In a newsletter recently published on the International Association for Hospice & Palliative Care (IAHPC) website, author Katherine Pettus comments that “global palliative care advocates understand that the drug control treaties are not fit for purpose with regard to adequate access to medical opioids in more than 80% of the world, where more than 550 million people suffer and die in uncontrolled pain because of a lack of palliative care.”
She proceeds to highlight a recent quote by the IDPC Executive Director Ann Fordham taken from the Commission on Narcotic Drugs meeting in Vienna. Fordham said to member states: “We cannot afford to miss the opportunity to take stock of the negative consequences of the current system and to ensure that the drug control treaties remain fit-for-purpose in the coming decades”.
Ahead of the 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS), the IDPC has outlined three preliminary key advocacy areas:
- Cannabis reform
- The centrality of “health” within drug policy – in particular harm reduction measures
- Promoting institutional reform of the UN drug control architecture
The article states that although this is not an exhaustive list, the IAHPC will be in a position to define its own specific advocacy area, as all three topics are relevant to global palliative care.
According to the IAHPC, they are the only NGO specifically focusing on this issue in IDPC. And the organisation is requesting that members and readers are involved in the process from now, through to 2016 and beyond.
Author, Katherine Pettus, requests a “two-way street” and for the IAHPC to be kept informed of developments in member countries.
For more information and education materials on this issue you can contact Katherine Pettus at the International Association of Hospice and Palliative Care. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org