ECAD took part in the 55th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs this weekMarch 12-16 in Vienna as an observer for Drug Free America. This year´s session was a special one, marking one hundredth anniversary of the Opium Convention signed in 1912 in Hague.

There was a number of important resolutions prepared by the member states: promoting treatment alternatives to imprisonment as a strategy for drug demand reduction (Mexico), promoting female oriented strategies and interventions for women at risk of drug abuse and drug dependence (Denmark), reintegration of persons released from prison who have renounced drug abuse (Ukraine) and others.

As a board member of Vienna NGO Committe on Drugs ECAD was involved in organizing the first Informal Civil Society Hearing, capitalizing on establishing relationships between governments and civil society at the CND. Three informal dialogues with the head of INCB, Prof. Hamid Ghodse,  Executive Director of UNDC, Yury Fedotov, and the Chair of CND, Carmen Bujan Feire, were organized by the Committee and the key persons of the drug policy stressed their efforts to establish a sustainable cooperation with NGOs on the regular basis.

The overwhelming amount of seminars and side events left very little room for reflection but the key message of the CND was probably delievered already at the opening session by UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov:

"Crucially, the international community must protect children. Young people need to live a rewarding life that offers numerous ways of obtaning enjoyment without the need for drugs.
UNODC`s own work on behalf of children exposed to drugs has started in Afghanistan and will extend soon to West Africa and East Asia. (...)

UNODC also stands ready to work with governments to improve access to drugs for medical purposes - particularly pain medications - while also countering diversion and drug abuse. Overall, our work on treatment side must be considered as part of the normal clinical work undertaken when responding to any other desease in the health system.

Our commitment is founded on the drug conventions. They form a part of a continuum based on human rights and the rule of law that flows directly from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international standards and norms to our delivery of practical actions. (...)"

Complete speech can be downloaded here (PDF-file)

33th and the 6th articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, upholding the right of children to live and develop in the drug-free communities have thus been underscored.

Youth Initiative, launched by the UNODC at the CND, alternative development and promoting of health-oriented approach with respect to human rights were important issues stressed at the multiple side-events and general sessions.
TherapRead more: 100 Replies to Medical Marijuanaeutical use of marijuana is a highly debated topic not only in the US but also in Europe.

A new book written by Italian journalist Fabio Bernabei will definitely give you some food for thought on this:
"Cannabis medica: 100 risposte sull`uso terapeutico della marijuana" published by Sugarco Edizioni (2012) is available in Italian.

Please contact ECAD office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to know more about this book or its author.


Read more: 55th CND in ViennaRead more: 55th CND in Vienna

We would like to inform our members and interested NGOs about the possibility to get to know more about the activities at the 55th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna.
The CND will take place during week 11, March 12-16, 2012.

As a member of Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs, ECAD is pleased to offer a guide to the 55th Session of CND to brief NGOs about the participation in one of the major drug policy events of the year.
All the documents for the CND, including draft resolutions, can be found on the website of the United Nations On Drugs and Crime.

Commission on Narcotic Drugs (2012): A briefing for NGOs and CSOs (PDF)

ECAD Advisory Board met in Staffanstorp, Sweden on February 10 and had a strategic planning of the coming Mayors´ conference to be held May 9-12, that preceded the meeting.
Staffanstorp Municipality is a part of Öresund region and a Southern part of Sweden called Skania, the region that is closer to Europe than to the north of Sweden. Staffanstorp is a young and enterprising municipality with 23 000 inhabitants that has been a member of ECAD since 2004.

City-twinning or cooperating internationally are important success factors in the community development, and are also taken seriously by Staffanstorp`s counterparts in Killarney, Ireland. Mikael Sandin, Mayor of Staffanstorp and Sean Counihan, Mayor of Killarney, demonstrated genuine interest as they both engaged in conference planning during these days along with ECAD staff and Advisory Board members.

ECAD Advisory Board had a short dynamic meeting with a lot of development- and policy suggestions.

A delegation of city councellors led by Sean Counihan, Mayor of Killarney talked inter alia about different ways of involving the public and youth into discussions on drugs at the coming conference, which is included in the planing by now.

Read more: Strategic Planning & Analysis at AB in StaffanstorpRead more: Strategic Planning & Analysis at AB in Staffanstorp

Read more: Strategic Planning & Analysis at AB in StaffanstorpRead more: Strategic Planning & Analysis at AB in Staffanstorp

Smaller cities have a lot of incommon, as well as bigger cities do, and that implies that an up-to-date comparison of drug abuse trends and municipal solutions to the problems can be of enormous value both on the local scale and internationally.

However, we cannot focus on illicit drugs only, there is an acute need to involve other aspects, alcohol abuse, parents` role, NGOs, thus sharing opinions, not excluding.

"We need to focus on how to operate together and accept each others`points of view, thus broadening the perspective. That is why we chose to talk about cooperation and a broader perspective at ECAD Mayors` conference this year"
, said Patrik Runesson, Strategical Analyst at Staffanstorp City Council.   

ECAD thanks Staffanstorp City Council and its Mayor, Mikael Sandin, for heartily welcome and generosity towards ECAD.

The City of Kristiansand, Norway, hosted annual conference for Norwegian network of cities in ECAD on January 5, 2012. ECAD Director Jörgen Svidén was one of the participants.Kristiansand_kommune

Representatives of Norwegian cities in ECAD meet once a year in January to focus on actual drug issues and discuss activities in their respective cities, to strengthen established contacts and to create new ones. Besides this, there are lectures on different topics to broaden perspectives and to give inspiration and new knowledge. The participants have various professional skills and roles, from leading politicians to practitioners and scientists.

