This year the UN CND had the largest youth representation of all time! Well, maybe I don’t have the exact stats on that, but it was certainly yuge.


It was an awesome surprise to learn so many young people were able to attend from organisations all across the world. We could still do with more young people attending, especially more from South America, Asia, Middle East and Africa. We are working on it!

This year we had some solid documentation by Aleksi Hupli from the Finnish Association for Humane Drug Policy who captured some good moments here from the pre-CND rally and here at the CND


What is the UN CND?

Why do we need more youth at the CND?

We need to stand up for the rights of young people who have everyday, real life, direct experience with other substance users, including non-problematic users and everyone else further marginalised and harmed by current drug policies.

It’s important more young people are able to call out officials and challenge false information about the way young people (and other groups) are affected by substances, including production, consumption and supply. Drug policy is a colossal, intersecting, interdisciplinary area in which people will specialise and focus their efforts on tackling a specific part of the overall drug war problem.  It is clear from speaking to official delegates that most barely have even a fraction of the knowledge on drug policy as most of our young people do. We need to put them back in touch with reality and show them we ultimately want the same thing- a safe, dignified and healthy life for all people.

The draft resolution from Russia to ‘protecting children from illicit drug threat’ was particularly cringe. Clearly these delegates don’t understand the ‘interwebs’ or how young people use any kind of social media .. check out some of the infuriating ill-informed commentary from countries here

Expressing grave concern at the increasing number of incidents of accidental cannabis ingestion or intoxication among children caused by the proliferation of concentrated cannabis extract and cannabis-infused edibles in licit markets, as stated in the World Drug Report 2016 (the reference for this is based on ONE extremely flawed, insignificant ‘study’. How is this based on any credible facts???)

Gravely concerned that an increasing number of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances are distributed via the Internet, which makes them easily accessible to children,

Noting that while information and communications technology can play a positive role in children’s education, development and awareness-raising, it can also be misused to disseminate harmful information on drugs among children and facilitate their access to narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, which threatens their life and physical and mental health,

E/CN.7/2018/L.2  Draft resolution: Protecting children from illicit drug threat

One country insisted their ‘social media campaign’ which texted out ‘say no to drugs’ en masse to children/young people worked, and their strategy to teach parents how to tell their children ‘drugs are bad’ work as excellent deterrents. Yea, said no child EVER.

Vienna Youth Summit
SSDP Österreich
 x SSDP hosted a Youth Summit to help strategise for maximum impact at the CND.



Post IDPC strategy meeting!

IDPC hosted a brilliant pre-CND meeting to help coordinate between member organisations.


Rally before the UN! 

Check this video (German and English) from the rally before the CND

First Day at the CND

Check this post from CSSDP’s Alex Bestos on the first day at the UN

B2B Youth side events

All pro-reform youth organisations were placed back to back side events at the CND. The room was overflowing and many delegates couldn’t enter. The youth voice is drawing the crowds, next year we will work to secure a much bigger room!

Ailish Brennan of SSDP Dublin wrote an excellent piece on the B2B youth side events at the UN.

The video of the SSDP x CSSDP x SSDP Osterich x x SSDP Australia x Government of Canada side event is here

The video for the YODA x YouthRise side event is here

Read about the event here 

“Psychedelic drugs are poised to be the next major breakthrough in mental health care” — Scientific American

SSDP Östtereich and the psychedelic society for Vienna hosted an excellent event on the therapeutic application of psychedelics at the University f vienna. Catch the full video of the event here (recorded by the excellent DrugReporter)



DrugReporter have been making some excellent video interviews from the UN this year. Be sure to check them out


Big wins for progressive change!

We are super excited to announce that this year the ViennaNGO Committee (despite some saltiness from the prohibitionists) elected Jamie Bridge from IDPC and Orsi Fehér from SSDP Östtereich (yay youth representation!) as chair and treasurer respectively. Both are truly caring, dedicated people who are committed to ensuring all voices are heard and respected, and supportive of evidence based, human rights and public health based drug policy.

Planning for the next year

Youth representatives from all over the world sat down to discuss next years strategy, to coordinate better between all our organisations and improve inclusivity/accessibility to the UN for more young people to attend.

Next year expect a bigger and badder showdown! We will increase yoof turnout, be ever more present at events to call out BS and stand up for the rights of young people/marginalised/vulnerable populations around the world.

And next year we wont be kicked around by Viennese authorities for having peaceful discussions 😉

Useful links

Read all about the events and discussions at the UNCND at the CND blog


Draft resolutions (these are discussed among member states and then if the language is agreed, it is adopted at the plenary sessions)

Full schedule for UNCND 61

Learn more about the special High Level segment for the CND happening next year.