Statement on the occasion of the conclusion of the High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS

Vienna, 10 June 2016 - The President of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) congratulates Member States on the adoption of the "Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS: On the Fast-Track to Accelerate the Fight against HIV and to End the AIDS Epidemic by 2030" at the United Nations General Assembly high-level meeting on ending AIDS that concludes today in New York.

The INCB, in its annual reports, has over the years repeatedly drawn the attention of governments to the importance of prevention, treatment and rehabilitation programmes and related measures reducing the negative health and social consequences of drug abuse. Such programmes can prevent new HIV/AIDS transmissions as a result of intravenous drug use, whether it be in open spaces or prison settings.

The INCB President, Mr. Werner Sipp, recalled that "the ultimate goal of the three drug control treaties is to safeguard public and individual health and welfare. In order to promote public health and welfare, the treaties must be implemented in a comprehensive, balanced and proportional manner, with full respect for human rights. This is particularly important in the fight against HIV/AIDS associated with drug use." He underlined that "the international drug control conventions provide States with some flexibility to adopt measures such as education, treatment and rehabilitation as an alternative to, or in addition to, criminal sanctions for offenders suffering from drug dependency."

Mr. Sipp noted that "INCB cooperates with UNAIDS on an ongoing basis and stands ready to continue working with the international community to achieve the targets set for the reduction of HIV/AIDS infections and related deaths. With this in mind, national programmes and action plans must integrate a health perspective that promotes evidence-based prevention that includes the aim of preventing the initiation of drug use." Mr. Sipp added that "as prevention is the best cure, preventing the initiation of drug use, including injecting drug use, will play a key role in reaching the target of zero new HIV infections, particularly since injecting drug use remains a major vector for the transmission of HIV in some parts of the world.

The President of INCB encouraged Governments to also devote efforts to "early identification, treatment and rehabilitation services, together with the provision of a continuum of care aimed at recovery, in conformity with the drug treaties and international human rights standards, as essential components of successful and complementary HIV/AIDS and drug control strategies." 

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