Many Non-Governmental Organisations, Civil Society Organisations, Faith-based organisation, some other stakeholders and young individuals have joined in the discussion on drug-related issues in the country.
The 2016 United Nations Special session (UNGASS) is a meeting of UN member-states to assess and debate global issues such as health, gender – or, in this case, the world’s drug control priorities.
UNGASS 2016 Outcome Document
The 2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) outcome document contains chapters focused on demand and supply reduction; the availability of controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes; human rights; challenges and new trends; international cooperation and development.
The 1998 UNGASS was the first stakeholders’ gathering focused on the total elimination of drugs from the world; Years after the first UNGASS, the discussion on drugs started to take on another shape and political leaders and citizens began to rethink the prevailing ineffective and dangerous approach to the world’s drug problems.
The failed war on drugs has killed millions of innocent souls – and Duterte’s drug war is a clear testament to that. Since Duterte’s first day as president – ( June 30, 2016 to June 2018 )– he has killed more than 4,500 people in what the Philippine National Police (PNP) calls lawful anti-drug operations, alleging that the suspects fought back during raids. Thousands more have been killed by unidentified assailants throughout the country in the president’s stated bid to end the drug canker in the Philippines.
The 32-page document focused on reaffirming stakeholders’ commitment to the goals and objectives of the three international drug control conventions – which include concern about the health and welfare of mankind as well as the individual and public health-related social and safety problems resulting from the abuse of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, in particular among children and young people, and drug-related crime. And we reaffirmed stakeholders’ determination to prevent and treat the abuse of such substances, and prevent and counter illicit cultivation, production, manufacturing and trafficking of narcotics.
The document further stipulated ways of curbing drug-abuse in the world, and further reaffirmed ways to tackle the world drug problem and actively promote a society free of drug-abuse in order to help ensure that all people can live in health, dignity and peace, with security and prosperity while providing a framework to address public health, safety and social problems resulting from drug-abuse.
Stakeholders reiterated their commitment to promoting the health, welfare and well-being of all individuals, families, communities and society as a whole, and facilitating healthy lifestyles through an effective, comprehensive as well as scientific evidence-based demand-reduction among problematic drug users around the world.
Stakeholders Recommendations at UNGASS 2016
The following were recommendations made by stakeholders at the 2016 UNGASS on drug-abuse:
(a) To take effective and practical primary prevention measures that protect people, in particular children and youth, from drug-use initiation by providing them with accurate information about the risks of drug abuse; by promoting skills and opportunities to choose healthy lifestyles; develop supportive parenting and healthy social environments; and by ensuring equal access to education and vocational training.
(b) To Increase the availability, coverage and quality of scientific evidence-based prevention measures and tools which target relevant age and risk groups in multiple settings; reaching youth in school as well as out of school, among others, through drug-abuse prevention programmes and public awareness-raising campaigns – including by using the Internet, social media and other online platforms; develop and implement prevention curricula and early intervention programmes for use in the education system at all levels, as well as in vocational training, including at the workplace; and enhance the capacity of teachers and other relevant professionals to provide or recommend counselling, prevention and care services.
(C ) To involve, as appropriate, policymakers, parliamentarians, educators, civil society, the scientific community, academia, target populations, individuals in recovery from substance use disorders and their peer groups, families and other co-dependent people, as well as the private sector, in the development of prevention programmes aimed at raising public awareness on the dangers and risks associated with drug-abuse, and involve, inter alia, parents, care services providers, teachers, peer groups, health professionals, religious communities, community leaders, social workers, sports associations, media professionals and entertainment industries, as appropriate, in their implementation.
(d) To develop and improve recreational facilities and provide access for children and youth to regular sports and cultural activities, with a view to promoting healthy lives and lifestyles – including through the recovery and improvement of public spaces, and promoting the exchange of experiences and good practices in this field to further enhance effective preventive interventions.
To be continued…….