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Will Godfrey Will Godfrey

Graphic: Where the Various UN Agencies Stand on Drug Policy

Here's an accessible way to understand a complicated state of affairs.

14 Substance

The labyrinthine nature¬†of international drug policy is exemplified at the United Nations, where numerous agencies have a stake in what’s going on but all differ in their emphases. Applaud, then, Talking Drugs (a website run by Release, a UK organization that campaigns for drug-policy reform) for piecing together this policy wonk’s paradise of an infographic.

The World Health Organization (WHO) made waves last month by issuing a report advocating drug decriminalization. WHO and UNAIDS hold the most progressive positions of the five agencies below. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) may be in the process of shifting towards a more liberal position, but the notoriously hardline International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) probably isn’t.

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has been accused of shirking its responsibility to help shape drug policy, and it will be interesting to see whether it actively supports change in the near future.