Policy & Politics
Rift With European Union as United States Sticks to Bush Line on "War on Drugs"
February 3, 2009
Negotiations over the UN's new anti-drug strategy for the next 10 years have hit a snag in Vienna, as US and EU delegations differ sharply over support for harm-reduction measures such as needle-exchange programs (NEPs).
"Negotiations are currently complex but we are hopeful that a satisfactory conclusion can be achieved," said a British Home Office spokesperson.
"It is troubling that, despite clear global evidence of the effectiveness of harm reduction in reducing HIV and its acceptance in every other UN body, that the US is still resisting its inclusion," said Mike Trace, the UK's former deputy drugs czar and chairperson of the International Drug Policy Consortium. "We are sure the incoming administration will take a different view but they will have to move fast or this will be the position for the next 10 years."
"The race is now on to change the instructions from US officials before ink dries on the previous administration's line," said Danny Kushlick of the UK drug reform group Transform.
02.03.2009; Duncan Campbell; Afua Hirsch