Panel 1. How NGOs are contributing to the Political Declaration and Plan of Action
Introduction: Michel Perron
We asked members to share about 2 things they do to implement that plan of action, to demonstrate how valuable they are as ‘assets’ which is even more important in age of economic austerity where government is more restricted in its capabilities. He delivered PPT on members’ contributions from Braha (Brazil), Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, CEDRO (Peru), Centros de Integracion Juvenil (CIJ), Dianova, Euro T-C, Foundation for a Drug-Free Europe, Fundacion Atenea, IDPC, International Federation of Social Workers, the International Council of Women, NGO 4 Life (Montenegro), Global Centre for Drug Treatment Courts, Organisation of the Families of asia and the Pacific, The Partners in Prevention Drug Abuse Project, San Patrignano. The work they do might change your perspective on what you are working on.
Harm Reduction Coalition
Sharon Stancliff presented on CS work on opioid overdose prevention and CND. People on maintenance treatment have much lower chance of overdose. There is still a lot of work to be done globally to prevent overdose prevention. On naloxone, access varies widely. Several cases of the introduction and distribution (Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam, Thailand, China) of naloxone is due to work of NGOs. HRC engages in training on overdose prevention in countries around the world. Not a lot of funding to research on the impact of naloxone on the community but a recent study showed that a naloxone programme led to 27% reduction in death rates. It is a highly cost-effective intervention. Last year, the CND adopted resolution 55/7 on overdose prevention. It included a request that UNODC and WHO share information on overdose prevention.
UNODC commitment to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care
Mr. Lale-Demoz introduced the substantive and operational framework of UNODC, working on developing list of key countries to work on, and then go in to develop work plans and costing. The reason is because IDUs are up to 20 or 30 times more likely to get HIV than general population, very limited provision of NSPs (coverage is only 5% of all injecting drug use) and OST. UNODC will also revisit its HIV strategy to mobilize domestic resources for essential interventions, implement recommendations of the UNODC comprehensive package of interventions, and full engagement with NGOs and CSOs at all levels of work. UNODC ensures that there is an enabling environment for HIV prevention, we promote responsiveness on HIV, and promote the protection of human rights. We also promote the involvement of NGOs and CSOs in our work to ensure sustainability of our actions. We seek alternatives to imprisonment. UNODC will prioritise our interventions and resources on a selected key countries. We are in the process of selecting these, in consultation with key partners.
Eurasian Harm Reduction Network
The Eurasian Harm Reduction Network piloted naloxone in community and then seeking to persuade governments to institutionalise them. Today’s drug and HIV policies often contradict each other, there a lot of controversies in the implementation of such policies. This is where we need the support of the UNODC to help governments improve their drug policies so that HIV treatment becomes a reality. We had a meeting with UNODC on 21stFebruary. This was a very important moment for NGOs working on HIV. It was an informal consultation where we had discussions on HIV. We came to 15 priorities for UNODC, one of them was on overdose. We hope that NGOs will be involved in the review process of drug laws, and in the promotion of evidence based interventions in areas where we work. We often hear from UNODC and UNAIDS that we play a critical role in countries. We hope that we will be more and more involved in discussions with government stakeholders.