The start of March marks the biggest event in the International drug policy control calendar as the 63rd Session on the Commission on Narcotic Drugs takes place this coming week, March 2nd to 6th. In preparation for the weeks events Youth RISE have taken part in a number of pre-CND meetings, with INPUD holding a CND strategy meeting on Saturday. Among topics discussed were how best to amplify the voices of key populations on social media and how best to ensure the right messaging is put out about the resolutions and statements that most affect our groups. As well as this, Youth RISE contributed towards possibilities for engagement on topics specifically related to young people who use drugs – with the resolution L5 proposed by Russia entitled ‘promoting involvement of youth in drug prevention efforts’ being high on the agenda for this.

On Sunday, the Paradigma coalition of youth-led drug policy reform organizations held our now annual strategy meeting at the University of Vienna, with Coact Technical Consultant Mat Southwell kindly offering his time to help facilitate what was a very productive meeting. Plans were laid out for the year ahead and big plans are in store for the coalition moving forward. Students for Sensible Drug Policy are the lead organization for a side-event on Tuesday at 8AM involving member organizations of the coalition entitled ‘Young people use drugs – Bridging the gap between Human Rights and Key Affected Populations’. Youth RISE members Seyi Kehinde, Ailish Brennan, Daniel Nii Ankrah, and Joana Canedo will be speaking on the panel.