The 64th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) was held in a hybrid format with very limited in-person participation between 12 and 16 April in Vienna, Austria.

A ceremonial opening segment on the first day of its 64th session commemorated the 60th anniversary of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and the 50th anniversary of the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. The ceremonial opening segment included remarks by Munir Akram, President of the Economic and Social Council, Ghada Waly, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO, Cornelis de Joncheere, President of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), and Jamie Bridge, Chair of the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs.

In Kenya, the main anti-drugs abuse State agency, NACADA (The National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse) in corroboration with UNODC hosted partner CSOs at their headquarters in Nairobi to participate and present the country’s communique in the week-long virtual convention.

Civil society participation in the high-level spaces like #CND64 was very vital. Many important topics were discussed including Youth participation, Implementation of UN common position and harm reduction for stimulant users. There was also sharing of voices and opinions of young people with lived experience, collated as part of a study to assess drug education efficacy.

Day 3 of the @UNODC #CND2021 conference marked a very intensive Youth and multi-stakeholder dialogues on Drugs and substance abuse. The 36 side events marked an inclusive approach, including the exploration of the intersection around #COVID19 and drugs

High-level heads of delegations addressed the Commission during the general debate, focusing on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world drug problem. At the opening of the general debate, the Commission  adopted a statement on the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on the implementation of Member States’ joint commitments to address and counter all aspects of the world drug problem.

Resolutions under consideration by the Commission addressed the following topics:

–       Ensuring access to drug treatment, education, after-care, rehabilitation, and social reintegration services, for people within marginalized populations.

–       Promoting alternative development as a development-oriented drug control strategy for building back better from the COVID-19 pandemic.

–       Promoting quality, affordable, scientific evidence-based and comprehensive drug prevention and treatment services.

–       Improving data collection on, and responses to, harmful effects of non-medical use of pharmaceuticals.

The 64th Session brought together participants from Member States, UN entities, inter-governmental organizations, civil society, and the scientific community, in Vienna and online.

More than 100 side events took place online during the 64th session of the CND on topics ranging from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world drug problem; prevention, treatment and care services for drug use disorders; access to controlled medicines for medical purposes; addressing and countering drug-related crimes; new trends in the illicit drug markets; proportionate responses to drug related offences; alternative development for sustainable livelihoods, promoting evidence-based drug policies, and more.