1st UCL Mexico Summit. Lessons from Global Drug Policy: moving on from 2016 UNGASS

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By Helden De Paz Mancera.

Last 13 June 2016, the UCL Mexican Society convened its first summit entitled Lessons from Global Drug Policy: moving on from 2016 UNGASS, bringing together students with researchers, decision-makers and academic experts. The main goal was to inform the public debate on this serious matter as part of the UCL Mexican Society efforts to offer forward thinking and a careful reflection on Mexico’s current challenges.

During this one-day event, our panellists from different disciplines and perspectives analysed, explored and discussed the following themes: 1) Why did the War on Drugs fail; 2) Drugs: The Alternative Perspective, 3) Drugs: Learning from the international experience; 4) The Marijuana Debate: The pros and cons of regulation; and 5) After the 2016 UNGASS: Concluding Remarks.

Drug policy reform in Mexico presents as many challenges as it does opportunities and we must be aware that there are no easy answers to deal with it. For that reason, the UCL Mexican Society pledges its commitment to a better Mexico by providing scientific knowledge in order to promote more efficient evidence-based policies.

The 1st UCL Mexico Summit by all accounts was a very successful and productive encounter that fostered an informative and stimulating environment to critically assess the current Global Drug Policy. We extend our deep appreciation to all our 21 speakers and all participants for being part of this valuable experience.

I want to point out that the summit was made possible thanks to the support and keenness of the event organising committee: David Pérez Esparza, Ana Orantes, Carolina Ramos, Román Zapién, Mara Torres, Rafael Regalado, Iyari Romano, Martha Lomelí and Citlali Helenes. It was a rewarding experience to coordinate our 1st UCL Mexico Summit with them.

Moreover, this was a clear example of how UCL Mexican students who come from different disciplines and academic backgrounds can work together abroad in order to promote a solid debate on sensitive issues and make a meaningful difference.

Mexico meets a lot of challenges and I am confident our 1st UCL Mexico Summit made a major contribution to triggering the required debate and action. It also set a precedent within the UCL Mexican Society. I hope that 1st UCL Mexico Summit will inspire future cohorts at UCL with the aim to positively transform our country through public engagement and critical thinking.

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