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Conference 2015

Connecting, communicating and driving change through leadership

Conference Partner MAC

The Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC) was established in 1992 to serve as an umbrella organisation to support and coordinate the efforts of non-governmental and other organisations working on HIV/AIDS issues in Malaysia

Malaysian Ministry of Health

In an effort to prevent the spread of HIV infection among People who Inject Drugs (PWIDs), the Ministry of Health has embarked on ambitious Harm Reduction Programmes with two key initiatives, Needle Syringe Exchange Programmes (NSEP) and Methadone Maintenance Therapy (MMT).


Latest News

Get the latest news on Harm Reduction Conference 2015 here

#10by20 Campaign

Watch out this space for information on #10bby20 global day of action that will take place at the International Harm Reduction Conference in Kuala Lumpur!

Film Festival

View and download the full programme for the Indivior International Harm Reduction Film Festival 2015

International Video Series

Create your own video short explaining what makes you a harm reduction advocate as part of our online video project that aims to increase the voice of the harm reduction community

Call for Papers

The online process for submitting papers for our International Harm Reduction Conference 2015 is now closed.


Register Now!

You can still register for Late or Onsite admission to IHRC2015!

Visa requirements and requesting a letter of invitation

Advice and help on visa applications

Terms and Conditions

Important Information


Thanks to the generosity of donors, Harm Reduction International is pleased to be able to offer scholarship assistance to delegates to attend the conference in Kuala Lumpur.


Royale Chulan

This year’s conference will be held at the Royale Chulan Hotel which is situated in the in the heart of Kaula Lumpur

Room types and hotel amenities

Full information on room rates, types and amenities

Booking your Room

Alternative Accommodation

On this page you will find alternative accommodation for your stay during the conference.


Programme for Conference 2015

View, share or download our Conference Programme for HR2015. Our Committee crafted this year's vibrant programme from over 1,000 abstracts submitted

Speakers Profiles

View profiles and photos of our guest speakers

Site Visits to Harm Reduction Services

Site visits for delegates will be organised to harm reduction services operating in Kuala Lumpur.

Programme Committee 2015

Listed here are those involved in this year’s dedicated programme committee

A Guide to Presenting Your Paper for Review

HRI have created a PDF to help when presenting a paper for review.

Presentation Downloads

Presentation slides and supporting documentation are sometimes made available by speakers for general download by delegates shortly after the event

Sponsorship & Partners

Supporting Partners & Associations

Visit our Supporting Partners websites

Sponsorship for 2015

HR 2015 will connect leading figures in HIV, health and drug policy from around the globe.

Why this Conference?

Harm reduction programmes around the world are having real impact, saving lives and promoting human rights.

Sponsorship Options

HRI have created a set of sponsor opportunities which will create a dedicated and carefully engineered platform for engagement, profiling, as well as structured opportunities to deliver key messages to a target audience, throughout the conference

Exhibitor Floor Plan

View and download the Floor Plan for Harm Reduction 2015

Register your interest to sponsor

Download Exhibitor Floor Plan, Sponsorship Request and Sponsorship Opportunities

Exhibitor Manual

You can access all Exhibitor forms here

Malaysian Airlines and oneworld, supporting Harm Reduction 2015

oneworld is pleased to be the official airline alliance of The 24th International Harm Reduction Conference

Essential Information

Visa Information

HRI strongly advise that all delegates check their eligibility before departing via the official Malaysian Immigration Office

Wellbeing at the conference

Harm Reduction International is committed to ensuring the event provides and facilitates appropriate care for all delegates who may have special medical and healthcare needs - especially delegates who use, or have used, drugs or are living with HIV or hepatitis.

Local Laws and Customs

Important information and links here

Moving around whilst in Kuala Lumpur

Information and important links available here

Reductions with Malaysian Airlines and oneworld - partners for Harm Reduction 2015

oneworld is pleased to be the official airline alliance of The 24th International Harm Reduction Conference

Things to do during your stay

Hosting the conference in such a vibrant and culturally rich region can present the perfect opportunity for delegates to sample some of the sights and sounds of a truly magnificent country

Contact Us

Full contact details available here

Media Centre

Media Releases

All media releases available here

Conference Images

Print quality photos from the conference now available at our SmugMug conference site here.

IHRC2015 in the Media

View the latest media coverage of the International Harm Reduction Conference 2015

Conference Videos

Videos will be available at the HRI YouTube Channel here.

Background Documents

Further information will be available shortly

Contact Us

Full contact details for media here

New Report: The Negative Impact of Drug Control on Public Health: The Global Crisis of Avoidable Pain

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Monday, 19 October, 2015 (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) -  The Global Commission on Drug Policy (GCDP) today released its third thematic report,  The Global Crisis of Avoidable Pain: The Negative Impact of Drug Control on Public Health: at the 24th International Harm Reduction Conference (IHRC2015) taking place October 18-21  in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The report was launched by Commissioners, former Swiss President Ruth Dreifuss,

UN Secretary General Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Michel Kazatchkine and former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Anand Grover.

Key conclusions of The Global Crisis of Avoidable Pain are:

Ninety-two percent of the world’s supply of morphine is consumed by just 17 percent of the global population, with consumption primarily concentrated in the global north. Seventy-five per cent of the world’s population does not have access to any pain reliving drugs. That is to say, that most people, in late stages of cancers, enduring severe forms of acute or chronic pain, simply do not have access to pain relief, despite these medicines being included in the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines.

