CSFD – UNODC cooperation

DPNSEE Executive Director Milutin Milošević, member of the EU Civil Society Forum on Drugs Core Group, joined the meeting between the CSFD Working Group 2 and UNODC Brussels Liaison Office. The meeting was scheduled to discuss cooperation on the issues of interest discussed by the European Union related to drugs.

Milutin presented the priorities and work of the Working Group 4 he is chairing. He also pointed the need to advocate for more balanced approach to accession processes for the EU candidate countries, which is currently almost exclusive addressing splly reduction measures.

The two sides agreed in preparing a joint advocacy event in the occassion of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 26 June.

Project coordination meeting

Partners in the “Emergency support for the provision of HIV and Harm Reduction services among key populations in Ukraine and refugees in selected neighbouring countries” project held a coordination meeting with the representative of the UNODC Regional Programme Office for Eastern Europe which supports the project. It was an opportunity to present information of the activities implemented since the start of the project in mid-December and additionally clarify some issues related to reporting.

Launching the project in Serbia

DPNSEE and project partners in Serbia (Prevent, Timok Youth Centre, Duga and Re Generation) invited possible partners from Serbia to a meeting to present the “Emergency support for the provision of HIV and Harm Reduction services among key populations in Ukraine and refugees in selected neighbouring countries” project. The meeting was held in the Palace Serbia, with the support from the national Office for Combating Drugs.

Project partners and the UNODC project officer Žana Glavendekić presented the background, aims and activities of the project, as well as the current situation in Ukraine, Russia and Serbia.

Participants, including those from Ministry of Health and Ministry of Interior, Institute for Public Health, Commissariat for Refugees and Migration, UNHCR office in Serbia and colleagues from the Philanthrophy member organisation discussed in details elements of importance for implementation of this important project.

 

Code of Conduct for fair and effective engagement with civil society organisations

Together with more than 400 organisations and experts, DPNSEE call the United Nations ECOSOC, and in particular the Committee on NGOs, to lead a UN-wide process to adopt a model Code of Conduct for fair and effective engagement with civil society organisations.

The action was proposed by the Centre for Health Science and Law (CHSL).

The text of the Call is available in the document following this link>>>.

 

UN resolution that doesn’t include “drug-free world”

From the Ann Fordham’s article published at the IDPC webiste

For decades, debates and political commitments on drug policy at the United Nations have been plagued by the goal of ‘achieving a society free of drugs’ (or ‘drug abuse’). This fantastical notion has underpinned unimaginable harm as governments all over the world have strived to eradicate drugs through draconian measures. Despite these efforts, the global market in illegal drugs grows ever larger, more robust and with a greater diversity of substances. In parallel, the human cost of the so-called ‘war on drugs’ continues to grow exponentially – a devastating crisis of mass incarceration, overdose deaths, extrajudicial killings and a litany of human rights violations that have impacted some of society’s most marginalised.

Last week the UN General Assembly made history by adopting a resolution on drugs that did not include the long-standing reference to ‘actively promote a society free of drug abuse’ for the first time in three decades. Not only was this overly simplistic, ‘war on drugs’-era notion absent from the text, but the resolution includes some of the strongest ever human rights language relating to drug policy, an aspect on which the main UN drug policy forum in Vienna (the Commission on Narcotic Drugs) has made little progress in recent years.

Resolutions on drug policy at the General Assembly have always been agreed by consensus, however this resolution broke new ground as it was adopted – for the first time in history – after a vote.

It was a reluctant breaking of the consensus with an unprecedented number of countries making statements before the vote in the 3rd Committee, many of them lamenting the need for a vote and noting their hope for a return to the usual consensus for future drug policy resolutions. Ultimately, when the resolution reached the plenary of the General Assembly, a total of 124 Member States voted in favour of the resolution, while 9 voted against, with 45 abstentions.

Overall, by emphasising human rights concepts and doing away with tired and ultimately harmful ideological objectives such as ‘a society free of drug abuse’, the resolution goes a long way towards refocusing international cooperation away from reducing illegal cultivation, production and drug trafficking and towards reducing the negative consequences of the global drug situation on individuals and communities.

Crucially, this progressive text was adopted by an overwhelming majority of Member States, with only 9 countries voting against it. This demonstrates that the ‘Vienna consensus’ has been an instrument to hold back progress on drug policy making, pushing the international community towards policies and narratives that are far more conservative than those of a majority of Member States.

Read more about in the article at the IDPC website following this link>>>.

 

The Global Fund Eligibility List 2023

Whether a country or region is eligible for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria support is determined by its income classification and disease burden, as detailed in the Global Fund’s Eligibility Policy. The policy is designed to ensure available resources are allocated to countries with the highest disease burden, the least economic capacity, and where key and vulnerable populations are disproportionately affected by the three diseases.

A particular country’s eligibility by component (HIV, tuberculosis and malaria) is recorded annually in the Eligibility List.

The Global Fund published the Eligibility List 2023. It identifies which country components are eligible for an allocation for the 2023-2025 allocation period in support of the Global Fund Strategy for 2023-2028, Fighting Pandemics and Building a Healthier and More Equitable World.’

A few countries from South East Europe are at the list:

  • Kosovo* for HIV and Tuberculosis – both Transition (2020 & 2023)
  • Montenegro for HIV
  • North Macedonia for HIV
  • Romania for Tuberculosis – Transition (2023)
  • Serbia for HIV

Albania is not at the list any more – their Transition project ended. Newcomer is North Macedonia, which is good, but question is why Bosnia Herzegovina is not at the list as situation there is worse and no har reduction/prevention service is available in the country?

Since Romania is not on the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list of Official Development Assistance (ODA) recipients, Romania may be eligible for an allocation for HIV for non-governmental or civil society organizations under Paragraph 9b of the Eligibility Policy only if there are demonstrated barriers to providing funding for interventions for key populations, as supported by the country’s epidemiology. As 2023 is an allocation year, the Secretariat has conducted an assessment and has determined that Romania does not meet the requirements under Paragraph 9b of the Eligibility Policy. Therefore, Romania has been determined not to be eligible for an HIV allocation for the 2023-2025 allocation period.

The Eligibility List 2023 is available following this link>>>.

 

Meeting with the UN agencies

DPNSEE and partners in the “Emergency support for the provision of HIV and Harm Reduction services among key populations in Ukraine and refugees in selected neighbouring countriesproject in Serbia held an online meeting with the representatives of he UN agencies in the country. The aim of the meeting was to present the project and to ensure that it is connected with the work of the agencies.

We expect that the support of the UN system will contribute to establishing good relations and eliminate potential challenges in implementation of the project.