Day 2 - Beyond 2008 NGO Forum on Drugs: 'Harm Reduction' language adopted over opposition of prohibitionists

Date: 08 July 2008

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UN.jpgDespite the broad support for harm reduction demonstrated during Day 1 of the 'Beyond 2008 NGO Forum', harm reduction revealed itself to be controversial, at least among a small but vocal contingent of the delegates meeting in Vienna.

Near the end of the first day of debate on the language of NGO resolutions to be submitted to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Harm Reduction International proposed the inclusion of 'harm reduction services' in a list of the variety of drug services delivered by NGOs around the world. Recognition of the simple fact was strongly opposed by a small group of prohibitionist organisations, led by the Drug Free America Foundation.

Despite the wide support for Harm Reduction International's proposed language, Day 1 closed without reaching consensus among the delegates. However, after side-bar discussions between the various parties in advance of Day 2 deliberations, an agreed language including 'harm reduction' was adopted by the Forum by consensus. Following this agreement, 'harm reduction' was successfully added to the resolution in several other places as the text evolved.

So looks like the Drug Free America Foundation is willing to support harm reduction after all. Chalk one up for the good guys!

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