Meeting of the Group
Meeting of the Group on the 24th May 2016 to feed back on the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGASS) on drug policy. The meeting was attended by Caroline Lucas MP (in the chair) Lord Howarth, Lord Dear, Lord Mancroft, Lord Layard. Baroness Meacher, Baroness Stern, Baroness Masham, Baroness Hamwee, Paul Monaghan MP, Jeff Smith MP, Mary Glindon MP, Ronnie Cowan MP, John McNally MP. The meeting was addressed by Baroness Meacher and Paul Monaghan who had attended the UNGASS in New York and by His Exellency Nestor Osorio, Ambassador to the UK from Colombia.
Points made at the meeting included that the UNGASS provided the opportunity to promote health focused and evidence led drug policies which also take account of human rights. Member states who choose to do so are also in a much stronger position to experiment with drug policies which are alternatives to the pursuit of the disastrous 'war on drugs'. The Guidance on flexibility within the UN Drug Conventions produced by the Group was acknowledged to have played a role in supporting a number of countries including Colombia in their efforts to bring about a change in approach to drug policy.