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LSE academics to advise Colombian President Santos on new policies for after the 'War on Drugs'

columbia drugs war

Leading Academics from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) are set to advise the Colombian Government on a post-‘war on drugs’ strategy on January 28th 2016 in Bogota.

Professor Michael Cox and Dr. John Collins of LSE IDEAS will be presenting a new international strategic framework for drug policies after the ‘war on drugs’ to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos at a major public event in Bogota.

Alongside the President, the event will also include: Rafael Pardo, Post-Conflict Minister, Yesid Reyes, Minister of Justice, Alejandro Gaviria, Minister of Health and Social Protection and Luis Carlos Villegas, Minister of Defense.

Professor Cox and Dr. Collins will present an overview of the findings of the upcoming LSE Expert Group on the Economics of Drug Policy’s report, ‘After the Drug Wars’. This will enable the Colombian government to incorporate its findings into their national drug policies and the upcoming UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on Drugs in 2016.

Hosted by Martin Santos, Executive Director of Fundación Buen Gobierno, speakers will also include leading Colombian drug policy specialists: Daniel Mejia, Director of Centro de Estudios sobre Seguridad y Drogas, Universidad de los Andes; Muaricio Rodriguez, Former Colombian Ambassador to the UK; Juan Manuel Galán, Colombian Senator; Rodrigo Uprimny, DeJusticia; and Eduardo Diaz, Director Agencia Sustitutón de Cultivos Ilícitos.

Professor Michael Cox, Director of LSE IDEAS and world renowned expert on the Northern Ireland peace process[1], said: ‘International drug policy is an area where the LSE has demonstrated its role as the world’s centre for social science research and impact. There is widespread recognition of the failures of the ‘war on drugs’ and the urgent need to implement new policies grounded in evidence. These historic discussions with President Santos and his Ministers will be vital in shifting the world onto a more sustainable path in its approach to these global issues and enabling Colombia to continue on its path to peace.’

Dr. John Collins, Executive Director of the LSE IDEAS International Drug Policy Project, and Editor of the report said: ‘Although global policy audiences will have to wait until February 15th to read this report in full, we at LSE are already working with governments to implement its findings. The report provides an entirely new strategy to move beyond the singular prohibitionist model of the ‘war on drugs’ towards a new global approach grounded in sustainable development, public health, harm reduction of consumption and illicit drug markets, and rigorous social scientific experiments with new models of legal regulation. Countries and the United Nations can and should use it move beyond the failures of the ‘war on drugs’ era.’

In April 2016, nation states will be convening in New York at the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS) to discuss the future of international drug control. The LSE report will figure prominently in these discussions and help shape the future of international drug policies after the discredited ‘war on drugs’ strategy.

The full report will be made publicly available after its release at the London School of Economics on 15 February 2016.

ENDS

Contacts

For Professor Cox or Dr. Collins (Bogota):

John Collins, LSE IDEAS IDPP Executive Director, +44(0)7848836124, j.collins@lse.ac.uk

Or/cc

Jay Pan (London), LSE IDEAS IDPP Assistant, j.q.pan@lse.ac.uk

Jess Winterstein, LSE Press Office, 020 7955 7060, j.winterstein@lse.ac.uk

For more information on the Conference or to receive a copy of the report on publication, please contact j.q.pan@lse.ac.uk

Notes for editors:

[1] The Northern Ireland peace deal, President Santos has said, is the framework that has been adopted by the Colombia Government and Farc rebels during their peace talks.   

LSE IDEAS: is an Institute of Global Affairs (IGA) Centre that acts as the School’s foreign policy think tank. Through sustained engagement with policymakers and opinion-formers, IDEAS provides a forum that informs policy debate and connects academic research with the practice of diplomacy and strategy.

http://www.lse.ac.uk/IDEAS/Home.aspx

LSE IDEAS International Drug Policy Project (IDPP): is a global centre for excellence in the study of international drug policy. IDPP fosters new research, analysis and debate of global drug policies as well as training of LSE’s world-class students.

The Expert Group was established at LSE IDEAS by the International Drug Policy Project (IDPP) - a global centre for excellence in the study of international drug policy. IDPP fosters new research, analysis and debate of global drug policies as well as training of LSE’s world-class students.

In 2012 LSE IDEAS produced the Report ‘Governing the Global Drug Wars’, which President Santos called ‘a valuable contribution to this healthy and necessary debate. By re-examining the international approach to the drug problem from an academic perspective, we are nourishing the discussion and setting the conditions to find a new and more efficient strategy.’

In May 2014 LSE IDEAS released ‘Ending the Drug Wars: Report of the LSE Expert Group on the Economics of Drug Policy’. It laid out a comprehensive analysis of the failures of the ‘War on Drugs’, endorsed by 5 Nobel Prize Winning Economists, Ministers of State, and a plethora of leading academics.

http://www.lse.ac.uk/IDEAS/Projects/IDPP/International-Drug-Policy-Project.aspx

The Expert Group on the Economics of Drug Policy: The IDPP convened the Expert Group on the Economics of Drug Policy to undertake the most thorough independent economic analysis of the current international drug control strategy ever conducted.

On 29 January Thomas Piketty will be appearing at the Hay Festival Cartagena. Piketty will be interviewed by journalist Rodrigo Pardo on the issues raised by his book Capital in the Twenty First Century in which he questioned the relationship between equality and development and the historical distribution of wealth. The event is supported by the London School of Economics and Political Science. 

The London School of Economics and Political Science are partnering with Hay Festival to organise events that explore ideas and world leading research.

Image: Policía Nacional de los colombianos Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

21 January 2016

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