251,287 cables indexed
Reference ID: 09UNVIEVIENNA64
Subject: ADVOCATING NEEDLE EXCHANGE AND MEDICATION-ASSISTED THERAPY IN UNGASS
Origin: UNVIE, Austria Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Created:13 Feb 2009 Released:30 Aug 2011
Tags: AORC, AU, KCRM, PREL, SNAR, UN

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C O N F I D E N T I A L UNVIE VIENNA 000064

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/12/2019
TAGS: AORC, KCRM, PREL, SNAR, AU, UN
SUBJECT: ADVOCATING NEEDLE EXCHANGE AND MEDICATION-ASSISTED
THERAPY IN UNGASS

REF: A. STATE 10859
B. UNVIE 54

Classified By: Classified by Charge Geoffrey Pyatt, for reasons 1.4 (b)
and (d).

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SUMMARY
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1. (SBU) Per Ref A instructions, Charge approached CND chair
Ambassador Ashipala on Friday, Feb 6 to explain change in the
USG position regarding the ongoing UNGASS review negotiations
(Ref B). On the same day Missionoffs shared with Russia and
Japan highlights of the new USG position: support for needle
exchange programs as a method to prevent the spread of
HIV/AIDS, and for medication-assisted therapy as part of a
comprehensive treatment protocol against narcotic addiction,
and continued USG opposition to the term "harm reduction" in
UNGASS review documents (Ref B). On February 9 Missionoffs
met with the countries most outspoken against harm reduction
-- Russia, Japan and India -- to discuss more fully the USG
position and to seek their view on incorporating these two
demand reduction measures in the UNGASS documents. (Note:
Colombia, another opponent to HR, was invited to the working
lunch but did not attend. End note.)

2. (SBU) On February 9, Missionsoffs also met with
Australia, Canada, Norway and Switzerland to brief them on
the U.S. approach. On February 10 Missionoffs met with EU
members and G-77 representatives (Pakistan and Argentina) to
do the same. Missionoffs shared with them proposed language
for the relevant paragraphs in the draft UNGASS political
declaration and draft UNGASS action plan/annex to reflect the
new USG position. On the margins of his meetings on other
issues during the week, Charge also approached France, Sweden
and Argentina to inform them of this new position and seek
their support. On February 12, Charge gave remarks on the
new USG position in an UNGASS meeting on the draft political
declaration. Charge's statement is now posted on Mission's
website http//vienna.usmission.gov/090212-unodc-cnd.h tml, and
electronic and hard copies have been distributed to many
delegations. END SUMMARY.

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Reactions to New USG Position
-------------------------------

3. (SBU) During these consultations and in UNGASS meetings
the week of February 9-13, we received a range of comments
regarding our new position. Russia had communicated our
position to Moscow and is awaiting instructions. Japan
objects to mentioning "needle exchange" and proposed general
terms such as "proper medical instruments." Norway wants a
reference to the WHO/UNODC/UNAIDS technical guide. The EU,
driven largely by the UK and Netherlands, insisted on having
a separate paragraph (13bis) noting HIV/AIDS transmission and
reaffirming commitment to implement UNGA A/Res/60/262, as
well as other references to this resolution throughout the
draft declaration. (Note: A/Res/60/262 is the 2006 Political
Declaration on HIV/AIDS, which contains the words
"harm-reduction efforts related to drug use" as one of the
many prevention measures listed in para 22 of the
53-paragraph document. End Note.) Pakistan questioned
whether we were negotiating a health or drug-control
document. The EU said that they did not like (U.S.-proposed)
specific references to needle exchange and
medication-assisted therapy, and prefer a "general
reference." (Note: we believe by "general," EU meant "harm
reduction." End Note.) EU also objected to our specifiying
demand reduction as "prevention, treatment, and
rehabilitation," insisting that if these elements were to be
listed, then "harm reduction" should be listed as well.

4. (C) On February 9, India told us that the UK rep spoke to
him that morning asking him to support "harm reduction." She
reminded him that the UK had given $200 million to "harm
reduction" programs in India. The Indian rep said he was
unable to verify this figure, and, even if the India
government supported a well-defined "harm reduction" program
(e.g., needle exchange) in a circumscribed setting (prison),
that did not mean that India would support undefined "harm
reduction" as international drug control policy. Pakistan
also told us of having been approached in the same way by the
UK, EC and other unspecified EU countries.

5. (SBU) On the margins of these consultations and
meetings, EU chair Czech Republic and the European Commission
(which has observer status at the Commission on Narcotic
Drugs) asked for our support to achieve the EU goals for
these UNGASS documents: (i) to improve the structure of these

two documents (the political declaration and the annex or
action plan), including a "balance" between supply reduction
and demand reduction, (ii) non-conditionality for alternative
development, i.e., de-linking eradication from alternative
development, and (iii) inclusion of the term "harm reduction"
in the documents. The EU expressed willingness to compromise
on the "harm reduction" term, e.g., referring to the
substance without mentioning the words. Counselor told him
that we would not accept the delinking between eradication
and alternative development, and we would have to see their
proposal on alternative language on "harm reduction." On
February 11, EU proposed inserting a definition of the term,
consistent with the three drug conventions somewhere in the
text. (Note: Opponents to non-conditionality include the
U.S., Colombia, Pakistan, and a number of GRULAC countries.
EU is isolated in its position. End Note.)

6. (C) The Swedish ambassador, in his conversation with
Charge, welcomed the US move, and indicated the EU consensus
on handling "harm reduction" had broken down. His counselor
told us on February 9 that Stockholm reacted favorably to our
new position, and said that the American change should be
"acknowledged" in some way in the documents. He also told us
that in addition to Sweden, there were other EU
countries--France and Italy--unhappy with the way the EU was
going. He said that Stockholm might consider breaking
consensus with the EU. When we spoke again on February 12,
he sounded a more conciliatory note regarding the EU,
highlighting that the three EU goals needed to be negotiated
with the U.S. in a package.

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Comment
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7. (SBU) Reflecting the condition in the EU camp, during
the February 12 meeting on the political declaration, the EU
asked the chairperson to postpone discussion on the
paragraphs related to "harm reduction," pending reaction from
Brussels and the capitals. Still, the risk remains that the
strongest EU supporters of "harm reduction" (basically the
UK, Netherlands, and to a lesser degree, Germany) will hold
the negotiations open in the hope that they can jam through
their desired language once the ministerial opens in early
March. End Comment.




PYATT