This month the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs annual plenary session took place and due to COVID 19 pandemic restrictions most of it happen online.

At this year’s CND YODA hosted/co-hosted three side events, on which our team members represented the network on various topics.

This year, in contrary to all before CND and its side events are available to wider public, as online engagement gives the ability to participate and interact with people who would otherwise be hard to reach. Use that opportunity and scroll down to grasp a glimpse of side events YODA co-hosted/hosted.

𝗜𝗺𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗣𝗿𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻: 𝗣𝗿𝗶𝗼𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝘇𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗘𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗔𝗽𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗮𝗰𝗵𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗦𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗱𝗮𝗿𝘆 𝗣𝗿𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻
The event organized by the Zealand Drug Foundation with the support of Canada, and the Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation, the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association – EHRA and Youth Organisations for Drug Action in Europe.

On behalf of the LET ME Consortium, Irena Molnar (Re Generation, Serbia) presented results of the Assessment on drug education, conducted in Bulgaria, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland and Serbia, and in addition she played two videos showcasing the opinions form Consortium youth members on Drug Education Nowadays and Effective Drug Education

The side event also hosted Ben Birks Ang – the Deputy Executive Director, Programmes for the New Zealand Drug Foundation who presented about Tūturu programme and Dr. Dan Werb, who is an addictions epidemiologist and drug policy analyst, and is the Director of the Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation. Dr. Werb presented Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation’s work on PRIMER (Preventing Injecting by Modifying Existing Responses)

After the panelists presentations, Manager of the International Unit within the Controlled Substances Directorate at Health Canada – Bobby Chauhan took the floor to make an overall remarks on the event and presentations given.
You can watch full side event HERE





Organized by Portugal with the support of Germany, and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, the European Union and EUROPOL.

In the representation of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union, João Goulão was the moderator of an event,  after which Markus Riehl, representing the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union (second half of 2020), presented the three key areas of the new strategy. The director of the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction, Alexis Goosdeel, presented his vision of how we should approach drug-related issues in a post-Covid world 19, that was followed by Europol’s Georgios Raskos, who focused his presentation on organized drug-related crime groups, bringing interesting data to the discussion such as the growing competition between groups that dominate the “offer” aspect that increase violence, corruption, online trafficking, among other aspects of its operations.

Our Iga Kender-Jeziorska, Chair of the EU Drug Policy Working Group for the Civil Society Forum, made the final speech and recalled the difficulties that organizations working in the field, especially those related to Harm Reduction are facing due to COVID19 or weakening democracies in some EU countries. She framed the three cross-cutting themes to support areas of action: 1) international cooperation; 2) research, innovation and prospective and 3) coordination, governance and execution.
You can watch full side event HERE


𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐭𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐜𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐥 𝐬𝐨𝐜𝐢𝐞𝐭𝐲 𝐬𝐩𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐂𝐎𝐕𝐈𝐃-𝟏𝟗: 𝐋𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐝 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐚𝐝𝐯𝐨𝐜𝐚𝐜𝐲
This side event is organized by the Youth Organisations for Drug Action (YODA) with the support of Australia, Canada, Mexico and Switzerland, and the Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation, Frontline AIDS, and the International Drug Policy Consortium.

The moderator for this event H.E. Luis Javier Campuzano, Ambassador of the Mexican Mission to the United Nations in Vienna opened the floor and invited first panelist Birgit Kainz-Labbé, the Coordinator of Civic Space Unit, OHCHR that elaborated on the guidance produced by the OHCHR on the Civic space and COVID 19, after which Ann Fordham, Executive Director, International Drug Policy Consortium presented key findings form the paper “Innovation and Resilience in times of crisis. Civil society advocacy and drug policy reform during COVID 19 pandemic”.
Bobby Chauhan, Manager, International Unit, Office of Drug Policy and Science, Health Canada shared presentation on Efforts made in promoting and protecting civil society space in the national and international level, after which YODA’s Executive Director, Jan Stola, who presented situation on COVID, Drugs and civil society space in Central-East Europe during COVID 19.

The full side event you can watch HERE