Committee of the Whole – afternoon session

As detailed in yesterday’s CNDblog, there was considerable debate in the Committee of the Whole yesterday on a resolution proposed by the EU, Norway, Switzerland, Uruguay and Thailand entitled ‘Achieving universal access to treatment, care and support for people with HIV, including injecting drug users, by 2010’ As detailed in yesterday’s posting, the debate centred on the inclusion of human rights language in a preambular paragraph.

Much of the subsequent debate and negotiations today were held behind closed doors, and the country delegates hammered out wording they could all live with. This was the outcome.

The ‘controversial’ paragraph, as originally drafted, read:

‘Concerned that the coverage of HIV prevention services is far from adequate in many countries with a high prevalence of injecting drug use and that HIV responses in many countries fail to meet international legal obligations to promote, protect and respect human rights’

The final agreement approved today split the paragraph in two:

‘Concerned that the coverage of HIV prevention services is far from adequate in many countries with a high prevalence of injecting drug use.’

‘Reaffirming that all countries should strive to achieve the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, as recognized in the relevant international instruments.’

Next the COW addressed three other disputed paragraphs.

Preambular paragraph 13, as originally drafted, read:

‘Reaffirming the central importance of promoting the involvement of people living with or affected by HIV, including drug users, in shaping responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, as well as of working with civil society, a key partner in the global response to HIV/AIDS, including the response to the spread of HIV/AIDS through drug injection’

The final agreed text reads:

‘Reaffirming the central importance of promoting meaningful involvement of people living with or affected by HIV and drug use, in shaping responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, as well as of working with civil society, a key partner in the global response to HIV/AIDS, including the response to the spread of HIV/AIDS through drug injection’

Next onto the operational paragraphs. The original text of operational paragraphs 2 and 3 read:

‘Requests the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to support national authorities to align the policies and clarify the roles and responsibilities of relevant national entities, including drug control and public health agencies, as well as civil society, and to give its support to increasing capacity and resources for the provision of a comprehensive package of services for drug users, including risk prevention and harm reduction programmes in relation to HIV, in accordance with the WHO, UNODC, UNAIDS Technical Guide for Countries to Set Targets for Universal Access to HIV Prevention, Treatment and Care for Injecting Drug Users12 and the decision taken by the UNAIDS Programme Coordination Board in May 2009;’

‘Also requests the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to significantly expand its work with all groups of civil society in order to address the gap in access to services for injecting drug users, to tackle the issues of stigmatization and discrimination and to support increased capacity and resources for the provision of a comprehensive package of services for injecting drug users, including risk prevention and harm reduction programmes in relation to HIV, as elaborated in the WHO, UNODC, UNAIDS Technical Guide for Countries to Set Targets for Universal Access to HIV Prevention, Treatment and Care for Injecting Drug Users and in line with Economic and Social Council resolution 2009/6 of 24 July 2009’

The final agreed text is as follows:

‘Requests the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to support national authorities to align the policies and clarify the roles and responsibilities of relevant national entities, including drug control and public health agencies, as well as civil society, and to give its support to increasing capacity and resources for the provision of comprehensive prevention programmes and treatment care and related support services, in full compliance with the international drug control conventions and in accordance with national legislation, taking into account all relevant General Assembly resolutions and, when applicable, the WHO, UNODC, UNAIDS Technical Guide for Countries to Set Targets for Universal Access to HIV Prevention, Treatment and Care for Injecting Drug Users’

‘Also requests the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to significantly expand its work with relevant groups of civil society in order to address the gap in access to services for people living with or affected by HIV, including drug users, to tackle the issues of stigmatization and discrimination and to support increased capacity and resources for the provision of comprehensive prevention programmes and treatment care and related support services, in full compliance with the international drug control conventions and in accordance with national legislation, taking into account all relevant General Assembly resolutions and, when applicable, the WHO, UNODC, UNAIDS Technical Guide for Countries to Set Targets for Universal Access to HIV Prevention, Treatment and Care for Injecting Drug Users and in line with Economic and Social Council resolution 2009/6 of 24 July 2009;’

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