ICLAIM’s participation in the ‘Civil Society Consultation on Engagement with the UNODC Synthetic Drug Strategy’ – 8 December 2022
In response to the escalating problem of synthetic drugs around the world, the UNODC launched in November 2021 a new strategy, the UNODC Synthetic Drug Strategy 2021-2025 (‘Strategy’). Its purpose is to assist countries in the fight against drug trafficking. Synthetic drugs pose a unique challenge to any anti-drug efforts. As stated in the Strategy, synthetic drugs can be manufactured anywhere around the world, all it takes is ‘human creativity and a few key chemicals.’ Hence, they can be produced in virtually every country. The Strategy is premised on four spheres of action:
- Sphere 1: Multilateralism and international cooperation
- Sphere 2: Early warning on emerging synthetic drug threats – Preventing crises before they
- Sphere 3: Promote science-informed health responses – “Science for health”
- Sphere 4: Strengthen counternarcotic capacity and support international operations to
disrupt trafficking in synthetic drugs
According to the UNODC, civil society organisations can play a crucial role in the successful implementation of the Strategy. They can constitute a form a bridge and a line of communication between the relevant stakeholders and affected communities. To this effect, UNODC organised a civil society consultation on the 8th December 2022, to which ICLAIM participated. The event was held in hybrid form, in Vienna and online. It was organised by the UNODC together with the Alliance of NGOs on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (Alliance) and the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs (VNGOC). Participants were invited to engage in discussion on the new Strategy and provide their input and recommendations. Significantly, the event was a first step, a ‘kick off’ meeting, to enhance sustained and meaningful engagement of civil society organisations with the new Strategy, with the ultimate purpose of developing civil society expert groups that can contribute towards the effective implementation of the Strategy.