The European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies (ENCOD) sent a delegation to the UN Ministerial Summit on Drugs that took place in Vienna between 10 and 13 March.
Read the ENCOD appeal for a moratorium in drug policy
Listen to the Encod press conference
In orden of appearance: Andreas Holy, Fredrick Polak, Terry Nelson, Beatriz Negrety, Adriana Rodriguez, Lennice Werth, Chris Conrad, Mikki Norris.
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Report on the demonstration by HCLU, INPUD and ENCOD on Wednesday 11 March by Peter Sarosi, Hungarian Civil Liberties Union
On Wednesday morning 11 March we organized a demonstration at the entrance of the Vienna International Centre, the building where the UN high level meeting on drugs was held. Government delegates gathered here from March 11 to 12 to discuss the effectiveness of current drug control policies and to adopt a new Political Declaration on drugs. Despite the tremendous evidence on the failure and uninintended consequences of the global drug war, it was an open secret even before the meeting that governments will not break with the old "tough on drugs" approach. The draft text of the declaration did not even mention harm reduction, the most effective tool to reduce drug related deaths and disease! As we expected, the governments made a wrong decision and signed a declaration that in many ways simply repeated the irrealistic and harmful slogans of the 1998 document.
However, we, drug reform activists did not miss this opportunity to remind decision makers and the general public that the global drug control regime does not work and we need a new drug policy based on human rights and harm reduction.
We think it was a great success: all delegates and journalists who came to the meeting had to watch our banners: "Stop the Global War on Drugs", "Harm Reducton Saves Lives" and "Prohibition Does Not Work". We exhibited the best posters of our Unintended Consequences contest, the police to let the banners and posters stay for 2 days, so everybody who entered the building could see our message. We thank for all the enthusiastic activists who contributed to this event, especially those from INPUD and Youth Rise, who had their own banners and standed in the cages prepared by us to symbolize the isolation and exclusion of people who use illicit drugs.
At 9 AM we organized an open air press conference, the speakers (from HCLU, INPUD, ENCOD and Students for Sensible Drug Policy) pointed out that there is a huge gap between reality and UN targets in the field of drug policy. All speakers gave interviews from inside the cages. We installed some containers with symbolic urine samples on podiums to show delegates the absurdity of the war on drugs. We also distributed fake banknotes (US dollars) with the picture of Mr. Costa and a message in the name of In Memoriam Al Capone Trust, the international network of criminals, who congratulated the governments to keep drugs illegal, thus creating a huge tax-free income for them.
Watch the photo report and the video report
Watch the INPUD photo report
A big thanks to Adriana Rodriguez, Andreas Holy, Beatriz Negrety, Felix Barra, Frantisek, Fredrick Polak, Maria Magdalena Ramnek, Marisa Felicissimo, Richard Bichler and Terry Nelson who made the Encod delegation in and outside the Vienna building and all activists from INPUD, HCLU and our friends from the US and other countries.
The Encod press conference in cafe Landtmann in Vienna went very well, 8 writing or filming people in the room.. Andreas talked about Chakib El Khayari, we also delivered the information on him to the Moroccan delegation in the UN building.
If you have not done so yet: please sign and send the letter to the Moroccan king
We are planning more actions to increase pressure on the Moroccan government in the coming weeks, please remain attentive and help where you can.
The 2019 deadline is the last cramp of a dying body. We will see the end of prohibition before that year.
See you next year in Vienna!