Speech by Joep Oomen
19 February 2016
Yes, Encod will also go to UNGASS this year, but we will mostly remain outside together with activists from North and South America who wish to express their anger and grief over the war on drugs and their hope that soon, this insanity will stop.
We admire NGO representatives who still believe they can do something inside to change the course of drug policies.
We admire their patience to hold on for three days listening to hollow phrases meant to cover up the terrible truth: drug prohibition is not based on a mistake that can gradually be repaired, it is based on a deliberate lie meant to protect the interests of a financial elite mixed with racism and geopolitical powerplay of the US and European governments against the rest of the world.
To believe citizens can go to the UN and have a kind of dialogue with governments is as if you believe jews could negotiate with nazi’s to moderate the regime in the concentration camps.
We don’t know what will come out of this UNGASS, but we know what came out before:
In 1961 they said we will wipe out all drugs in the next 25 years.
In 1998 they said “A Drug Free World – we can do it in the next 10 years”.
In 2008 they said we will see again next year.
In 2009 they said we will evaluate in 10 years from now.
Then in 2013 Mexico and Colombia could not take the violence any longer and asked for an UNGASS in 2016.
And already now some people are saying that the meeting will again postpone any serious decision to 2019.
Whatever happens in UNGASS we know it will not be based on any serious debate in the countries itself.
In no countries has there been any encounter, not with civil society, not even with parliament, to look seriously at the evidence of the impact of current drug policies or the perspectives of alternatives.
Meanwhile society is ready for change, evidence is overwhelming that any kind of regulation is better than prohibition. For health reasons, for social reasons, for financial reasons.
Now some NGO’s speak about finding solutions inside the current UN conventions.
They say that abolishing these conventions would be indesirable (as international conventions are seen as something valuable, if you suspend the one on drugs others could suggest to suspend the one on human rights). And usually the term ‘harm reduction’ is used as a magic stick that will convert prohibition into something human.
You can be a bit stoned, but you cannot have a bit ‘war on drugs’.
Harm reduction is a technical tool but not a political strategy.
There will not be any real harm reduction without a legal framework for production, elaboration and distribution, for any drug.
In order to regain confidence of the world population it is either over and out with the drug conventions or totally reformulate them in a positive way, encouraging countries to take measures to improve public health, social cohesion and peaceful coexistence between their inhabitants and protect them against risks while respecting their right to self determinate. In other words a convention where ‘control’ is not a synonym for prohibition, but can be interpreted as a way to regulate the drug market peacefully.