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Journal of Drug Policy Analysis

A Journal of Substance Abuse Control Policy

Ed. by Kleiman, Mark / Kilmer, Beau

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1941-2851
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UNGASS 2016: Prospects for Treaty Reform and UN System-Wide Coherence on Drug Policy

Martin Jelsma
  • Corresponding author
  • Drugs & Democracy Programme, Transnational Institute, De Wittenstraat 25, Amsterdam 1052AK, Netherlands
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Published Online: 2016-03-15 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jdpa-2015-0021

Abstract

This paper explores key lessons from the 1990 Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Drug Abuse (UNGASS 1990) and the 1998 Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS 1998), and tracks subsequent policy events and trends. It discusses the wide array of increasing tensions and cracks in the “Vienna consensus,” as well as systemic challenges and recent treaty breaches. Various options for treaty reform are explored and the following questions are considered: Given policy developments around the world this past decade, what outcomes can the 2016 Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS 2016) have in terms of a new political compromise? How can UNGASS 2016 contribute to more system-wide coherence where previous attempts failed? Can UNGASS 2016 realistically initiate a process of modernizing the global drug control system and breathe oxygen into a system risking asphyxiation? Finally, is there a chance that treaty reform options will be discussed at all, or do today’s political realities still block possible future regime changes?

Keywords: international drug policy; United Nations; UN drug control conventions

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About the article

Received: 2015-07-17

Revised: 2015-12-16

Accepted: 2016-02-22

Published Online: 2016-03-15


Citation Information: Journal of Drug Policy Analysis, Volume 10, Issue 1, 20150021, ISSN (Online) 1941-2851, ISSN (Print) 2194-6337, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jdpa-2015-0021.

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