Ukraine developed its National Drug Strategy for 2021-2030 aiming towards a more people-centred and human rights-oriented approach to drug policy. The current drugs situation in the country requires comprehensive responses across dimensions of security, health and social policy, law enforcement, taking into account scientific, environmental, socio-political, technological, and international aspects.
The third conference on ‘Drug Policy - Support for implementation of the Ukrainian Drug Strategy’ addressed these issues, providing opportunity for the exchange experiences for representatives of national authorities, line ministries and civil society organisations from Ukraine as well as state representatives, experts and researchers from other Eastern European countries. Organised by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and co-sponsored by the Pompidou Group and the Alliance for Public Health, the conference took place online on 24-25 November 2021.
Following its active involvement in the 2nd conference organised in 2019, the Pompidou Group also ensured high-level participation in this year’s conference. After an opening statement by Denis Huber, Executive Secretary of the Group, João Castel-Branco Goulão took the floor on behalf of the Portuguese Presidency and briefly presented the EU Drugs Action Plan 2021-2025 and the Portuguese drug policy model. The Polish Vice-Presidency was represented by Janusz Sierosławski who spoke about experiences in developing community-based prevention programs in Lviv region. An expert presentation on responses to the use of new psychoactive substances in prisons was given by Robert Teltzrow, project consultant on drug treatment and rehabilitation in prisons.
The Pompidou Group and Ukraine count 10 years of cooperation in drug policy implementation through technical assistance projects. The recent decision of the country to join the Group as of 1 January 2022 will create new opportunities for Ukraine to debate drug policies at the international level.