The panel was on the impact of the global drug problem on the enjoyment human rights.
The panel was chaired by Ms. Ruth Dreifuss, former President of the Swiss Confederation.
The other speakers included Ann Fordham, Executive Director of the International Drug Policy Consortium, and Aldo Lale-Demoz, Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
The panel discussion offered a forum to enhance understanding of the issue of human rights in the context of the international drug problem, and the global response to it. It examined in particular international experiences and good practices to address the adverse effects of the problem in all its facets.
In his remarks, Professor Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou noted that elaborate policies on this issue are lacking; that the impact on governance, institutions, the rule of law, and human rights is understudied and therefore poorly addressed; and this is happening while new patterns of complexity are emerging.
He shared the experience of the Kofi Annan-appointed West African Commission on Drugs (WACD) -- on which he serves as Commissioner -- to highlight other aspects of the problem such as vulnerabilities to transnational criminal activity in places where borders are porous, coastlines are under-patrolled, and institutions are vulnerable to corruption. Therefore, a holistic look at the problem is needed to emphasise the impact on governance and development.