The Czech Republic, speaking on behalf of the EU, emphasised the need to adhere to the international drug control conventions, and highlighted that the primary goal of the conventions is to promote the health and welfare of humankind and that these efforts should play a more prominent role.
It noted that the 1961 Single Convention was drafted before the identification of HIV and hepatitis C, and therefore no reference is made in the conventions to blood-borne viruses. However, the spread of blood-borne viruses via unsafe injecting calls for urgent attention. Opioid substitution therapy and needle exchange have shown to be effective measures to prevent the spread of blood-borne viruses among injecting drug users. The EU requested that the INCB continue to address the issue of HIV/AIDS among injecting drug users in its work.
The EU welcomed the INCB’s attention to access to controlled medicines. It highlighted the need to improve access to drug treatment and rehabilitation, but emphasised that these activities must be compliant with human rights obligations.
The EU expressed ongoing concerns about drug trafficking through Africa and the destabilising effect it is having in some countries. The EU welcomed the INCB’s report on precursors.