Events & Conferences

This section brings periodical updates on alternative development relevant issues and UNODC news and events on this particular field. The primary focus is to highlight UNODC activities as well as events, meetings and workshops dedicated to alternative development.


57th Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND)

High-level review: Last March 2014, the High-Level segment of the 57th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) was held at the UN headquarters in Vienna, with the participation of delegates representing Member States, the civil society, and other stakeholders. The Executive Director of UNODC, Yury Fedotov, welcomed dignitaries, experts, policy-makers and all participants and underlined that "the cultivation, manufacture, trafficking and consumption of illicit drugs continue to pose a major threat to the health of people everywhere; and to the stability and sustainable development of a number of countries and entire regions". This year's meetings and High-Level review by the CND were a major milestone on the road to the special session of the General Assembly in 2016 which will address the current state of the world drug problem.

Side-event on alternative development

In the margins of the 57th Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), the Sustainable Livelihoods Unit (SLU) organized a side event entitled "Outreach to New Stakeholders in the Field of Alternative Development". The Executive Director of UNODC, Yury Fedotov, delivered opening remarks, emphasizing the importance of alternative development as a fundamental pillar for combating the cultivation of illicit drugs. He underlined that "we must keep in mind that when we are talking about alternative development, we are talking about small farmers faced with poverty, food insecurity, lack of land and instability, who, as a result, find no other option but to engage in illicit drug cultivation." The side-event reminded that in order to guarantee a successful approach, strong political will and commitment as well as financial resources are necessary : alternative development is not fiction but a reality and continues to be a priority for UNODC.

Experts meeting in Moscow on Alternative Development, 25 March 2014

The Russian Federal Drug Control Service organized an experts meeting on: "An Alternative Path of Development for Drug-Producing Regions", last March. All delegations present, including UNODC, agreed that alternative development is the mechanism to reduce illicit opium poppy cultivation in a sustainable manner. The three Drug Control Conventions were unanimous recognized as serving as the foundation for international drug control and the Plan of Action on international Cooperation towards an integrated and balanced strategy to counter the world drug problem as offering guidance on how best to design and implement alternative development programmes. UNODC was acknowledged as a leader in the field and urged to share best practices and lessons learned from its more than 40-year work on alternative development in the Andean region and South East Asia. The Russian delegation also presented a draft programme for Afghanistan focusing on industrializing the country to promote alternative development: "A new Generation of Alternative Development Programs for Elimination of Drug Production in Afghanistan".

Up-coming Thai workshop on alternative development

Following the adoption of the Resolution E/CN.7/2014/L.2/Rev.1, the Government of Thailand will host an international seminar/workshop on the implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Alternative Development. The implementation of the Guiding Principles will require Member States' long-term commitment, dialogue and cooperation among relevant stakeholders, from local communities and authorities to policymakers at the national and regional levels, as well as close collaboration among the UNODC, other international organizations, regional organizations, development agencies, donors and financial institutions, and the civil society, in order to share information and best practices and increase efforts to promote sustainable alternative development, in accordance with the Guiding Principles.