Custom Search

Jun 13, 2008

Please endors: Tell the UN that good drug policy is good AIDS policy


Dear friends,
We invite you to endorse the sign-on letter below!

In many countries, June 26 marks the "International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking" - a day when drug users are executed and imprisoned in the name of "good drug policy."

During the High-Level Meeting on AIDS, HIV activists and organizations issued this letter calling for the UN to "speak with one voice," and address drug use through a health and human rights-based approach rather than through punitive measures.

Tell the UN that good drug policy is good AIDS policy!

Please send endorsements (from organizations and individuals) to by June 18. Versión en Español Disponible Debajo

June 18, 2008

H.E. Ban Ki-Moon, United Nations Secretary-General
H.E. Srgjan Kerim, President, United Nations General Assembly
H.E. Ambassador Léo Mérorès, President of ECOSOC
Eugenio María Curia, Chairman, Commission on Narcotic Drugs
Hamid Ghodse, President, International Narcotics Control Board
Peter Piot, Executive Director, UNAIDS
Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director, United
Nations Office on Drugs and Crime


As HIV activists, we are concerned about the impact of contradictions between HIV commitments and drug policies. We will not achieve universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment without protecting the human rights of people who use drugs.

As organizations concerned with ensuring an effective global response to the HIV and AIDS pandemic, we wish to highlight our particular concerns regarding the United Nations-sponsored International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, June 26. Governments often use this day to highlight repressive drug control efforts by publicizing executions, arrests, and drug seizures. For drug users, every day brings the expectation of execution, arrest, and imprisonment.

All Member States of the United Nations have committed to bolstering HIV prevention by reducing the harms related to injection drug use. We call on governments to honor these commitments by giving greater emphasis to proven, effective strategies to combat HIV among people who use drugs.

Outside of Africa, 30% of all new HIV infections occur among drug injectors; the fastest spreading epidemics are currently among those who inject drugs. HIV and AIDS programs cannot be effective if harsh drug policies make people afraid to use them.

The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking highlights the extremes of the traditional enforcement-based approach to drug problems. As we transition from the 2008 High Level Meeting on AIDS to the 2009 High Level Meeting on drugs we need to take a new approach to drug policy - one that recognizes the importance of protection for people who use drugs. The current split in the United Nations between addressing drug use through a public health approach versus a law-enforcement approach causes confusion. It is critical that UN systems speak as one.

For this June 26 and beyond, we call on governments and the UN system to recognize that good AIDS policy requires sound drug policy - measures that address the drugs problem without impeding access to lifesaving HIV services.

cc: Civil Society Task Force, 2008 High Level Meeting on AIDS

Blog Directory - Blogged