The reasons for this have little to do with issues of cost or scarcity of supplies- and everything to do with with the prohibition and repressive stand the world has taken on drugs. States are obsessed by the fear that people will use controlled medicines, such as morphine as drugs, thereby neglecting the important medical uses.

Former UN Secretary General and Global Commission member, Kofi Annan, highlights that ”under current drug control policies, African access to essential medication for pain management is highly restricted. We know that 90 percent of morphine is prescribed in North America and Europe. In many developing countries, patients with terminal cancer suffer needlessly because doctors cannot prescribe medication due to the misapplication or misunderstanding of the UN drug conventions. But we must make sure that access to the essential medicines on the WHO model lists does not become a casualty of the “war on drugs”. I hope that evidence-based decision making on drug policies will prevail."

The provision of opioid substitution therapy (OST)  such as methadone and buprenorphine, which are also on the WHO List of Essential Medicines for people with heroin dependence, is similarly affected by this imbalance in the international drug control system and demonstrates the failure of the international drug control system. Former United Nations Rapporteur on the right to health, Anand Grover noted that, “the most effective treatments for opiate dependence, are controlled, essential medicines, that if administered daily, reduce the craving for illicit drugs and enable people to lead a life of dignity”.

The upcoming UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on Drugs taking  place  in New York in April 2016, has several possible outcomes, with Former Brazilian president and Chair of the Global Commission, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, noting that “countries have a responsibility to ensure access to controlled essential medicines. The technical, medical and scientific tools exist, but there is a need for political will to end this avoidable pain."

Guaranteeing the medical and scientific use of controlled medicines has been forgotten within current drug policies, but this can be corrected through the proper measures. “The international drug control system is broken, and human sufferance is not taken into consideration because of this imbalance,”said Ruth Dreifuss, former President of Switzerland. “The UNGASS provides a key opportunity where Member States can agree that ensuring access  to essential medicines is a priority and provide the proper resources and power to the World Health Organisation (WHO) to make it possible.”

The Global Crisis of Avoidable Pain provides various recommendations:

  • Member States and UN bodies should harness the UNGASS on drugs in 2016 to acknowledge and forcefully address the major gap in access to controlled medicines, particularly opioids for pain relief.  
  • States must recognize they have an obligation under international law to ensure equitable access to controlled medicines for their populations. This obligation has equal importance as drug control measures to reduce illegal diversion.
  • Priority must be given to expanding the spectrum of treatment for opioid dependence, while respecting human dignity and offering the possibility of prescription of controlled medicines such as methadone and buprenorphine.
  • Governments should provide the necessary funding for a renewed international program, overseen by the WHO, in partnership with the UNODC and the INCB.
  • There should be a review of the 1961 and 1971 drug conventions’ schedules in light of scientific evidence of the medical benefits of controlled substances, including cannabis.

Over the past five years, the Global Commission has strongly advocated for a change in the international drug policy agenda, redirecting the conversation away from prohibition to a more balanced and purposeful discussion. The Commission’s 2014 report broke ground by advancing and globalizing the debate over drug control measures and its alternatives, including regulation.

The Global Crisis of Avoidable Pain report is currently available in English, Spanish, Russian and Arabic and can be downloaded here. (www.globalcommissionondrugs.org)

Global Commission on Drug Policy Members:

Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations and chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation, Ghana

Louise Arbour, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Canada

Pavel Bém, former Mayor of Prague, Czech Republic

Richard Branson, entrepreneur, advocate for social causes, founder of the Virgin Group, cofounder of The Elders, United Kingdom

Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former President of Brazil (chair)

Maria Cattaui, Petroplus Holdings Board member, former Secretary-General of the International Chamber of Commerce, Switzerland

Ruth Dreifuss, former President of Switzerland and Minister of Home Affairs

César Gaviria, former President of Colombia

Anand Grover, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to health

Asma Jahangir, human rights activist, former UN Special Rapporteur on Arbitrary, Extrajudicial and Summary Executions, Pakistan

Michel Kazatchkine, UN Secretary General Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and former executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, France

Aleksander Kwasniewski, former President of Poland

Richard Lagos, former President of Chile

Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria

George Papandreou, former Prime Minister of Greece

Jorge Sampaio, former President of Portugal

George P. Shultz, former Secretary of State, United States (honorary chair)

Javier Solana, former European Union High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy , Spain

Thorvald Stoltenberg, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Norway

Mario Vargas Llosa, writer and public intellectual, Peru

Paul Volcker, former Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve and of the Economic Recovery Board

Ernesto Zedillo, former President of Mexico

Further information:

Michael Kessler (In Kuala Lumpur, October 10-24)
Michael Kessler Media
Media Manager IHRC 2015
Email: michael.kessler@intoon-media.com
Local Mobile: +60 13 270 9220

Zara Snapp (In Kuala Lumpur October 17-22)
Communications Manager
Global Commission on Drug Policy
Mob.+ (whatsapp only)
Skype: zsnapp

© 2018 Harm Reduction International.

Charity number – 1117375 | Company number – 3223265

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