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Public discussion of the state strategy on drugs, December 18, 2023 Kyiv, Ukraine

The public discussion was aimed at discussing of recommendations to the National Strategy on Drugs until 2030 HYPERLINK in the context of EU accession of Ukraine and the respective need to bring Ukrainian legislation in compliance with EU norms and laws. Representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, experts, community leaders and other stakeholders took part in the discussion.

Despite the fact that the previous state strategy expired in 2020, the new strategy has not been adopted in the country. Community organizations and partners have already voiced concerns about the lack of progress in this direction.

Participants at the round table noted that the new state strategy on drugs should be evidence-based and contain the best practices used in the European Union. In addition, drug policy must be balanced and human rights-oriented.

These approaches are reflected in the document “Guiding Principles for Effective and Humane Drug Policy in Eastern and Central Europe and Central Asia” (HYPERLINK), which was presented by the author of the previous state strategy on drugs, former head of the State Drug Control Service, member of the Regional Commission on Drug Policy (ECECACD). )—Vladimir Tymoshenko. V. Tymoshenko emphasized the need to maintain a balance between law enforcement approaches and ensuring access to controlled medicines, also that the state strategy should be evidence based and comply with the norms and standards of the European Union. The operational plan should be developed based on the approved strategy to ensure that priorities are achieved.

“Our drug strategy, adopted in 2013, remains one of the best in the EECA region, but time has passed and there is a need to take the next evolutionary step to ensure that Ukraine has a balanced and human rights-oriented drug strategy. EU accession processes provide Ukraine with ample opportunities in the field of drug policy regulation. In my opinion, EU candidate countries (Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia) should use this moment and incorporate all the best practices that are used in the European Union,” emphasized Elena Kucheruk, executive secretary of the Eastern and Central European and Central Asian Commission on Drug Policy.

The chief specialist of the department for ensuring the formation and implementation of policy on security, law and order and combating crime of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Sergei Dryomov, confirmed that the Ministry of Internal Affairs has been taking into account proposals on the strategy that are provided by public organizations.

“The previous strategy expired 3 years ago, so it needs to be changed and a new one agreed upon. When the previous strategy was adopted, we received extremely positive feedback from international partners, I would like to believe that this strategy will repeat the success of the previous one,” said Dryomov.

As informed earlier, on July 31, 2023, the Ministry of Health published a draft order of the Cabinet of Ministers “On approval of the State Drug Policy Strategy for the period until 2030 and approval of the operational plan for its implementation for 2023 – 2025to encourage public discussions of the document. 

The organizer of the discussion was the NGO “Missy Initiatives and Sustainable Transformations (MIST)