April saw Dave visit Vienna and present at the first ever International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) Civil Society Hearing, an event organised by the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs. Wearing his Transnational Institute Associate Fellow’s hat and as one of ten selected NGO representatives, he presented on Balancing Treaty Stability and Change: Inter se modification and the UN drug control conventions.
Dave was also briefly in London to meet with Jasmin Gamez, Mai Hla Aye and Anna Dzunic from Central European University’s School of Public Policy Applied Policy Programme. The meeting was a final discussion of commissioned publications and videos from the GDPO-APP joint project, some of which are listed below. April also saw Martin Horton-Eddison present his research on the Dark Net via video link to the 3rd Semana Psicoactiva in Bogota, Colombia.
In May, the GDPO was delighted to welcome to Swansea Alex Stevens, Professor in Criminal Justice in the University of Kent’s School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research and Observatory Technical Advisor. Alex not only spoke to MA students on the Department of Political and Cultural Studies (PCS) Public Policy Module but also gave an excellent presentation on ‘Being Human and the “Moral Sidestep”: Explaining government inaction on drug related deaths in the UK’ at a GDPO organised seminar. We hope Alex will be able to get across to Swansea again next year.
In June we were thrilled to welcome as a Swansea University colleague Dr Rick Lines. While a GDPO Senior Research Associate for some time, Rick was appointed as Associate Professor within Swansea’s Hillary Clinton School of Law. We look forward to developing various exciting projects when Rick is based in Swansea from September. Coincidently, in June both Rick and Dave were invited participants at an OHCHR expert consultation meeting in Geneva. This focused on the Implementation of Joint Commitments of UNGASS 2016 in addressing and countering the World Drug Problem about human rights. Back in Swansea, June also saw Martin Horton-Eddison give a presentation on Participant Observation at a PGR Methods Workshop. Here he spoke about his experiences at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in March.
The quarter was relatively busy in terms of publications. These included - as part of the Africa project - Cannabis and the Drug Law in Tunisia A Reform Rooted in Social Justice Claims(GDPO Situation Analysis) by Khalid and Ghana Strives for a More Humane Drug Policy (GDPO Situation Analysis) by Maria-Goretti Ane. Contributing to ongoing work on crypto-drug markets, Alois Afilipoaie and Patrick Shortis authored another Situation Analysis, Crypto Market Enforcemnet New Strategy and Tactics while Mai Hla Aye wrote on Gender and Drugs in Myanmar(GDPO Situation Analysis). The result of many months hard work by GDPO research associate Constanza Sanchez and Michael Collins (Drug Policy Alliance), GDPO was pleased to publish in June a Policy Brief Better to Ask Forgiveness Than Permission Spain’s Sub-national Approach to Drug. It is the expectation that a Spanish language version will be available later in the year. A result of the GDPO-APP project, we were also pleased to post a number of videosexamining various aspects of drug policy: Niamh Eastwood (Release), ‘A Quite Revolution: Drug Decriminalization Across the Globe’; Marie Nougier (IDPC), ‘Measuring the “World the “World Drug Problem”: ARQ Revision, beyond traditional indicators’; Julia Buxton (CEU & GDPO), ‘Dealing with Synthetics: Time to reframe the narrative’. Finally Dave published a short piece in Addiction, ‘Canada, Cannabis Legalization and Uncertainty around the United Nations Drug Control Conventions.’