The goal of the project is to raise awareness about international drug policy among the domestic harm reduction community via the 7th National Harm Reduction Conference: Towards a National Policy, in Miami, Florida, November 2008. These goals will be achieved through three main mechanisms: a town hall forum, consisting of a teach-in on international drug policy issues for conference attendees; the drafting of a petition aimed at the U.S. State Department/Office of National Drug Control Policy requesting that the Beyond 2008 Declaration be incorporated into the final Declaration to be produced at the United Nations High Level Meeting on drugs scheduled to take place in March 2009; and the hiring of a media assistant to promote the visibility of international drug policy work generated during the conference.
International Advocacy Project
The Harm Reduction Coalition will strive to influence global drug policies in the international arena by challenging the U.S. government's restrictive and punitive approach to drug policy development both in Washington DC and at international fora. The project's goals will be achieved through face-to-face meetings with US government and elected officials, organizing congressional hearings and briefings, using Congress as a watchdog mechanism to hold Administration officials accountable for their actions, establishing a significant presence at international fora to provide an informed US voice, separate from that of the government (also supporting the presence of other key harm reduction advocates), networking with international colleagues also working to bring about change in their own governments, and building domestic awareness on the United State's exportation of the drug war.
As a result, it is hoped that funding decisions will be positively influenced and that language supportive of harm reduction will be included in international documents. HRC sets its minimum goal as neutralizing the U.S. government's opposition to language supporting harm reduction policies. It will also build a body of informed U.S. based advocates who are aware of U.S. global policy on drugs. The project's overall success will be measured through a process evaluation as well as a final report.