Among great speakers was Else Kristin Utne Berg from Bergen, who presented a survey on trends of drug use and, based on that, ideas on how to react on these figures. The audience also got an interesting and engaged presentation from Kristiansand’s City medical practitioner, Dagfinn Harr, on success factors in the fight to help people overcome drug problems.

Norwegian initiative for ECAD member cities is most welcome in ECAD and is something that should be a role model for cities in other countries, as an important social factor and a professionally useful meeting. Gatherings like this are very inspiring and help set focus on the issue we all work on: how to create a better environment so that as few as possible get in contact with drugs and as many as possible stop taking them.

 “Ut av tåka 2012”, a Norwegian annual seminar on cannabis, will be organized on February 22,  and "Erfaringsdag", a seminar for drug coordinators from all over Norway, in connection to "Ut av tåka 2012" event will take place on February 21, 2012. Download seminar programme below.




ECAD's activities from year to year culminate in the annual ECAD Mayors Conference, hosted by a distinct ECAD member city every summer. Councillors and other politicians and policymakers convene with academics and civil society organizations to participate in seminars and study visits, discussing the latest developments in drug prevention efforts throughout Europe.

27th Mayors Conference - Gothenburg and online 2022

The 27th Mayors' Conference and 8th World Forum took place in Gothenburg and online 13-14th June 2022.

The World Forum and Mayor’s Conference is a meeting place for people from all continents who are working to prevent drug abuse, ensure evidence-based and gender-sensitive practices, increase access to treatment, and to promote recovery and reintegration services. This global forum is one of its kind where NGOs, self-help groups, treatment centres, scholars, local, regional, and national authorities, politicians and other decision-makers, and others from around the world will meet to share evidence and best practice experiences. This year’s World Forum will include three main tracks: Prevention, Treatment/Recovery, and Advocacy, which will stretch over 1,5 days followed by the WFAD Congress and ECAD Mayors plenary session. 

We are proud to announce that the Forum was inaugurated by UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly and will be joined by experts from around the world.

Read more on the website: and access the full report here
Register to

26th Mayors Conference - Cork 2019



and 6th World Forum Against Drugs

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Conference materials

Kevin Sabet, PhD, Director, Drug Policy Institute, University of Florida, President, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), USA
Speech at the WFAD /ECAD 25th Mayors Conference, Gothenburg, May 15, 2018 (Video 5min.)

Supply reduction in Peril?  A lot of the worlds`s drug supply emanates from a war-torn Columbia.
Dr. Michael Jonsson, FOI, Swedish Defence Research Agency

Text to the slides (PDF)
In Columbia, a peace deal has been struck, which gives hope for a closure of insurgency and violence. (PDF)

Thomas Pietschmann, Dr, Drug Research Section, Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs
The International drug control system, global/regional and national drug patterns and trends, and supply reduction efforts at the international level (PDF)


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Photo: Götaplatsen @ Klas Eriksson

Annual Mayors` Conference and the 6th World Forum Against Drugs will take off on May 14-15 in Gothenburg this year.
This joint event will address a growing interest to the effective prevention practices, full recovery and alternatives to incarceration and to life-long dependency on drug treatment.
The conference will create a room for elaborating a practical guide to how a recovery city will look like, this will be grounded on the recent evidence-based research.
Sheffield Hallam University (UK), Ghent University (Belgium) and the City of Gothenburg have already started working on this guide in practice.

In order to find out more and to register please visit a joint webpage here.

 WFAD logo jpg  Logo Gothenburg


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ECAD 24th Mayors` Conference materials

On June 12-13, the city of Kaunas hosted ECAD 24th Annual Mayors`s Conference 2017

Safe Cities Without Drugs. Preventing, Protecting, Policing

Key-note speakers:

David W. Spencer, Field intelligence Manager, Drug Enforcement Agency, European Region

Supply reduction and dismantling drug trafficking organizations: In what ways can local communities benefit (PDF)

Kim Nilvall, Swedish National Bureau of Investigation, Intelligence section, Organized crime

Police work in socially disadvantaged areas in Sweden: Impact of drugs on urban crime (PDF)

 Torsten Stodiek, Deputy Head, Strategic Police Matters Unit, Community Policing Advisor, Transnational Threats Department, OSCE

Preventing terrorism and countering violent extremism and radicalisation that lead to terrorism:

A community and intelligence led policing approach (PDF)

Jon Sigfusson, Director for Icelandic Centre of Social Research and Analysis, Reykjavik University, ICSRA

Youth in Europe and Planet Youth (PDF)

Laimonas Vasiliauskas, Senior Specialist, Serious and Organized Crime Department, EUROPOL

European Illicit Drug Market (PDF)

 Antonio Boscini, Health Director, San Patrignano Community, Rimini, Italy

Recovery and social reinsertion: San Patrignano Community model extended (PDF)

a wall of participants



 Conference Booking Form

@ Rokas Tenys, the Kaunas Castle

Kaunas Castle
Picture: @Rokas Tenys

Warm welcome to Kaunas, Lithuania!

Archives of ECAD's mailed newsletters from 2003 until 2013. To subscribe to ECAD's new email-based newsletter, click here.
Official ECAD mission statements in six different European languages.
The ECAD Resolution, crafted at a conference to increase cooperation between cities, provides inspiration and hope for areas with particularly difficult drug problems. The signatories to the resolution will affirm their decision to fight against the spread of drugs.