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Vienna Declaration Launches Ad Campaign Calling On U.S. Presidential Candidates To End 'War On Drugs'

As delegates gathered for the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) this week in Washington, D.C., “supporters of the 2010 Vienna Declaration, which urges governments to write evidence-based drug policies,” launched an ad campaign (.pdf) calling on U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney “to stop the spread of AIDS by ending the so-called ‘war on drugs,'” the Globe and Mail reports. British businessman Richard Branson; former president of Brazil Fernando Henrique Cardoso; former president of Colombia Cesar Gaviria; Michel Kazatchkine, former executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; Evan Wood, chair of the Vienna Declaration Writing Committee; and Julio Montaner, director of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, among others, have endorsed the declaration and the ad, which states, “You can’t end AIDS unless you end the war on drugs. It’s dead simple,” according to the newspaper (Drews, 7/23).

The Vienna Declaration, which 23,400 people have signed since it was launched as the official declaration of the XVIII International AIDS conference (AIDS 2010) in Vienna, Austria, will be delivered to influential world leaders and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, according to a Vienna Declaration press release. The Drug Policy Alliance and the Vienna Declaration ran the ad in the Politico newspaper on Tuesday, the press release notes (7/23).