The Council of Europe’s International Co-operation Group on Drugs and Addictions (Pompidou Group) will mark its 50th anniversary in Paris (Pompidou Centre) on 28 October at an event that will look back over its history and successes, while also highlighting the importance of placing human rights at the heart of drug policies. The celebration is taking place against the backdrop of a sharp increase in drug use in France and in other parts of world, particularly following the Covid crisis. For instance, crack use has become more visible recently, posing many challenges for public order and health.
The Pompidou Group, which is named after the former French President who initiated its creation, provides tools that help decision-makers to implement effective measures to reduce drug trafficking, better treat substance use disorders and address the related negative impacts in society. From decriminalisation to the use of low-risk drug consumption rooms, many Pompidou Group member states are taking steps to tackle drug addiction as a health rather than a crime issue.
In this connection, the motto of the Pompidou Group’s work is “Human rights at the heart of drug policies”. “We welcome this new human rights-centred approach that puts individuals’ dignity to centre stage, along with measures to uphold public health, tackle discrimination and stigma and prevent organised crime,” said Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić.
Opening statements will be made Marija Pejčinović Burić (Secretary General of the Council of Europe), Péter Szijjártó (Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Chair of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe), by Antonio Lacerda Sales (Deputy Minister of Health of Portugal), and Nicolas Prisse (President of the French anti-drug authority, MILDECA). In addition, the Pompidou Group will honour winners of the 2021 European Drug Prevention Prize (10th edition) which is awarded for addiction prevention projects involving young people at the planning, implementation or evaluation phase.
- Marija Pejčinović Burić, Secretary General of the Council of Europe
- Péter Szijjártó, Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Chair of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe
- Antonio Lacerda Sales, Deputy Minister of Health of Portugal
- Nicolas Prisse, President of the French anti-drug authority, MILDECA