About the Global Partnership on Drug Policies and Development
Who are we?
Illegal drug crop cultivation, drug trafficking and drug use are global phenomena. The global drug market is considered the largest illicit economy in the world and represents a key challenge internationally. Developing and emerging countries are particularly affected by harmful consequences of the drug problem as they are less resilient to the negative effects of the global drug economy. Worldwide, 275 million people used drugs in 2019, which is 20% more than in 2010. About 18 million people died in the same year from a drug-related cause. In Africa alone, UNODC expects the number of drug users to have increased by 40% in 2030.
The Global Partnership on Drug Policies and Development (GPDPD) adopts a holistic approach to address this global challenge. The GPDPD is commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The project is under the political lead of the Federal Government’s Drug Commissioner. The aim is to work with interested governments and international partner organisations to foster development-centred, as well as health- and human rights-oriented approaches in drug policy and to make this the new international norm. The human being is at the centre of these approaches. By combining rural development strategies with public health protection measures, sustainable solutions to the global drug problem are identified.
The GPDPD activities target several levels
The United Nations (UN) drug control regime defines the way its member states deal with drug policy in a legal and normative manner. The project aims to ensure that development, health- and human rights-oriented positions are embedded in drug policy at UN-level and become the global norm.
The framework for the activities of the GPDPD is provided by:
- the 2016 Outcome Document of the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS 2016),
- the EU Drugs Strategy 2021-2025 and its Action Plan,
- the National Strategy on Drug and Addiction Policy of the Federal Government (2012),
- as well as the BMZ strategy paper "Alternative Development. Sustainable change through development-oriented drug policy" (2020).
In addition, the GPDPD also advises interested governments on how to modify their national drug strategies. Along with implementation partners, drug policy approaches are elaborated, evaluated, and implemented. For example, the project supports country measures on alternative development and human rights in drug policy. The project is currently active on three continents.
Finally, the GPDPD is advancing scientific research and innovation in global drug policy. Sound knowledge and evidence are needed to ensure that drug policy is based on robust findings. This is the only way to guarantee that drug policy strategies are drawn up objectively and free of ideological convictions.
The GPDPD is under the political auspices of the Federal Government's Drug Commissioner. She coordinates the German Government’s policy on narcotic drugs and addiction. In her capacity as political lead, she aligns the work of the GPDPD with the international commitments of the BMZ and the German Government. At home and abroad, she is committed to a holistic drug policy approach. Germany’s drug policy builds on four complementary pillars: (i) prevention of drug use, (ii) counselling and treatment of drug users, (iii) harm reduction and (iv) prosecution.
The design of a sustainable strategy for addressing the global drug problem within the consensus-based UN framework requires intensive cooperation between governments and international organisations. Therefore, the GPDPD works closely with a number of different partners.
The GPDPD cooperates with governments whose drug policies pursue a similar agenda to that of the German Government. Such pre-consultation and coordination can ensure that joint positions are represented more effectively in international dialogue forums. International cooperation also makes it significantly easier to carry out pilot projects. The GPDPD is currently working through various formats with the governments of the Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Switzerland and Thailand. Furthermore, the project cooperates with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) at global and country level.
Cooperation with international civil society is an essential part of the GPDPD. It cooperates closely with leading non-governmental organisations in various areas of global drug policy. Civil society partners include: