During his first visit to East Africa since taking office, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov visited the Nairobi Outreach Services Trust in Kenya, an NGO working to prevent HIV among injecting drug users and other vulnerable sections of the population in the capital.
Under the new law, public prosecutors will be able to refrain from prosecuting a person for the possession of psychoactive or psychotropic substances if the individual possesses only a small amount of an illegal drug for personal use and has been arrested for the first time.
More than forty major civil society organizations working in the field of HIV and drugs in Russia and internationally, have sent an open letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations calling to advocate for human rights oriented and scientifically based drug treatment and HIV prevention in Russia. Ban Ki-Moon is arriving to Moscow on April 21, 2011 and has scheduled several meetings with high level Russian officials, including the President Dmitry Medvedev.
The CNS reports that harm reduction policies have managed to vastly reduce HIV infections among people who use drug in France, yet several serious problems remain, including a high prevalence of hepatitis and serious social and sanitary problems among many people who use drugs.
Injecting drug use and the growing HIV epidemic in the Middle East and North Africa were the focus of the International Harm Reduction Conference 2011 that took place in Beirut, Lebanon from 3-7 April 2011. The region is slowly increasing availability of harm reduction programmes although countries are at different stages of introducing the different components of the harm reduction package. Despite positive changes occurring in some countries, repressive measures and criminalization of drug users are still predominant in the region. To try reverse this situation, the Global Fund has granted $US 8.3 million to a multi-country project. Its aim is to raise awareness, advocate and build capacity of civil society organizations to scale up the provision of harm reduction services in 12 countries over the next three years.
This declaration aims to hold the United Nations accountable to their commitments on HIV/AIDS for people who inject drugs worldwide. It does this by providing a clear platform for mobilising a broad constituency of civil society organisations and governments in support of evidence-based harm reduction interventions and drug policy reform as outlined in the Vienna Declaration. Ultimately, efforts around the declaration aim to raise the profile of these issues within the proceedings and outputs of the United Nations HLM on HIV/AIDS in New York.
Authored by the editors of the Journal of the International AIDS Society, this e-course is designed to support the preparation, writing and submission of abstracts to scientific conferences. The course provides examples and short exercises for interactive learning, as well as key take-home messages and a summary overview in form of a self-use checklist.
The 54th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) took place from 21st to 25th March 2011. A number of organisations that participated to the meeting share their impressions of the event in reports, blogs and videos.
In April, the HCLU video team travelled to Beirut and participated in the International Harm Reduction Conference 2011. During the conference an uprising broke out in the Roumieh prison, where thousands of prisoners rioted against the inhumane conditions.
On Wednesday 27th April, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) held elections in New York for the International Narcotics Control Board for a five-year term (2012-2017). The two candidates elected from among the World Health Organisation candidates are Professor Hamid Ghodse and Wayne Hall.