CICAD decides to promote its most innovative programs

08 November, 2011 - The Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) decided, during its 50th session in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to expand some of its most innovative programs to other regions, as it began the celebration of the commission's 25th anniversary.

Among the projects to be promoted in Central America and the Caribbean, the project for the establishment of Drug Treatment Courts was highlighted. These courts, which seek to improve the quality of treatment to drug dependent offenders, received decided support from the member states, several of which requested the OAS that it implement pilots in their territories. Furthermore, the countries highlighted the use of scientific evidence produced in the Inter-American Drug Observatory as a pillar for the establishment of public policies in the field, and they requested the CICAD Executive Secretariat to continue working towards strengthening national information systems.

The event featured the participation of 22 member states, 21 observing organizations and 216 participants. UNODC participated as an observing organization through his regional representative for Brazil and the Southern Cone, Bo Mathiasen.

OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza, during the meeting, urged countries of the region "to continue working on the development and implementation" of the Hemispheric Drug Strategy and its Plan of Action, approved in the last two years, and highlighted the CICAD's Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism as "an example of modern multilateralism."

The OAS Secretary for Multidimensional Security, Adam Blackwell, said that the "ties between drugs, crime, violence and weapons are evident and demand greater coordination among the countries of the region to be able to face them with a comprehensive and multilateral approach." Ambassador Blackwell added that "drug demand reduction through education" will be one of CICAD's working pillars in the next few years.

For his part, the Executive Secretary of CICAD, Paul Simons, highlighted the impact that solidarity has had in the countries of the Americas on the issue of drugs. "We are implementing a new Hemispheric Drug Strategy focused on these new subjects, such as participation of civil society, the development of policies based on evidence, the recognition of drug dependence as a chronic and recurrent illness, the best use of resources, and attention to the needs of at-risk groups," added Ambassador Simons.

Ambassador Simons also emphasized "the efforts by drug observatories in the hemisphere to contribute to anti-drug strategies based on scientific evidence." Furthermore, the head of CICAD thanked the Government of the Republic of Argentina for all the support provided in the organization of the event and to the other delegations from the hemisphere for their participation.

CICAD also elected José Ramón Granero, of Argentina, and Mauricio Boraschi, of Costa Rica, by acclamation, as Chair and Vice Chair, respectively, for the next twelve months.

Granero highlighted that "the CICAD meeting is an honor to our country," added that "the fight to reduce addiction has to be based on measures for social inclusion and poverty reduction," and mentioned that the fight against drug trafficking must be doubled.

Doctor Granero also mentioned three pillars in the strategy for reducing drug consumption: "It is an issue that must be addressed by health organizations, always must be kept under the umbrella of human rights, and any measure taken in this field must be based on scientific evidence as a pillar that is impossible to ignore in drug policies."

Source: CICAD

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