The Vienna Declaration: ending the war on drugs

Dear Supporters,

It has been over two years since we launched the Vienna Declaration, a process that culminated this past July at the XIX International AIDS Conference. While the Vienna Declaration process has now concluded, we invite you to reflect on the successes of the campaign and, more importantly, to consider getting involved with ongoing work to leverage the Vienna Declaration and the widespread support it has received in the global push for evidence-based drug policy.

On July 23, 2012, we delivered the Vienna Declaration with over 23,000 signatures to the UN Secretary General and several other global leaders. Our message in the letter was simple:

The Declaration represents a consensus statement on HIV/AIDS and drug policy that cannot be ignored.

We echoed this statement with a political ad targeting the US presidential candidates, President Barack Obama and Representative Mitt Romney, stating plainly: you cannot end AIDS without ending the war on drugs. 

Since its launch, the Vienna Declaration has been endorsed by thousands of scientists, researchers, academics, and health professionals, in addition to seven Nobel Laureates, several former heads of state, four Canadian municipalities, and a number of government officials from across the globe. It has been the focus of over 3,000 media articles – many published in the last year, reflecting the ongoing relevance of the Declaration – as well as thousands upon thousands of posts on Facebook and Twitter. The Declaration has also been cited in approximately 15 peer-reviewed journal publications, dozens of reports and commentaries, and has been the subject of various government motions, debate, and discussion.

Of particular note, the Vienna Declaration was a cornerstone of the Global Commission on Drug Policy’s recent report, The War on Drugs and HIV/AIDS, and the inspiration for a brief documentary, Draconian: Love and death in the war on drugs. The Vienna Declaration’s contributions to public and political discourse, as well as scientific and cultural products are a testament to the vibrant, growing movement for evidence-based drug policy reform. 

While the Vienna Declaration process has come to a close, the website will remain intact and it is hoped that the declaration will be a useful tool to highlight the support for drug policy reform.

If you have yet to do so already, we encourage you to consider directing some energy to your local drug policy reform/harm reduction service agency.

You may also consider supporting an international organization doing work consistent with the Vienna Declaration's aims, a few of which are listed below.

Once again, thank you for your continued support of evidence-based drug policy reform. 


The Vienna Declaration Team

We would like to extend a special thanks to the coordinating organizations:

International Centre for Science in Drug Policy (
International AIDS Society (
BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (

International agencies that may be of interest to various Vienna Declaration supporters

Are you a(n).... Then consider joining/supporting... Learn more here:
... past/present policymaker? ... the Global Commission on Drug Policy. About
... individual? ... Harm Reduction International. About - Join
... physician, researcher, scientist, or academic? ... the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy. About - Join
... physician? ... International Doctors for Healthy Drug Policy.  About - Join
... organization? ... the International Drug Policy Consortium. About - Join
... person who uses drugs? ... the International Network of People Who Use Drugs. About - Join
... student? ... Students for Sensible Drug Policy International. About - Join

No one on the list for you? Here are tips to finding an organization in your area:

1. Google your city, state, or country and the words “harm reduction” or “drug policy” and “organization” and see what comes up.

2. Scan our organizational endorsements listing for organizations in your area.

3. Look at the websites of the above organizations – many of them will have local collaborating partners – or check out other lists online such as Count the Costs’ organizational supporters or the Open Society Foundation's Drug Policy Programme Grantee List.

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