The UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS) 2016 was finally held from 19 – 21 April 2016 at United Nations Headquarters in New York. Recovered Users Network-RUN has actively participated in the work leading up to UNGASS. Boro Goic Chair of RUN was a member of Civil Society Task Force and representative of affected population – Recovered Users.

RUN had a task to engage recovery-oriented NGOs, member of RUN as well as NGOs around the world and collect best practices and models connected to recovery and recovered users.

Approximately 153 organizations participated in electronic and in-person consultations, as well as around 20 respected researchers and representatives of governments. We are pleased that RUN has been able to move the focus from drug users alone towards recovered users as well. This can be seen in recent policy papers at EU and UN that was never incorporated before and this is a huge step towards more balanced drug policies.

RUN has submitted the Final Report to VNGOC and our recommendations were included in the main outcome of UNGASS, the final document available here, entitled “Our joint commitment to effectively addressing and countering the world drug problem,” containing operational recommendations to address and counter the world drug problem. The statement of Recovered Users Network is available on UNODC website. Full statement available here.

RUN have participated in several side events during UNGASS.

Civil Society Forum in preparation for the UNGASS2016 took place on Monday 18th April from 10am to 1pm in Conference Room 12 at UN Headquarters.  The event was organized by the Government of Sweden and the Civil Society Task Force. Civil Society Task Force members presented the findings of the CSTF global consultations leading up to the UNGASS, including the Global Civil Society Survey, the regional and thematic consultations

Voices of Civil Society: Priorities and Recommendations for UNGASS 2016 at Civil Society Forum

Zoran Jelić RUN board member,  was a speaker at The Civil Society Forum and represented Recovery. He highlighted that Recovery is possible, and it should be the aim of all drug policies. We need to remember that people are the centre of this policy and that sustainable drug policies should range from different types of treatment, and should include government and civil society working together.


The event took place on Wednesday 20 April 2016, between 2:30-3:30 pm at United Nations HQ, New York, Conference Room B. The event is organized by EURAD,  RUN,  San Patrignano,  ECAD and WFAD and co-sponsored by the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs of Sweden, the Permanent Mission of Croatia and the UNODC. The speakers included Lina Pastorek – Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, Sweden, Kerry Kennedy -President of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, Rowdy Yates – European Federation of Therapeutic Communities ,Gilberto Gerra – UNODC, Dr. Antonio Boschini – San Patrignano, Colleen Marlett – This is why I fight, Jeffrey Bratton .The event was moderated by Boro Goic Chair of RUN. The speakers highlighted that a treatment of substance abuse is an investment, not a waste. Addiction has three components, a physical, an environmental and a spiritual/existential. A good treatment system has to address all three.

RUN at UNGASS2016Key informations on UNGASS available here.

Many of our members contributed to the UNGASS consultation process and RUN would like to thank you all for making it possible for Recovery to be present and visible at UNGASS2016.

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