The US House of Representatives have voted in favour of lifting the ban on the use of US federal funds for needle exchange. Challenges remain but this is an important step in changing US public policy on harm reduction measures.
Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of UNAIDS and Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund call for greater coherence within the UN system on the issue of drug policy, with particular reference to HIV prevention for people who inject drugs.
A Dutch review of national drug policy has called for a number of key changes and focuses on four key points: concern about drug use among young people (particularly the very young), a more restrictive approach to coffee shops, tougher measures against organised crime and the establishment of a drugs authority.
At a side event of the recent G8 meeting of Foreign Ministers, the US envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, described what seems like a significant shift in US tactics towards opium poppy cultivation and trafficking in Afghanistan.
INPUD has been blogging in their role as NGO observers to the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (PCB). Check out their blog which also covers other international events and conferences of relevant to drug policy.
As the UN launches the 2009 World Drug Report, more than 40 international groups and experts worldwide today issued a call to action that presses governments to adopt a humane approach to drug policy. IDPC has signed the call as a coalition.
The report was launched in Washington, D.C., by UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa and the newly appointed Director of the United States Office of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske.