International Symposium on Drugs: From Coercion to Cohesion begins today in Brasília
Brasília, 9 September 2013 - The International Symposium on Drugs: From Coercion to Cohesion will be held from 9 to 11 September, at the National Museum of the Republic in Brasília, with more than 600 participants. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), guardian of the conventions on drugs, launched in 2010 the document From Coercion to Cohesion - Treating drug dependence through health care, not punishment, which guided the discussions about the organization of this symposium.
The meeting aims to be a moment of debate between several sectors of society, to promote an exchange of experiences on public policies related to drug issues and seek answers that take the health needs of drug users under consideration, without stigma or prejudice. Among the confirmed guests are Gilberto Gerra (Head of UNODC's Drug Prevention and Health Branch), Julio Calzada (National Drugs Board of Uruguay), Pavel Bem (Mayor of Prague, Czech Republic), Mike Trace (Director of the International Drug Policy Consortium - IDPC), Paulo Vannuchi (member of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States - OAS) and Paul E. Simons (Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission - CICAD/OAS).
The official opening of the Symposium will take place today at 7 pm, with authorities from the Brazilian government and from international organisms. The debates on Tuesday and Wednesday will discuss topics such as human rights, the economy and the media's role in the discussion about drugs. The event will be broadcast live on the Ministry of Health's website.
Also today, there will be a pre-Symposium technical meeting with about twenty experts, including Fabienne Hariga, UNODC's Senior Expert on HIV/AIDS. They will discuss drug use in Brazil and the epidemiology of HIV, AIDS and viral hepatitis. This meeting will build on the recommendations from the global technical meeting on the use of stimulant drugs and HIV, which was organized in January 2012 by UNODC and Brazil's Ministry of Health.
The International Symposium is promoted by the Ministry of Health, through the Technical Department of Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs (Secretariat for Health Care), the Department of STD, AIDS and Viral Hepatitis (Secretariat of Health Surveillance); by the Ministry of Justice, through the National Secretariat on Drugs Policies (SENAD); by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), in partnership with the International Consortium for Drug Policy (IDPC) and the Igarapé Institute.
When: from 9 to 11 September
Where: National Museum of the Republic, Brasília
For local Brazilian and regional media, please contact:
Ana Paula Canestrelli
Communications Assistant - UNODC LPO Brazil
Tel: (+55 61) 3204-7206
Mob: (+55 61) 8143-4652