Note No. 242
9 April 2003


Vienna NGO Committee on Narcotic Drugs
To Celebrate 20th Anniversary

VIENNA, 9 April (UN Information Service) -- Twenty years ago, a group of 22 non-governmental organizations in Vienna, decided to establish an NGO Committee on Narcotic Drugs. This was considered to be an essential link between the Vienna-based United Nations Drug Programme and NGOs working at the grass roots level worldwide. The aim was to assist the Division of Narcotic Drugs in understanding how illicit drug production, trafficking and consumption impact on people at the grass-roots level and vice versa. The Committee elected a slate of officers and presented them to Mrs. Tamara Oppenheimer, the Director of the Division of Narcotic Drugs in 1983.

Since then the Committee has been actively working on the issues of demand reduction, promotion of human and social development, and on the development of interpersonal relationships. Over the past 20 years, the main objectives were linkage between the UN Office of Drugs and Crime and NGO representatives through exchange of information in both directions, as well as demand reduction, awareness building and networking between members.

On the occasion of the 46th session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs from 8 to 17 April, the Vienna NGO Committee on Narcotic Drugs has organized a Mini Forum on Alternative Methods in the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Addictions.

The first part of the Mini Forum will take place on Wednesday, 9th April at 10 a.m. in the UN Boardroom at the VIC. The presentation of various forms of therapy will start with a 45-minute theatre play for recovering addicts by the Hungarian Group ‘Leo De Amici Foundation’. Further programme points will be Sports Therapy, presented by Dr. Jürgen Rink and Ms. Lea Kirsch of EURO TC – Fachklinik Eitelberg in Germany, Animal Therapy by Dr. Thomas Legl from the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs (ICAA) and Rehabilitation in Prison Settings, presented by Dr. Peter Vamos of Portage Inc. Canada.

On 16 April, the second part of the NGO Forum will focus on UNODC Operational Priorities, Guidelines for the Medium Term and the question on ‘How NGOs can Help’. This presentation will take place in the VIC, Conference Room I on the 2nd floor from 10 am to 1 pm. Following the presentations and debate, a question and answer period from the audience will take place. Representatives of UNODC will also participate in the Forum.

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