The Global Commission on Drug Policy is a panel of 19 high-level international members who came together to call for an end to the War on Drugs. Their stated purpose is to “bring to the international level an informed, science-based discussion about humane and effective ways to reduce the harm caused by drugs to people and societies.”
The Beckley Foundation is working closely with the Global Commission and other allies to extend and elevate its message around the world.
Never before has such a prominent group called for such far-reaching changes in global drug policy – including not just alternatives to incarceration and greater emphasis on public health approaches to drug use, but also decriminalisation and experiments with legal regulation.
Following the launch of their report in New York in June 2011, members of the Commission later attended the Meeting at the House of Lords on November 17-18th, organised by The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform and The Beckley Foundation, at which they presented the findings of their Report and further participated in the discussions around reform of the international drug policy with the other high-level political figures in attendance.
The three stated aims of the Commission are to:
1) review the basic assumption, effectiveness and consequences of the ‘war on drugs’
2) evaluate the risks and benefits of different national responses to the drug problem
3) develop actionable, evidence-based recommendations for constructive legal and drug policy reform.
The Commission grew out of the experience of the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy, which was convened by former presidents Cardoso of Brazil, Gaviria of Colombia and Zedillo of Mexico. The commissioners called for an open debate on the effects of drug related corruption and violence on democracy in Latin America.
The Commission includes:
Fernando Henrique Cardoso (former President of Brazil),
Kofi Annan (former Secretary General of the UN),
César Gaviria (former President of Colombia),
Ernesto Zedillo (former President of Mexico),
Ruth Dreifuss, (former President of Switzerland),
George Papandreou (Prime Minister of Greece),
George Shultz (former US Secretary of State),
Paul Volcker (former Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve),
Javier Solana (former European Union High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy),
Louise Arbour (former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights),
Thorvald Stoltenberg (former UN High Commissioner for Refugees),
Mario Vargas Llosa (Nobel Prize winning author),
Asma Jahangir (former UN Special Rapporteur on Arbitrary, Extrajudicial and Summary Executions)
John Whitehead (chair of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation)
Maria Cattaui (former Secretary-General of the International Chamber of Commerce)
Marion Caspers-Merk (former State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Health)
Michel Kazatchkine (executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria)
Carlos Fuentes (writer and public intellectual)
Richard Branson (founder of the Virgin Group)