"Beyond 2008"
Civil Society's Contribution to the UN Drug Policy Review

WHAT: Global NGO Forum on the 1998-2008 Review of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on illicit drugs. The forum to be held in the Vienna International Centre (Austria) is organized by the Vienna NGO Committee on Narcotic Drugs, in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The forum will allow civil society to have a say on drug policy through the adoption of a global NGO Declaration along with three topic specific resolutions that will be tabled at the high level segment of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in March 2009.

Accredited media representatives are invited to attend the 7-9 July Beyond 2008 Forum and are also invited to a closing press conference which will take place the day after the forum closes on 10 July at 10:00 a.m. in the Vienna International Centre, Press Briefing Room C03, Vienna, Austria.

WHO: Representatives of over 300 Non-Governmental Organizations from across the world

WHEN: Monday, 7 July, 8:00 a.m. to Wednesday, 9 July, 5:30 p.m., CET

WHERE: Vienna International Centre (VIC), Boardroom C04, Vienna, Austria

Background: Building on 13 consultative meetings held in all regions of the world Beyond 2008 represents an unprecedented and historic engagement of NGOs who work with those most affected by illicit drugs and seek their advice and recommendations on the future of global drug policy. The Beyond 2008 Forum represents the cumulative input of over 1,000 individual participants from more than 145 countries representing millions of members and constituents from across the globe. Selected participants will come together in Vienna, Austria, to discuss and debate a global declaration and three resolutions on topics closely examined and discussed during the regional consultations. These will form the basis of forward looking recommendations that will be tabled at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as they prepare for the 1998-2008 UNGASS review.

The topics to be discussed include:
1. Reviewing NGO accomplishments since the 1998 UNGASS on illicit drugs;
2. Identifying mechanisms to improve NGO relations with the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and the     UNODC; and
3. Identifying guiding principles drawn from the global drug conventions to guide future deliberations of the CND and UNODC.

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For further information, please contact:

For the Beyond 2008 NGO Committee:

Nicholas Austin
Media Relations
Telephone: (+1) 416 721 5085


Walter Kemp
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060 5629
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459 5629

For media accreditation, please contact:

Veronika Crowe-Mayerhofer
United Nations Information Service (UNIS)
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060 3342
Fax: (+43-1) 26060 7 3342