As we enter the first week of March, with the conference only a month away, we thought we would offer an update on the event and the ongoing preparations.
The political situation in Lebanon remains stable and interest in the conference continues to grow as the opening day approaches. We are delighted that conference registrations continue to rise, ensuring that Harm Reduction 2011 will again bring together hundreds of our friends and colleagues from around the world.
The conference programme is shaping up to be one of the strongest yet, and we are pleased to have recently confirmed that our closing keynote speaker will be Dr Donya Aziz.Dr Aziz is a Member of the National Assembly in Pakistan, where she has chaired the HIV/AIDS Parliamentary Committee, and has been active on issues including women’s rights, health and development.
Interest in holding satellite events in the margins of Harm Reduction 2011 is very high, as partner organisations and international agencies seek to use the event to bring together their members and promote their activities.As a result, demand for meeting space is at a premium, and we encourage anyone hoping to organise a side event to make arrangements as soon as possible, as space is increasingly in short supply.Information for arranging side events is available on the conference website under ‘Programmes & Abstracts’.
Our conference media coordinator recently returned from a week in Beirut where, working together with MENAHRA’s media advisor, a series of meetings was held with the main national, regional and international press outlets.Media interest in the conference is higher than ever before, and the event will provide an opportunity to promote the harm reduction message throughout MENA and around the world.
The annual Harm Reduction Film Festival is also going from strength to strength, and we are pleased to announce that MTV has agreed to be the sponsor for this year’s festival. Also, for the first time, the festival will include a free 6-hour public screening at the Metropolis Art Cinema in downtown Beirut.This will provide a chance to bring the films away from the conference venue, and make them accessible to the general public.
We are looking forward to welcoming you all to Harm Reduction 2011.
Rick Lines - Executive Director, Harm Reduction International
Paddy Costall – Managing Director, Conference Consortium