About Rome Consensus

A story of commitment

The Rome Consensus for Humanitarian Drug Policy was created in 2005 and developed as a partnership between the Italian Red Cross (ItRC), the International Council on Security and Development (ICOS) and the Villa Maraini Foundation (VMF). This initiative was established to address the specific dimensions of drug problem based on the existing knowledge and best practices of the past 40 years. The aim was to promote, within the International Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies a health-based approach to drug related suffering, and to prompt humanitarian action in this area. The Rome Consensus was signed by 121 Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies worldwide.

The goal

Our goal, now, is to re-launch it as The Rome Consensus 2.0, starting from what we have done and learned so far: the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies needs partners in humanity, especially in this stigmatized field, in order to brighten an international debate on how to tackle the drugs problems and how to respond to the needs of the most vulnerable people. The new declaration seeks to build upon the first Consensus, broadening it out for new signatories from around the world, and providing a reference model for best practices on humanitarian drug policy for the coming decades. Establishing a wider alliance among activists, professionals, beneficiaries and all the NGOs working in the field, is the natural development of this initiatives. Partnerships reinforce the Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies’ mission, facilitate access at the community level, and introduce new and more effective ways of working to serve humanity.


The action

The sense of the humanitarian policy action aims to address the drug problems at all levels by giving emphasis to a humane attitude in support of people with drug disorders. We mainly focus our action for those who are struggling with their sickness everyday, to those persons who live a miserable life because they are discriminated, tortured, deprived of any health and social support, deprived of their rights and dignity. The primary objective of humanitarian aid and approach is to save lives, alleviate suffering, and maintain human dignity.  We are mostly focused on the urgency to decrease the harm, right now, for people and communities affected by addictions. 

Next steps

The Rome Consensus 2.0 plans to organise a series of meetings to promote discussion and then action on the Consensus Statement. Designed to bring together Civil Society Organizations, leaders, experts and public authorities from across the world to explore ways to effectively combine humanitarian attitude in health, criminal justice, prevention and community responses to addiction.
After the first meeting in Rome, in which we re-launched the Consensus, we aim to raise awareness on this initiative during the CND meetings in in Vienna, starting from 2020, during a High-level Side Event together with UNODC, WHO, Italian Government, and all the Co-Founders. We will further advocate this initiative in other international meeting and in local communities throughout each of the partners that will allow us to work together.

To learn more please consult the documents section.