29 June 2005
For a European drug convention on promoting public health policy in drug control
Motion for a resolution
presented by Mr Flynn and others
This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only the members who have signed it
1. The public health imperative has become a major impetus for drug policy-making in many European countries. Key responses to the problems of drug abuse have emerged, most notably: needle exchange programmes, and substitution/maintenance treatment.
2. Where these responses have been implemented as integral to a country’s overall drug prevention and treatment policies, especially those services targeting marginalised and socially disadvantaged groups, this has had a marked effect on the successful long-term rehabilitation of drug users and their reintegration into society.
3. The resultant benefits are felt by society as a whole, through reductions in the incidence of criminal behaviour, reduced costs for health and criminal justice systems, reduced risks of transmission of HIV and other blood borne viruses, increased productivity and ultimately reduced drug use levels.
4. The growing HIV/AIDS pandemic is in many countries chiefly attributable to growing rates of drug abuse. The Assembly considers that this demands a renewed urgency for a clear signal from the international community granting legal status to key public health responses.
5. Over the past twenty years, a wide socio-medical literature has emerged on appropriate and effective responses to drug abuse and addiction. The British Institute of International and Comparative Law drafted a Framework Convention on Public Health Promotion which has been presented to the Assembly. The Convention represents this scientific and medical knowledge in a transnational policy document and consolidates existing effective practices. It is designed to complement existing legal frameworks in the areas of Human Rights, Public Health and Drug Control.
6. The key tenet of international law on which the Convention is built, is the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. To this end, the Convention has three inter-related objectives:
a. to promote the right to health in the context of drug abuse as a fundamental human right;
b. to clarify the scope of the right to health as it applies to drug abuse;
c. to help identify good practices for the operationalization of the right to health as it applies to drug abuse, at the community, national and international levels.
7. The right to health extends across a broad range of issues and the Convention is premised on the recognition that the adverse health effects of drug abuse take place at the social and environmental levels and at the level of individual and collective, physical and mental health. The Convention is thus aimed at promoting the right to health in three key areas:
a. individual physical and mental health – granting a clear and comprehensive legal status to public health responses highlighted above;
b. prevention and education – emphasising non-discrimination and the special needs of the marginalised and vulnerable groups in society;
c. environmental harm and alternative development – enabling substantial, real and sustained improvements in the quality of life of the inhabitants of drug-crop growing regions.
8. Accordingly, the Assembly resolves to debate the Convention with a view to the adoption of a recommendation to the Committee of Ministers, asking them to develop a recommendation to the governments of the member states or a convention establishing the criteria according to which effective public health responses to problematic drug use should be implemented.
FLYNN, Paul, United Kingdom, SOC
ALAY FERRER, Vicenš, Andorra, SOC
CHERNYSHENKO, Igor, Russia, EDG
CORREIA, Telmo, Portugal, EDG
COUSIN, Alain, France, EPP/CD
COX, Thomas, United Kingdom, SOC
DUPRAZ, John, Switzerland, ALDE
FERN┴NDEZ-CAPEL, Blanca, Spain, EPP/CD
GLESENER, Marcel, Luxembourg, EPP/CD
HANCOCK, Michael, United Kingdom, ALDE
HURSKAINEN, Sinikka, Finland, SOC
HUSS, Jean, Luxembourg, SOC
KOCHARYAN, Shavarsh, Armenia, ALDE
LALOY, Marie-JosÚ, Belgium, SOC
LINDINGER, Ewald, Austria, SOC
MARQUET, Bernard, Monaco, ALDE
McCAFFERTY, Chris, United Kingdom, SOC
OSKINA, Vera, Russia, EDG
WOHLLEBEN, Verena, Germany, SOC
1 SOC: Socialist Group
EPP/CD: Group of the European People’s Party
ALDE: Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
EDG: European Democratic Group
UEL: Group of the Unified European Left
NR: not registered in a group