CND 64th session fosters multi-stakeholder discussion on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world drug problem

© UNODC

Vienna (Austria), 16 April 2021 — The sixty-fourth session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) concluded today. The Commission, held this year in a hybrid format due to the COVID-19 pandemic, brought together participants representing over 130 Member States, 17 intergovernmental organizations, 76 non-governmental organizations and several UN entities in person in Vienna and online.

Ghada Waly, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), highlighted in her opening remarks that “the UN Office on Drugs and Crime has been, and continues to be, a partner to Member States in implementing their commitments, and in living up to the spirit that defines them.”

Chaired by Dominika Krois, Permanent Representative of Poland, CND opened with a ceremonial segment to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and the 50th anniversary of the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances.

The ceremonial opening segment was also addressed by Ambassador Munir Akram, President of the Economic and Social Council, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO, Cornelis de Joncheere, President of the International Narcotics Control Board, and Jamie Bridge, Chair of the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs.

Following the ceremonial opening segment, the Commission held a general debate focusing on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world drug problem.

At the opening of the general debate, the Commission adopted a statement on the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on the implementation of Member States’ joint commitments to address and counter all aspects of the world drug problem.

The Commission will submit its statement as a contribution to the debate of the 2021 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development to be held in July on sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The sixty-fourth session of the CND also adopted four resolutions, covering a wide range of topics: access to drug demand services and related measures, including for people impacted by social marginalization; alternative development; scientific evidence-based, quality, affordable and comprehensive prevention, treatment, sustained recovery and related support services; and data collection on and responses to harmful effects of non-medical use of pharmaceuticals.

The Commission reviewed scheduling recommendations of the World Health Organization, and decided to place eight substances under international control.

Over 100 online side events were held in the margins of the sixty-fourth CND.

The Commission on Narcotic Drugs is the main policymaking body of the United Nations with principle responsibility for drug-related matters, and a governing body of UNODC. The Commission is the forum for Member States to exchange knowledge and good practices in addressing and countering the world drug problem.