UNITE Drug Policy Desk

UNITE Policy Desk to develop and advance drug policy reform in partnership with the APPG for Drug Policy Reform

UNITE seeks to be politically impactful across all major communicable diseases & global health priorities including COVID-19, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria, Viral Hepatitis, Pandemic Preparedness, Neglected Tropical Diseases or Waterborne Diseases.  

Focusing on a whole-of-government approach, we propose to grow political momentum by working on a wide range of cross-cutting issues ensuring political & policy pathways for a larger consensus in a global health ecosystem.


At the UNITE Global Summit, held virtually in September 2020, UNITE launched a new workstream to develop and advance drug policy reform. This new initiative is in partnership with the UK based All-Party Parliamentary Drug Reform Group. While policy on illegal drugs is controversial, it is a policy area that has been dominated for decades by a repressive and criminal justice approach – the War on Drugs. A move to a more public health approach is long overdue. This is why UNITE is involved in the issue – to promote policies that are better at promoting public and individual health.

The UNITE/APPG programme  

The programme aims to promote: 

  • Drug policy reform on alternatives to incarceration for people who use drugs
  • Policy reform to reverse overpopulated prisons by releasing inmates facing minor drug-related charges
  • Promote drug policy reform on cannabis for recreational use

UNITE and the APPG will promote better public and individual health policies to a growing network of parliamentarians. This work’s initial focus will be on parliamentarians from Portugal, Kenya, Morocco, and Zimbabwe.  

To achieve these goals, the UNITE/APPG programme will: 

  • Gather data and advice from multiple stakeholders and credible sources for developing timely action-based tools, policies, and legislative alternatives specific to each countries’ background.
  • Involve global, regional, and local actors, to assess the political landscape and local appetite for policy-reform;
  • Assemble and monitor the proposed alternatives, checking their feasibility, stakeholder engagement, and effectiveness based on evidence and expert advice.


Our Work

UNITE Drug Policy Desk 2021

Annual Report
Decriminalising Drug Use and Possession

Position Paper
Reducing Imprisonment for Drug Offences

Position Paper
Regulating Recreational Cannabis

Position Paper

Our Partners