CND side event: promoting a harm reduction approach
16 March 2016
We held a side event at the Commission on Narcotics Drugs in Vienna this week along with the government of the Netherlands, UNAIDS, the African Union Commission and AIDS Fonds. Read this snapshot of what was said by who...
Martin van Rijn (Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport for the Netherlands): In November we established the EU position for 2016, including a broad range of issues such as the abolishment of the death penalty and access to essential medicines. We need to acknowledge the full range of public health interventions – including risk and harm reduction for HIV and other blood borne diseases. It is considered sometimes controversial, but it is applied in all regions and it is important to have this recognised at the UNGASS. Harm reduction has proven its effectiveness. We strongly recommend that states promote these interventions. We emphasise that dependent people who use drugs should be considered, first and foremost, as people in need of attention, social support etc, especially women. We should be able to recognise not just the practice, but also the language ‘harm reduction’. This would be a first step to achieve the global goals on AIDS.