GDPO Working Paper Series

This is a Draft Document

GDPO Working Paper Series

Working Paper Series

The GDPO Working Paper Series offers an opportunity to view ongoing research for review and comment before it is published.  As such, all papers in the series should be considered as draft papers which may form the basis of future publications.  If you wish to interact with a paper's author with specific comments, then please Email the author directly to open a dialogue in the first instance.  

Bewley-Taylor, D., & Schneider, C., Working Paper No2, GDPO, Swansea, Sept. 2016

GDPO Working Paper No.2 - Sept. 2016

Bewley-Taylor, D., & Schneider, C., Working Paper No.2, GDPO, Swansea, Sept. 2016:

Can the Sustainable Development Goals Help to Improve International Drug Control?

Dave Bewley-Taylor d.r.taylor@swansea.ac.uk & Christian Schneider

How can the outcomes of international drug control policy be measured? Currently, the UN drug control system lacks appropriate metrics to do so. However, the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offers a chance to find new – and potentially better – answers to this question.

In April 2016, the UN held a General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the World Drug Problem. During this high-level conference, member states to the UN adopted an Outcome Document which, like previous soft law instruments on the issue, restated that the current approach of the international drug control system remains largely successful and appropriate to the task at hand.  This was the case even though the system is yet to achieve its core goal set nearly sixty years ago: to, in general terms, significantly reduce drug-related problems and associated harms. Indeed, the Document was adopted in New York despite the fact that there is little evidence that the current approach to international drug control – a combination of measures aimed at reducing simultaneously the supply of and demand for what are commonly known as illicit drugs – has led to any substantive or lasting reduction in drug-related harm…

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GDPO Working Paper No.2 - Sept. 2016

Bewley-Taylor, D., Working Paper No.1, GDPO, Swansea, January 2016

GDPO Working Paper 1.0: January 2016

Bewley-Taylor, D., GDPO Working Paper No.1, GDPO, Swansea, January 2016:

The 2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem: An opportunity to move towards metrics that measure outcomes that really matter

Dave Bewley-Taylor d.r.taylor@swansea.ac.uk

In recent years, we have seen the emergence of an increasingly honest and sophisticated discourse surrounding the measurement of illicit drug markets.  With this has come a growing acceptance among some governments and international organisations of the concept of uncertainty; an inherent characteristic of our understanding of any illegal market.  At the UN level, for example, this is reflected in the use of data ranges rather than specific point figures for drug use prevalence and associated variables within the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s (UNODC) flagship annual publication, the World Drug Report (WDR). The WDR also now openly contains the admission that there are enormous data gaps in certain regions, particularly in Asia and Africa. Both of these parts of the world possess expanding populations and accelerating rates of urbanization, phenomena associated with increasing levels of the illicit use of a range of psychoactive substances.  As such, although sometimes relying on extrapolation and expert opinion for some sense of ‘ground truth’, out-of-date and incomplete figures are omitted from some regional and sub-regional assessments of prevalence rates.  The result is a more candid, if still inherently problematic, attempt to offer an overview of aspects of a complex and increasingly fluid illicit market...

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GDPO Working Paper 1.0: January 2016