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07 December 2023

Alumni presents research project to United Nations commission

An alumni from the School of Politics and Economics was invited to present the findings of her ground-breaking research project at a meeting of a United Nations commission.

Monica Richards spoke at the UN event in Vienna. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Monica Richards, who studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at King’s, founded the Benzo Research Project in 2021 alongside her studies, with the aim to highlight and contextualise the use and dangers of benzodiazepines for young people in the UK.

A team of more than 70 students worked on the research and evidence-gathering that underpinned the project as well as the outreach and engagement work that followed. The final report was published in 2022.

On 5 December, Monica, who graduated from King’s in 2023, spoke to delegates from around the world at a meeting of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), setting out the goals of the project and presenting the data gathered.

Monica said: “I strongly urge students to find a social cause that they feel strongly about, and to pursue it. I didn’t have any expertise in drug policy prior to starting this project, and it has proven the most worthwhile experience. There will be others who share your vision, and want to grow your idea with you.”

The commission convened in Vienna, Austria, from 4-6 December and heard from member states, NGOs and academic experts on the work taking place around the world to highlight and combat the harms of illegal drugs.

You can find out more about the Benzo Research Project here.

Watch here...

You can watch Monica’s presentation to the CND at the link here.