Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse

Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse

March 18, 2011 08:45 ET

Media Advisory: Head of Canada's National Addictions Agency Is Reporting on Global Achievements to the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna on March 23, 2011

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 18, 2011) - Michel Perron, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) and Chair of the Vienna Non-Governmental Organization Committee on Drugs (VNGOC), is providing a progress report to the 54th United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) on NGO recommendations concerning the Political Declaration and Plan of Action, which was adopted by heads of state at the 52nd session of the CND in 2009.

The CND represents the global parliament for drug policy matters with more than 180 member states in attendance. Its annual sessions provide a forum and opportunity for member states, as well as invited members from NGOs around the world, to discuss and debate the global drug situation and the implementation of the United Nations' drug control conventions.

Who: Michel Perron, CEO of CCSA and Chair of VNGOC

What: Presentation on the work of VNGOC linked to the Political Declaration and Plan of Action at the 54th session of the CND

When: Wednesday, March 23, 2011, at 12:00 EST.

Where: Vienna International Centre, Vienna, Austria and availability for media by telephone

Background:

As the Chair of VNGOC, Mr. Perron plays an integral function in optimizing the role and contributions of NGOs from around the world at the CND. In this capacity, the VNGOC has organized a series of events to optimize the voice of NGO's at this forum. In addition, Mr. Perron will report on progress made toward recommendations tabled from the work of Beyond 2008, a VNGOC initiative that produced a global consensus on how to improve global drug policy.

"The uptake of the Beyond 2008 recommendations highlight the continued importance for civil society to improve the health and well-being of individuals across the world," said Mr. Perron.

Some of these recommendations that will be reported on include:

  • Promoting NGO engagement in international drug policy through continued work with UNODC to advance and highlight the value of civil society relations with national governments and regional offices;

  • Securing agreement with the INCB to systematically engage with NGOs in field missions;

  • Facilitated open dialogue for the President of INCB and the Executive Director of UNODC and Chair of the CND with all NGOs;

  • Call for the international community to address universal access to treatment—which ensures the humane, ethical and evidence-based care across a continuum of services for all—especially for those most affected by drugs. 

  • Launch of an Advocacy Demonstration Project with NGO colleagues in Argentina, Senegal and Kyrgyzstan, which has demonstrated uptake of Beyond 2008's recommendations at a national level.

CCSA's work at the CND:

In his leadership role at VNGOC, Mr. Perron will also co-chair the Towards Universal Access for Drug Dependence Treatment and Care session with UNODC and WHO. During this session, he will feature the work of CCSA, including the recent launch of the Portfolio of Canadian Standards for youth drug prevention programs in schools, families and communities; the ongoing work towards implementing a National Treatment Strategy in Canada; and the release of national competencies for those working in the field of substance abuse in Canada.

Also being discussed at this session of the CND is a U.S.-sponsored resolution on addressing the issues of drugs and driving, which highlights the important work of a CCSA-led international symposium on the issue to be held in Montreal, Quebec, on July 17–18 of this year.

About CCSA:

With a legislated mandate to reduce alcohol- and other drug-related harms, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) provides leadership on national priorities, fosters knowledge translation within the field, and creates sustainable partnerships that maximize collective efforts. CCSA receives funding support from Health Canada.

About VNGOC:

The Vienna Non-Governmental Organization Committee on Drugs (VNGOC) is a vital link between NGOs and the key intergovernmental and international agencies involved in drug policy, strategy and control: the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Established in 1983, VNGOC works with these organizations to provide information on NGO activities, draw attention to areas of concern, build partnerships between governmental and non-governmental organizations, and involve a wide sector of civil society in contributing to the development of global drug policies.

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