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Former Presidents of Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Switzerland, Prime Minister of Greece, Kofi Annan, Richard Branson, George Shultz and Paul Volcker Call for Paradigm Shift in Global Drug Policy

Commission of World Leaders Urges New Approaches to Failed Drug War, Move from Criminal Justice toward Public Health Approach

Live Press Conference and Teleconference on Thursday, June 2 in New York City

May 30, 2011 - The Global Commission on Drug Policy will host a live press conference and teleconference on Thursday, June 2 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City to launch a new report that describes the drug war as a failure and calls for a paradigm shift in global drug policy.

The Commission is the most distinguished group of high-level leaders who have ever called for such far-reaching changes in the way society deals with illicit drugs - such as decriminalization and urging countries to experiment with legal regulation. The Executive Director of the global advocacy organization AVAAZ, with its nine million members worldwide, will present a public petition in support of the Global Commission's recommendations that will be given to the United Nations Secretary General.

What: Press Conference and Teleconference to release Global Commission report.

When: Thursday, June 2 at 11 am, EST

Where: The Waldorf Astoria Hotel, 301 Park Avenue , New York ( Beekman Suite)

By Phone :

USA : 1-800-311-9404 (Password: Global Commission)

From Outside the USA : 1-334-323-7224 (Password: Global Commission)

Commission Members (Those italicized will be at the press conference. Those speaking are italicized and underlined ):   

Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations , Ghana

Louise Arbour , former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, president of the International Crisis Group, Canada

Richard Branson , entrepreneur, advocate for social causes, founder of the Virgin Group, cofounder of The Elders, United Kingdom

Fernando Henrique Cardoso , former President of Brazil (chair)

Marion Caspers-Merk , former State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Health

Maria Cattaui, Petroplus Holdings Board member, former Secretary-General of the International Chamber of Commerce, Switzerland

Ruth Dreifuss , former President of Switzerland and Minister of Home Affairs

Carlos Fuentes , writer and public intellectual, Mexico

César Gaviria , former President of Colombia

Asma Jahangir , human rights activist, former UN Special Rapporteur on Arbitrary, Extrajudicial and Summary Executions, Pakistan

Michel Kazatchkine , executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria , France

Mario Vargas Llosa , writer and public intellectual, Peru

George Papandreou , Prime Minister of Greece

George P. Shultz , former Secretary of State , United States (honorary chair)

Javier Solana , former European Union High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy , Spain

Thorvald Stoltenberg , former Minister of Foreign Affairs and UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Norway

Paul Volcker , former Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve and of the Economic Recovery Board

John Whitehead , banker and civil servant, chair of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, United States

Ernesto Zedillo , former President of Mexico

An EMBARGOED copy of the report and press release will be made available starting on May 30. Contact Tony Newman (646-335-5384 or ) to request these materials.

The report and press release are EMBARGOED until 12:01 am GMT on June 2.  

To learn more about the Commission, visit:

Tony Newman

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