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Jan 8, 2008

Part 2. INPUD initial exclusion and follow-up inclusion in the Forum

The text below is only a part of the whole document. Although each part is published under a separate link, all of them should be considered as different chapters of one and the same document.

Part 2. INPUD initial exclusion and follow-up inclusion in the Forum

The People Who Use Drugs acknowledged as a stake-holder in the drugs - policy debate

INPUD members are People Who Use Drugs, organizations of People Who Use Drugs, supportive individuals and organizations – partners and ally of the People Who Use Drugs. INPUD-Europe is the European department of the International Network of the People Who Use Drugs.

Many of the present INPUD-Europe activists, who participated in the events that preceded the Forum, were ENCOD members. All of them were known by the EC as ENCOD members. Their work had also contributed to the nowadays image of ENCOD, especially at EU level.

INPUD activists have no objective reasons to distrust the unofficial information that the EC considers the initial exclusion of the People Who Use Drugs from the Forum as inner ENCOD problem. INPUD was legitimately registered in July 2007 - one month before we applied for the Forum. Regardless our personal activities, the EC neglected the newly registered INPUD and invited two ENCOD members. In our opinion the EC expected that ENCOD participants would also represent the People Who Use Drugs at the Forum.

Despite our past cooperation, ENCOD did not acknowledge explicitly the need of a Drugs Users' representative at the Forum on Drugs. ENCOD position before, during and after the Forum was that the DU organizations are “one among many important stakeholders” excluded from the debate. Consequently ENCOD did not undertake any specific action for the inclusion of the People Who Use Drugs.

The participation of the People Who Use Drugs in the Civil Society Forum on Drugs was made possible by the Eurasian Harm Reduction Network (EHRN). The EHRN gave to INPUD one of the two slots they had for the Forum, as initially INPUD - EHRN agreed that INPUD participant will speak as a representative of the People Who Use Drugs. This agreement made INPUD an independent full-right member of the first Forum on Drugs for 2008 and 2009. In the end of the period a new call for applications will be announced by the EC and a new experts' team will be selected for the next Forum.

At present, from a broader perspective, INPUD-Europe activists recognize the EC's right to exclude INPUD. INPUD-Europe activists also acknowledge that the EC left enough room for follow-up cooperation and respected our and our partners' demands.

In connection, we thank to all anti-prohibitionists pro-harm reduction organizations that supported us world-wide and made our voice heard when the People Who Use Drugs were initially excluded from the Forum. We also thank to EHRN for offering us one of their two slots and to the EC for their professional and mutual beneficial decision to accept INPUD-Europe as a full right member of the Forum.


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