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Event date: April 19 - 21

Three weeks after the Nuclear Security Summit, the action will shift to New York, where the United Nations will hold its first special session on the global drug problem since 1998. Eighteen years ago, the slogan was “A Drug-Free World: We Can Do It.” Its focus was on prohibition, eradication, interdiction, prosecution, and incarceration. This year's summit will be different: frustrated by the futile “war on drugs” and its attendant criminal violence, a number of national governments (particularly in Latin America and Europe) are experimenting with decriminalization and harm-reduction strategies. In the United States, Colorado, Washington, and a dozen other states are similarly turning to public-health approaches. Canada's new Liberal government, meanwhile, is considering legalizing marijuana. The summit will test whether the reformist constituency within the United Nations extends beyond the Western Hemisphere and Europe.

The Nuclear Security Summit | UN General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem | World Humanitarian Summit | Group of Seven Summit | Group of Twenty Summit | Habitat III | Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

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