On the occasion of the World Drug Day, the UN Association of Hungary (Magyar ENSZ Társaság) organized a round table discussion and press conference about the new Political Declaration adopted by the High Level Meeting of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (learn more here). The event took place at the headquarters of the Association in Budapest on 26 June 2009. The Drug Policy Director of the HCLU was also invited to make his critical comments from the civil society’s perspective. He pointed out that the lack of approval of the term harm reduction in the document is especially bad for organizations in transitional and developing countries where governments often refuse to fund and support harm reduction organizations. In the end of the session Dr. Istvan Bayer, a retired professor of chemistry and the former chair of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs said the people in their right mind do not support a term like the “drug-free world” – drugs are here to stay. He emphasized that harm reduction should also encompass the fight for reducing the harms created by the international drug control system itself, that is, for example, to provide access to opiate based medications in third world countries for people in need.
We filmed the event - watch our 9 minutes video report with English subtitles here!
Posted by Peter Sarosi