Monday, February 02, 2009

Bush-era envoys to the UN blocking global promotion of syringe exchange

An article in the Washington Independent last week examines how envoys to the United Nations who were appointed by the last administration are blocking global efforts to promote HIV/AIDS prevention programs. The article goes on to question the envoys actions considering the fact that President Obama has clearly stated his support for syringe exchange programs in the Civil Rights section of his Agenda.

According to the article several members of Congress are now getting involved.

The episode has attracted the attention of some congressional Democrats. In a Jan. 28 letter to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.) cite “an apparent disconnect in U.S. policy” as it pertains to efforts to promote needle exchange to fight HIV/AIDS.

“We understand that the U.S. delegation in Vienna has been actively blocking the efforts of some of our closest allies — including the European Union — to incorporate in the declaration reference to harm reduction measures, such as needle exchange,” the Democrats wrote. They’re urging that the delegation “should immediately be given new instructions from the highest levels of the new Administration.”

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