This is from back in 2009
SUBJECT: Breaking the UNGASS Impasse on “Harm Reduction” […]
Negotiations for the UNGA special session have hit an impasse, created by EU insistence on adding the controversial term “harm reduction” to various parts of the draft UNGASS action plan and political declaration. While Canada, an opponent of the term’s inclusion, is considering conceding to EU demands, other opponents are standing firm with the U.S. in preventing such a problematic element’s inclusion. Mission has engaged counterparts at every level, from experts to ambassadors in an attempt to break the impasse and find compromise language. Mission believes there is increasing pressure within the EU to resolve this gridlock and avoid an embarrassing showdown at the March Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) but some delegations will be inclined to hold this issue hostage up until the opening of the CND, in hopes the US will relent. To facilitate EU compromise, Mission recommends that the Department reach out to various capitals and the European Commission to help underscore the firmness of U.S. resolve-both to our allies and to the EU, before the EU horizontal group meeting in Brussels on February 4. Mission has urged like-minded countries here (Japan, Russia, Colombia) to take similar actions. End Summary.
EU Crusade on “Harm Reduction”
There have been difficult negotiations in Vienna on the “harm reduction” issue in the demand reduction chapter of the draft UNGASS action plan (Ref A) and political declaration. The Czech Republic reiterated this demand on January 26 on behalf of the presidency. The plan will be annexed to the political declaration expected to be issued by ministers attending the high-level segment of the UNGASS review meeting in Vienna March 10-12, 2009. The main
divide is between EU advocates for including “harm reduction” in the plan, and those who oppose such inclusion, namely U.S., Russia, Japan, Colombia and possibly Canada. Although opposed to harm reduction, Canada’s experts in Ottawa are receptive of a recent compromise (including the term in a footnote rather than in the text), and we understand that Ottawa will have a discussion on the political level to decide how to handle this issue.
The U.S. succeeded in keeping “harm reduction” out of the declaration at that time thereby increasing harm throughout the world.