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As UN Talks AIDS, Harm Reduction Undercut by INCB, Global Fund, NYC Cited

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 1-- On World AIDS Day, the UN released a report entitled “Ending the AIDS Epidemic by 2030” which said that “most countries fail to provide opioid substitution therapy or access to sterile needles and syringes for people who inject drugs.”

But it must be noted that the Global Fund's decision have reduced access to harm reduction programs, which the UN system's International Narcotics Control Board in any event opposes.

Inner City Press asked about this at the UN on December 1, video here. UNAIDS' answer, which mentioned New York City as a model, was that it is being looked into, that Ban Ki-moon has a panel on drugs and organized crime. Will that solve it?

Earlier on December 1, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio spoke at the Apollo Theater:

"New York City has a special responsibility because we’ve always been at the core of this crisis... We have lost in these years over 100,000 of our fellow New Yorkers – an astounding reality. And here, this very day, in our city – over 100,000 people living with HIV. We’ve been at the forefront of the crisis...  a long fight ahead and a particularly tough fight because we know this disease, particularly, is afflicting our brothers and sisters who are African-American, who are Latino, who are LGBT. So, we understand this is a priority. Yes, yes something we had to do – something we had to do was the 30 percent rent cap. That was necessary as a precondition for all other progress."

  De Blasio's Commissioner for International Affairs Penny Abeywardena was slated to come to the UN later on December 1- but only to the UN Censorship Alliance (a/k/a UN Correspondents Association), a group which only publicizes its events to those which pay it money, and whose past and future president Giampaolo Pioli demanded censorship of articles before trying to get the Press thrown out of the UN.

  This is not the right way for the De Blasio Administration, or anyone else, to come to the UN. We'll have more on this.


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