Tuesday, February 17, 2009

After the War- Next Monday in N.Y.

23 February, 2009

Midday Forum: After the War on Drugs

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There is a great need to reform current global drug policy. Some propose legalization, while others emphasize greater priority for health and human rights.

Date: Monday, February 23rd
Time: 1:15pm to 2:45pm
Venue: Conference Room 8, United Nations Headquarters, New York

Presenter: Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director, Drug Policy Alliance


The last century has witnessed the construction of a global drug prohibition regime that relies overwhelmingly on criminal justice and other coercive institutions and mechanisms to try to reduce the use of forbidden substances. In the last few years however, the opposition to this rigidly prohibitionist approach promoted by the United States has grown. Europeans have led the way in reforming drug policy in ways that are more consistent with health, human rights and science, and Latin America and Asia are close behind. In the last few years, the U.S. has been forced to accept a more health-focused approach by allowing for the language of 'harm reduction' in a number of key U.N. documents, including the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS of 2006 (A/RES/60/262), and the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS of 2001 (A/RES/S-26/2).

The next decade of UN and international drug control policy will surely focus much more attention on reducing the harmful effects of both drug misuse and failed prohibitionist policies.

This event will address the realistic options for reform in both the short and long term. In addition, the discussion will address whether the Obama administration is likely to change the US's focus and allow global drug policy to evolve in a new direction that gives much greater weight to health, human rights, science and vigorous and open global debate.

Latin-American Commission on Drugs and Democracy Calls Drug War a Failure (February 2009) (see report)

Speaker's Profile:

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Ethan Nadelmann is the founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, the leading organization in the United States promoting alternatives to the war on drugs.

Mr. Nadelmann was born in New York City and received his BA, JD, and PhD from Harvard, and a master's degree in international relations from the London School of Economics. He then taught politics and public affairs at Princeton University from 1987 to 1994, where his speaking and writings on drug policy--in publications ranging from Science and Foreign Affairs to American Heritage and National Review--attracted international attention. He authored Cops Across Borders, the first scholarly study of the internationalization of U.S. criminal law enforcement, and co-authored another book entitled Policing the Globe: Criminalization and Crime Control in International Relations, published by Oxford University Press in 2006.

In 1994, Mr. Nadelmann founded the Lindesmith Center, a drug policy institute created with the philanthropic support of George Soros. In 2000, the growing Center merged with another organization to form the Drug Policy Alliance and Drug Policy Alliance Network, which advocate for drug policies grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights. Described by Rolling Stone as "the point man" for drug policy reform efforts, Ethan Nadelmann is widely regarded as the most prominent proponent of drug policy reform.

Dr. Jean-Marc Coicaud will moderate this discussion.
Dr. Coicaud's Bio

The UNU-UN Midday Forum series is organized with the aim of offering an intimate and informal setting for the exchange of ideas and experiences, giving people concerned with similar problems the opportunity to meet and discuss important topics relating to the UN. It is a chance for academics and policy-makers, from the UN and beyond, to reflect on and participate in the work of the United Nations.

Coca Come Back

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