As the UN General Assembly’s Special Session in New York on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS 2016) approaches, there is a need to consider how criminal justice approaches best fit within efforts to create an integrated and balanced approach for the international drug control regime. This panel, convened by the UN University and hosted by the Permanent Mission of the United States of America to the United Nations, will consider these issues.
Criminal justice and law enforcement-based approaches have been at the centre of global drugs policy for many decades. Yet while criminal justice has been a lynchpin for global drug policy, its application varies widely. Many states remain in favour of a punitive approach in the implementation of the global drug control regime, and in the most extreme cases, a minority of states retain the death penalty for drug-related offences. However, the pursuit of criminal justice-based approaches to implementation of the global drug control regime has led to some unenvisaged outcomes: the criminalization of whole communities; mass incarceration; and militarized responses to cultivation and trafficking. As a result, some Member States are seeking a ‘rebalancing’ of the implementation of the role of criminal justice in the implementation of the global drug control regime. Options under discussion include:
As Member States begin to consider possible ‘operational recommendations’ for UNGASS 2016, panelists will consider questions intended to help identify potential common ground on criminal justice issues, such as:
Mr. Richard Baum, International Policy Branch Chief, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, United States
Incarceration and sentencing reforms
Ms. Jasmine Tyler, Senior Policy Analyst, Open Society Foundation
Ms. Simone Monasebian, Director of the New York Office, UNODC
Comparative perspectives on criminal justice reform
Dr. Vanda Felbab-Brown, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution; co-director of the Brookings project on Improving Global Drug Policy: Comparative Perspectives and UNGASS 2016
Making communities safer
Ms. Amy Crawford, Deputy Director, National Network for Safe Communities
New approaches to law enforcement
Dr. Robert Muggah, Research Director and Program Coordinator for Citizen Security, Igarapé Institute
A moderated Q&A session will follow.
See the Related Files tab to download the panel discussion’s concept note.
Due to security arrangements at the Permanent Mission of the United States to the United Nations, advance registration is strictly required before Friday, 5 June. Please note that space is limited and the event may not be able to accommodate everyone who wishes to attend, so please register early. Due to security protocols, we will not be able to accommodate unregistered participants.
Please click on the register button above to access the online registration page.
United States Mission to the United Nations
799 United Nations Plaza, New York
Ms. Summer Walker
Drug Policy Project Manager