What is the UNGASS?
The United Nations General Assembly Special Session, or UNGASS, is a meeting of UN member states to assess and debate global issues such as health, gender, or in this case, international drug policy.
Why was the 2016 UNGASS important?
Before 2016, the last Special Session on drugs was held in 1998. The event accomplished very little, culminating in most member states simply reaffirming their commitment to pursue existing strategies and create a “drug-free world” by 2008.
This time UNGASS was brought forward to 2016, from the original date of a 2019 meeting, at the request of the presidents of Colombia, Mexico and Guatemala. In 2012, this group of heads of state called on the UN General Assembly to convene a Special Session as part of a wider collective call to “analyse all available options, including regulatory or market measures, in order to establish a new paradigm that prevents the flow of resources to organized crime organizations.”
As a result, the drug policy reform movement had higher hopes for the productivity of UNGASS.
What did Transform do around the UNGASS?
- The road to the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs in 2016
- The real UN debate around the war on drugs and the war on youth