Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs meets

Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs meets

Report about VNGOD Meeting held on 12.12.2013

The Meeting was held from 12.30 to 15.00 in Meeting Room CII of the C-Building at VIC.

At the beginning of the meeting Mr. Michel Perron, Chairperson of VNGOD (Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs) referred to the publication “Making a Difference” which VNGOD had published in 2013 in close co-operation with UNODC (UN Office against Drugs and Crime). He thanked for the support provided by other NGOs that are members of the VNGOD. Mr. Perron announced that he will also present this book at the Civil Society Segment meeting to be held in the afternoon of 12 March 2014. Policy issues of INCB (International Narcotics Control Board) regarding NGOs will be on the agenda of this meeting.

 

The above mentioned meeting is scheduled prior to the 57th Session of INCB to be held in Vienna on 13 to 14 March 2014. Important subjects of the upcoming INCB session are health issue approaches that are the main topic of the UNODC Branch on Drug Prevention.

 

The annotated Draft Agenda of the VNGOD meeting was approved as well as the minutes of the last meeting held on 2 June 2013. The Secretary read the list of apologies of absent members she had received.

 

Mr. Perron gave a brief update on the VNGOD Strategic and Operational Plan which is prepared with the help of a consultant, Mr. Daniel Quittan. This paper will be submitted as input into the Joint Ministerial Statement The chairperson also mentioned that there is some progress in the application of VNGOD’s application for ECOSOC consultative status, but there are still some issues to be solved.

 

Mr. Perron also gave brief oral updates regarding the preparations for the 2014 High Level Segment of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and the preparations and input into the Joint Ministerial Statement for the High Level Segment.

 

The Treasurer, Paul Rompani (Mentor Foundation, UK) deplored the delay in payment of membership fees. A second reminder will be sent to all NGOs that have not yet contributed. Thanks to a generous contribution by the Canadian Centre on Substance abuse, the consultant’s fee can be met. Contributions in kind by NGOs from developing countries were again discussed in this context as well as the option of adopting – so to say- such an annual fee by another international NGO that was willing to pay double fee.

 

The membership has reached 136 NGOs worldwide and another three applied. In this context, the Representative of Rotary International requested an updated list of members as soon as possible. The Chairperson agreed.

 

The next meeting will be held on 20 March 2014 at 14.00 during the next session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (17-21 March 2014). I informed Ms. Ilona Gränitz that I will not be able to attend this meeting, because I am invited to contribute to a symposium “Purpurae Vestes” at Monserrat, Spain.

 

At 14.00, Ms. Mirella Frahi, Civil Society Officer of UNODC introduced the new Head of the Policy Division.

Mr. Perron then presented the concept of a project which was developed in close co-operation with UNODC. The Power point presentation introduced an “exiting idea” of matchmaking between NGOs that have expertise in drug prevention, harm reduction & treatment with other NGOs that are in need for such expertise. Mr. Perron hopes to obtain funding to create such an electronic platform.

 

Policy control and final clearance would be in the hands of UNODC. During the ensuing discussion, many members welcomed the concept. It was also suggested to call the matchmaking platform Forum or Agora rather than Market Place as shown in the Power point presentation. The Representatives of UNODC that were present had no objections. The budgetary implications and cost estimates for the development/maintenance/operation of such a platform will have to be prepared.

Vienna, 15. 12.2013 Ingrid H. Szabolcs

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