UN document criticised for not acknowledging "failure of current drug control regime"

The Global Commission on Drug Policy has called for the decriminalisation of all drugs

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Ollanta Humala Tasso, President of Peru, speaks while addressing a U.N. special session on global drug policy. Image: Bebeto Matthews / AP/Press Association Images

The Global Commission on Drug Policy has heavily criticised a UN document aimed at countering 'the world drug problem'.

In an outcome document adopted following a UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) earlier this week, member states reaffirmed a commitment to "tackle the world drug problem and actively promote a society free of drug abuse".

However, the Global Commission on Drug Policy has said the agreement sustains an "unacceptable and outdated legal status quo".

The Commission - whose members include the likes of Virgin's Richard Branson and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan - has released a statement saying they support efforts to "fundamentally realign drug policy so that health, citizen safety and human rights are paramount".

The group says the UN document "does not acknowledge the comprehensive failure of the current drug control regime to reduce drug supply and demand.

"Nor does the outcome document account for the damaging effects of outdated policies on violence and corruption as well as on population health, human rights and wellbeing. By reaffirming that the three international conventions are the 'cornerstone of global drug policy', the document sustains an unacceptable and outdated legal status quo," they add.

The Commission also says that "UNGASS has not seriously addressed the critical flaws of international drug policy", and fails to call for the end to the criminalisation of drug users and the abolition of capital punishment for drug-related offences.

Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov, had said the UNGASS had "provided a critical opportunity, at a critical moment, to build a more comprehensive and collective understanding of the challenges we face".

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