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Peter Dunne to speak at 20th International AIDS Conference

Hon Peter Dunne to speak at 20th International AIDS Conference

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne is to attend and address the Global Commission on Drug Policy special session at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne tomorrow. He has been invited to speak on New Zealand’s regulated approach to controlling psychoactive substances.

The International AIDS Conference is the largest international meeting on a single health issue, where every two years between 15,000 - 18,000 participants representing all stakeholders in the global response to HIV meet to assess progress and identify future priorities. With more than 1,500 international journalists expected to attend, the conference is the single most widely covered HIV event in the world.

“It is an honour to be invited to speak at such a significant global health event, alongside the likes of Hon Justice Michael Kirby, Dr Alex Wodak and Sir Richard Branson. The invitation reflected the significant global interest in New Zealand’s approach to regulating psychoactive substances through our Psychoactive Substances Act 2013 and the potential for such an approach to assist in reducing harm”, says Mr Dunne.

Under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2013, manufacturers may introduce psychoactive products to the New Zealand market provided they have been shown to be of low risk. No animal testing data is permitted for the purposes of product assessment.

“News that a large number of conference participants perished in last week’s Malaysian Airlines crash will cast a pall of sadness over the event. The loss of so many eminent people who were dedicated to reducing the suffering from AIDS will be felt throughout the world”, Mr Dunne said.

Mr Dunne will also take the opportunity to meet with Hon Mary Wooldridge, Minister for Mental Health, while he is in Melbourne.


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