Experts call for more rights based, evidence informed drug control policies

Government, civil society representatives and development partners have committed to address drug control laws and policies that negatively affect human rights and public health goals, including a commitment to advocate for international guidelines on drug policy, at a consultation convened by UNDP's HIV, Health and Development Group in New York.

According to the 2015 World Drug Report of the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crimes (UNODC), 246 million people worldwide use drugs, with 12 million of these injecting them.


Legal environments affecting the HIV response in South-East Asia: New report

Bangkok – A regional review of laws in South-East Asia examines the legal environments affecting HIV responses among people living with HIV, sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender people, people who inject drugs, young people and migrants.

Launched this week, HIV and the Law in South-East Asia is a legal review by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Bangkok Regional Hub and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Taskforce on AIDS. The report is part of the ASEAN Cities Getting to Zero Initiative.


Addressing the Development Dimensions of Drug Policy

The UNDP has published a new discussion paper entitled "Addressing the Development Dimensions of Drug Policy".

In April 2016, the UN General Assembly will hold a Special Session on Drugs to assess and debate the successes and failures of current drug control policies. UNDP is a member of the UN System Task Force on Transnational Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking, established in 2011 to provide guidance on how to integrate responses to transnational organized crime into UN peacekeeping, peacebuilding, security and development initiatives and to develop a roadmap of key initiatives and activities relating to its mandate. UNDP has prepared this discussion paper in response to the Task Force's request for input from UN agencies into UNGASS 2016. It was written with inputs from UNDP experts in HIV, health, human rights, governance, rule of law and security and conflict prevention and includes perspectives from UNDP country office, regional and global colleagues.


Engaging with National Human Rights Institutions key to advancing rights of hijra and transgender people

DHAKA – "I was so happy and excited that day. We worked so hard and for so long for this and it was finally becoming a reality," recalled Shale Ahmed, a prominent Bangladeshi social activist and Executive Director of Bandhu Social Welfare Society (BSWS).

In November 2014, one year after the landmark day, Shale and his organization, along with the Ministry of Social Welfare organized country wide 'Hijra Pride' activities to celebrate the anniversary of the Government of Bangladesh Cabinet decision to recognize hijras, or transgender people, as a 'third gender' on official documents. The announcement followed similar progress on legal recognition for hijras and transgender people in recent years in India, Nepal and Pakistan.


UNDP and UNAIDS back efforts by least-developed countries to secure sustainable access to treatment

Geneva - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) would like to call attention to the urgent and compelling case for the international community to take all measures possible to protect the health of people living in least-developed countries (LDCs).

The proposal was put forward by Bangladesh on behalf of the LDCs group and is now before the WTO TRIPS Council. It requests an extension of the period under which LDCs are exempt from applying protections for pharmaceutical related patents and clinical data. The current waiver is due to expire in January 2016.

"Millions of people rely on access to affordable, assured quality generic medicines," said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. "WTO Members have before them a critical opportunity to help least-developed countries to reach health and sustainable development goals—failure to support them could put millions of lives at risk."