Addressing the Development Dimensions of Drug PolicyPublished on Thursday, 18 June 2015 20:53
The UNDP has published a new discussion paper entitled “Addressing the Development Dimensions of Drug Policy”. In April 2016, the UN General Assembly will hold a Special Session on Drugs to assess and debate the successes and failures of current drug control policies.
UNDP is a member of the UN System Task Force on Transnational Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking, established in 2011 to provide guidance on how to integrate responses to transnational organized crime into UN peacekeeping, peacebuilding, security and development initiatives and to develop a roadmap of key initiatives and activities relating to its mandate. UNDP has prepared this discussion paper in response to the Task Force’s request for input from UN agencies into UNGASS 2016. It was written with inputs from UNDP experts in HIV, health, human rights, governance, rule of law and security and conflict prevention and includes perspectives from UNDP country office, regional and global colleagues.
Evidence shows that in many countries, drug control policies and related enforcement activities focused on reducing supply and demand have had little effect in eradicating production or problematic drug use. Various UN organizations, including UNODC, have described the harmful collateral consequences of these efforts. These include the creating a criminal black market; fuelling corruption, violence and instability; undermining public health and safety; generating human rights abuses, and discrimination and marginalization of people who use drugs, indigenous peoples, women and youth. In many parts of the world, law enforcement responses to drug-related crime have created or exacerbated poverty, threatened the health and human rights of the most marginalized people and impeded sustainable development.
This paper provides an overview of how current drug policies affect human development, including UNDP’s mandate and activities. It highlights opportunities for UNDP to address the development dimensions of drug policy in its programme and policy support to UN Member States as guided by our 2014-2017 Strategic Plan. The paper also addresses potential avenues for UNDP to promote the development dimensions of drug policy in international norm setting fora, including the post-2015 agenda and the preparations for UNGASS 2016. Ultimately, its is hoped that the paper will be used by UNDP and other stakeholders to support policies and programmes that contribute to better coherence between drug control policies and practices and development goals. Download the report