A journey of a 1,000 miles begins with a single step and ours was made on 3 December 2014, when the Civil Society Task Force for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the world drug problem 2016 was launched. Since then, we have worked relentlessly to fulfill our mission: we have successfully served as the official liaison between the United Nations and civil society worldwide in the preparatory process for UNGASS. Through our work, we have managed to ensure a comprehensive, structured, meaningful and balanced participation of civil society during this process.
Drug related issues affect many in various ways. Because of this, there is a common and shared responsibility to engage in the drug policy debate in good faith and to work together. For its part, the Civil Society Task Force, through regional and thematic consultations, the global civil society survey, the Informal Interactive Stakeholder Consultation and many other events, has honored this obligation. In-depth civil society priorities and recommendations collected by the CSTF through these activities are included in our reports.
The CSTF is grateful for the financial support received in order to achieve these results. Our gratitude goes out to the governments of Norway, the United States of America, Sweden, Switzerland, New Zealand and the Open Society Foundations.
The work of the Civil Society Task Force is further proof of civil society’s commitment to engage as a serious and competent partner in the drug policy debate at all levels. It is our hope that this will be a stepping stone for civil society’s meaningful participation in the final review of the 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action.
Chairperson, Civil Society Task Force for UNGASS 2016
Chairperson, Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs