NRK: Ministerkonferanse vil ha mer human narkotikapolitikk

Norwegian and English text.

Europarådet staker ut en ny kurs og bringer menneskerettigheter inn i narkotikapolitikken. De mener krigen mot narkotika har vært mislykket.

Pompidou-gruppen er samlet i Stavanger. Under Norges ledelse har menneskeretts-perspektivet gått fra å være et tema til å bli en kjerneverdi i Europarådets ruspolitiske organ.

Helseminister Bent Høie ledet samlingen og var opptatt av å medbringe representanter fra sivilsamfunnet, for å illustrere viktigheten av samarbeid og involvering fra interesseorganisasjoner generelt og brukerorganisasjoner spesielt. De inviterte var Jan Gunnar Skoftedalen, leder i Fagrådet på rusfeltet. Og Arild Knutsen og Sverre Eika fra Foreningen for human narkotikapolitikk.

Mer enn 130 deltakere fra 39 land deltok på samlingen. I hovedsak helse- og justisministre, statssekretærer, byråkrater og ledere fra forskjellige lands narkotikapolitiske byråer.

Blant deltakerne fra Portugal var Joao Goulao, som anses som Portugal-reformens far. Portugal gjennomførte en omveltning av narkotikapolitikken i 2001, blant annet med avkriminalisering av bruk og besittelse av illegale stoffer. Norge er i ferd med å innføre en tilsvarende rusreform. Fra trussel om straff til tilbud om hjelp.

Samlingen markerte slutten på 4-årsperioden under Norges presidentskap. Portugal ble valgt til å ta over ledelsen, med Polen i nestledervervet. Pompidou-gruppen vokser stadig i antall medlemsland og vil trolig snart oppnå regional representativitet i FNs narkotikakommisjon.

TV-innslag fra konferansen på NRK Rogaland kan ses her. (NRK Rogaland 27. november)

The Pompidou Group believe the war on drugs has been unsuccessful.

“Less talking about and more talking with people, support instead of punishment, and respect instead of disrespect” – these were the key messages for improving drug policy approaches emphasised by Bent Høie, Minister of Health of Norway at the opening of the 17th Ministerial Conference of the Pompidou Group on behalf of its Norwegian Presidency in Stavanger, on 27 November 2018.

Representing the Council of Europe at the conference, Deputy Secretary General Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni welcomed the significant progress made by the Pompidou Group during the Norwegian Chairmanship, in particular the adoption of the statement on including a human rights dimension in drug policies as well as the policy paper on government interaction with civil society organisations.

“The Pompidou Group has always worked to promote the Council of Europe’s key values: human rights, democracy and the rule of law. But it was under this presidency that human rights moved from being a key aspect of our efforts to combat drug abuse to being the core, organising principle of our evidence-led approach”, she added, praising Norway for its achievements during its four-year presidency of the Pompidou Group.

Bent Høie brought representatives from sivil society to the conference to illustrate the importance of cooperation and involvement of interest organizations. From the Norwegian Addiction Federation, Jan Gunnar Skoftedalen and from The Association for Humane Drug Policy, Norway, Arild Knutsen and Sverre Eika.

Norway has put human rights and civil society on the agenda during its Presidency of the Council of Europe’s cooperation on drug policies.

Norway has held Presidency in the Council of Europe’s cooperation on drug policies – the Pompidou Group – for the past four years. The Ministerial conference in Stavanger, 27-28 November, marked the end of the Norwegian Presidency.

– We have used this Presidency to emphasise the importance of human rights as a basis for drug policies in all countries. Drug problems have had different impacts on different countries, and drug policies will therefore vary, however, human rights are unalterable, stated the Minister of Health and Care Services, Bent Høie.

During the Norwegian Presidency, the Pompidou Group prepared an expert report, describing how a country may proceed in ensuring that human rights are safeguarded in drug policies.

Norway has also put civil society on the agenda, emphasising the importance of involving civil society and individuals who use drugs in the development of policies. The Pompidou Group has prepared a policy paper on the cooperation between authorities and civil society in drug cases.

– In Norway, it is a given that user organisations and other representatives of civil society should be heard before a new policy is adopted. They also have a key role in the drug policy debate. This is not the case for all countries. I believe it is essential for Norway and the Council of Europe, which is based on the values of human rights, democracy and rule of law, to emphasise the importance of listening to those to whom this applies, says Høie.

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