Participants discussed innovative ways of implementing the final document of the Special Session of the UN General Assembly on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS) 2016
Around 120 representatives of governments, international organisations, civil society and academia met for the third Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on Alternative Development in Vienna under the title "The Future of Alternative Development". From 23-26 July, the participants discussed innovative ways of implementing the final document of the Special Session of the UN General Assembly on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS) 2016, which was organised by GPDPD on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) together with the Office of the Federal Drug Commissioner. Co-organisers of this year's meeting were the governments of Thailand and Peru, UNODC and the Thai Mae-Fah-Luang Foundation under Royal Patronage.
The EGM will also accompany the review of the UN Action Plan on the 2019 World Drug Problem, one of the key objectives of the series of expert meetings being to anchor rural development approaches to drug cultivation issues at UN level. The current focus is on linking the topic of alternative development with the SDG agenda, measuring the impact of the concept using appropriate indicators and applying development-oriented approaches in urban contexts, which was decided in the UNGASS outcome document of 2016.
The EGM, which was opened by Marlene Mortler, Federal Drug Commissioner, and Yuri Fedotov, Executive Director of the UNODC, was attended by representatives of 33 governments from Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America - a clear sign of the growing importance of Alternative Development worldwide.