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Minister of Health Bent Høie handed over the Presidency to the Secretary of State of Health of Portugal, Raquel Duarte. Credit: Studio Hjelm

Pompidou group: Toward a more humane drug policy

Norway has put human rights and civil society on the agenda during its Presidency of the Council of Europe’s cooperation on drug policies.

Norway has held Presidency in the Council of Europe’s cooperation on drug policies – the Pompidou Group – for the past four years. The Ministerial conference in Stavanger, 27-28 November, marked the end of the Norwegian Presidency.

– We have used this Presidency to emphasise the importance of human rights as a basis for drug policies in all countries. Drug problems have had different impacts on different countries, and drug policies will therefore vary, however, human rights are unalterable, stated the Minister of Health and Care Services, Bent Høie.

During the Norwegian Presidency, the Pompidou Group prepared an expert report, describing how a country may proceed in ensuring that human rights are safeguarded in drug policies.

Norway has also put civil society on the agenda, emphasising the importance of involving civil society and individuals who use drugs in the development of policies. The Pompidou Group has prepared a policy paper on the cooperation between authorities and civil society in drug cases.

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