By Martin Jelsma for TNI. At about two o’clock in the morning on March 23rd, after tense negotiations in Vienna, the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) reached a disappointing compromise. The hard-bargained draft of the outcome document of the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs taking place in New York from 19-21 April was adopted by ‘consensus’. Although its key features are by no means a surprise the draft is disappointing nonetheless.

statement in the name of some 200 civil society organisations on the opening day of the CND warned that “the UNGASS is now perilously close to representing a serious systemic failure of the UN system … an expensive restatement of previous agreements and conventions”. Will the UNGASS 2016 go down in history as another wasted opportunity or have the debates leading to it laid a solid groundwork for systemic changes in the near future?

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