Speaking on behalf of the International Network of People who Use Drugs, and looking at the UN system, it is clear that there is a chasm running through it, there are some serious discrepancies between the top lines taken by UNAIDS Secretariat and that taken by some co-sponsors. The rich discussion of the disastrous impacts of stigma and discrimination at the last thematic session seems to expose a lack of coherence in the UN system when it comes to addressing the epidemic amongst the injecting community. This chasm runs between, and separates Geneva where the PCB and the UNAIDS Secretariat sits, and Vienna, where the Commission on Narcotic Drugs is held. Ensuring system wide coherence when it comes to the health and human rights of people who use drugs is one potential side effect of the successes thus far of the HIV response.
In this PCB we hear from most member states albeit with some notable exceptions clear, very welcome commitments to human rights, to breaking down the barriers of stigma, discrimination and marginalization to which key affected populations are subject, we hear too of the need to address the legal impediments and structural barriers that drive the epidemic amongst our communities.
Last year the Global Commission on HIV and the Law convened by UNDP made a series of far reaching recommendations, most of which are largely accepted here, on the legal reforms that are needed if we are to restore dignity, human rights, and health to multiply marginalised, heavily criminalised communities.
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