FAAAT submitted a contribution to the post-UNGASS 2016 thematic debates organized by the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, on October 10th, 11th, 27th and 28th 2016. This contribution has been posted online on the website of the UNODC and can be downloaded below (only in English).

Authors: Kenzi Riboulet Zemouli, Farid Ghehiouèche.

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After the special session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGASS) on the world drug problem held in April 2016 in New-York and its preparatory process started in Vienna since 2014, where the public health dimension of the world drugs issue has been tightened, the public health approach that policy makers shall follow at the national level have been widely debated all over the globe. This contributions aims at enlightening some operational recommendations made in the UNGASS outcome document (UN/A/S-30/L.1) that calls State Parties to the three international drug control convention and WHO Member States to rethink their approach on the framework of scheduling substances under international treaties, as a key tool to ground policies on health and evidences.

Recognizing that many of the evidentiary processes under which narcotic drugs or psychoactive substances (including some of the most prevalent) have been scheduled are obsolete, and further recognizing that the financial difficulties of the WHO have compromised the functioning of its Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (to the point of having only one meeting between 2007 and 2014 where four should have taken place, while in the meantime the UNODC noted a spectacular increase in the apparition of new molecules);

FAAAT invites through this contribution all State Parties to the three international drug control Conventions and WHO Member States to ensure the accurate mobilisation of resources, including to consider assuming extra-budgetary implications, in order to permit to the WHO and its Expert Committee on Drug Dependence to assume fully its important and needed work of ensuring an accurate and updated assessment of substances, reflecting both the lege artis medicine and advanced research and the ground realities, undertaking the evaluation and review procedure when appropriate; and suggest the board of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs as well as the post-UNGASS Facilitator to undertake actions aiming at visualizing this issue during the upcoming sessions of the Commission.

We reiterate our strong commitment to improving access to controlled substances for medical and scientic purposes by appropriately addressing existing barriers in this regard, including those related to legislation, regulatory systems […] and we recommend the following measures: […] enhance collaboration among Member States and the treaty bodies with scheduling responsibilities, leading to informed and coordinated scheduling decisions by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs that take due account of all relevant aspects to ensure that the objectives of the conventions are met, and review national lists of controlled substances and national lists of essential medicines, as appropriate.

April 2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the world drug problem

Outcome document, April 2016,, UN/A/S-30/L.1, Operational recommendations, item 2.

The Parties,

Concerned with the health and welfare of mankind,

Recognizing that the medical use of narcotic drugs continues to be indispensable for the relief of pain and suffering and that adequate provision must be made to ensure the availability of narcotic drugs for such purposes […] Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs

Preamble, 1961 Single Convention on narcotic drugs

Moving towards a more balanced and comprehensive approach in global drug policies that highlights public health and development outcomes, consistent with the original purpose of the three international drug control conventions to promote the health and welfare of humankind.

World Health Organization

Report of the Secretariat, May 2016, WHO/A69/12