Webinars for civil society on the World Drug Report 2021 with focus on Asia and Europe, and Africa and the Americas

© UNODC

Vienna (Austria), 16 July 2021 The annual World Drug Report, one of UNODC’s flagship publications, plays a key role in providing member states and civil society with up-to-date scientific data and analysis of the Word Drug Situation. This enables civil society organisations around the globe, to base their important worin the field of drug demand reduction on evidence-based data. 

On July 13th and 15th, 2021, The UNODC Civil Society Unit (CSU) together with the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs (VNGOC) hosted two webinars for civil society presenting this year’s World Drug Report findingsThe first webinar provided a spotlight on the latest trends in Asia/Pacific and Europe, the second focused on the data available for Africa and the Americas, both with simultaneous translation to Russian, Spanish and French. 

Mirella  Dummar Frahi  from the UNODC CSU and Jamie Bridge from the VNGOC opened both webinars that gathered more than 300 participants.   

Chloe Carpentier, UNODC Chief of Drugs Research Section, gave a global summary of the World Drug Report 2021. The regional focus was provided by Thomas Pietschmann, UNODC Drug Researcher. Among other, they stressed the rapid adaptation of the drug market to the pandemic situation and gave insights on the World Drug Situation qualifying it as a global problem composed of regional dynamics. 

The regional civil society perspectives were provided, in the first webinar, by Dr. Hakimullah Salih, from Afghanistan Green Crescent Organisation and Smriti Rama, member of Pallium India. Dr. Salih provided valuable insights on the importance of recent data to allocate scarce resources and help ensure a comprehensive approach to combatting addictions. Ms. Rama, addressed the issue of availability and affordability of essential medicines in low and low-middle income countries.  

During the second webinar, Dr. Mohammad A. Audi Kongila, from Green Crescent Health Development Initiative Nigeria and Mariana Souto Zabaleta, from the Instituto Latinamericano en Seguridad y Democracia Argentina provided the civil society perspectives. Dr. Audi focused on the fight against drugs in Nigeria, country especially affected by the consumption and trafficking of drugs. Mariana Zabaleta recalled the importance of developing new indicators in order to better evaluate the outcomes and impact of drug control policies. 

There was an interactive Q&A session after each webinar, where participants raised questions on a diverse range of issues, includingthe impact of COVID-19 in terms of disruption of addiction and treatment services; the support available for civil society organizations in different parts of the globe, and the policy response to the demographic challenges projected to occur in Africa.
In  concluding  the event MirellaDummarFrahi reminded the participants to make use of the NGO Marketplace, an interactive online platformwhere NGOs can share drug-related experiences and expertise. 

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The 2021 World Drug Report provides a global overview of the supply and demand of opiates, cocaine, cannabis, amphetamine-type stimulants and new psychoactive substances (NPS), as well as their impact on health, taking into account the possible effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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