which regularly attend the Commission have been invited to contribute.
In its resolutions 69/200 and 69/201 the GA asked the CND to lead the preparatory process by addressing all organizational and substantive matters in an open-ended manner. Resolution 69/200 further requests that the Special Session on the world drug problem in 2016 shall have an inclusive preparatory process that includes extensive substantive consultations, allowing organs, entities and specialized agencies of the United Nations system, relevant international and regional organizations, civil society and other relevant stakeholders to fully contribute to the process, in accordance with the relevant rules of procedure and established practices.
The formal process is enriched by a series of informal activities with the aim of creating an environment for exchange to benefit from the extensive expertise the different stakeholders (member states, UN entities, IGOs, IOs, civil society including NGOs, academia and the scientific community) can bring to the table. The preparations are supported by a number of tools to facilitate an effective, transparent and inclusive process. The initiatives and meetings are documented on this website.
In preparation for the Special Session, the 58th Session of the CND in March 2015 adopted resolution 58/8, entitled “Special Session of the General Assembly on the World Drug Problem to be held in 2016”, making recommendations on organizational and substantive matters regarding the session for adoption by the General Assembly: e.g. the Special Session to be held from 19-21 April 2016 or the session to consist of a general debate and five interactive, multi-stakeholder round tables. In December 2015 the General Assembly adopted the recommendations on the modalities for the UNGASS made by the CND in its resolution 70/181.