Event brings together experts to discuss Early Warning System on Drugs

I FND is held by SENAD and the CdE

The I National Forum on Education and Research in Drug Supply Reduction (I FND) took place on Tuesday and Wednesday (6th and 7th) July, online, with the participation of public managers, public security professionals and researchers on the subject. One of the main sessions brought together experts for a debate on the Early Warning System on Drugs (SAR) in Brazil.

The event was promoted by the National Secretariat for Drug Policy of the Ministry of Justice and Public Security (SENAD/MJSP) and the The Center of Excellence for Illicit Drug Supply Reduction (CoE), a pilot project resulting from a partnership between SENAD, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Brazilian Early Warning System on Drugs

The meeting allowed the presentation of programs that will make up the Brazilian drug early-warning system project, which should be implemented in Brazil soon, and will provide for the rapid identification of new psychoactive substances, monitoring the expansion of trafficking and use of these new drugs, and communication between countries and between law enforcement and health authorities on the existence, spread and risks of newly detected substances.

The Director of Public Policies and Institutional Articulation of SENAD/MJSP, Gustavo Camilo Baptista, explains that the drug phenomenon has many mutations, from the chemical development of narcotics to the global market flows. Thus, new psychoactive substances are created all the time with the intention of bypassing the legislation. "Despite the challenges, we have been working to train professionals to recognize these new substances, as well as investing in research to better target drug policies," said Baptista.

The technical session on SAR at the I FND had the participation of representatives from MJSP, the Ministry of Citizenship, UNODC Vienna (Austria), the Federal Police, the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa), the University of Campinas and the University of São Paulo.  

Brazilian Network on Drug Supply Reduction Research

Furthermore, during the first session of the Forum, entitled "Teaching Drug Supply Reduction", the Brazilian Network on Drug Supply Reduction Research was launched. The Network enables the exchange of knowledge and data on the impacts caused by drugs in Brazil, and contributes to the construction of strategic policies for the reduction of drug supply, through a broad network capable of promoting the exchange of knowledge, forensic techniques and scientific evidence.

Together with other agencies related to drug supply reduction, SENAD maintains a series of strategic projects that, in recent years, have promoted progress in the production of knowledge in the area. These projects, such as the CoE, Minerva, Dispater, Mercúrio, and Quíron, were presented during the first session of the I FND.

Evidence-based public policies

During the opening of the event, the National Secretary of Drug Policy, Luiz Roberto Beggiora, explained that the decapitalization of crime through asset investigation and the confiscation of assets acquired through illicit enrichment have been the strategy adopted to weaken criminal organizations. "SENAD is alienating this seized assets from organized crime and promoting public policies in public security, aiming to combat drug trafficking," said Beggiora.

For his part, the deputy resident representative of UNDP, Carlos Arboleda, said that the production of knowledge is essential for countries seeking to integrate and improve their public policies. "It is necessary to find mechanisms, based on evidence that strengthen the articulation of themes related to drug policies with human development," he said.

Still in this context, the coordinator of the Rule of Law Unit of the UNODC Liaison and Partnership Office in Brazil, Nívio Nascimento, assured that research and analysis are pillars of UNODC's work worldwide, as in the recently released World Drug Report. "We are very active in the production, analysis and dissemination of data, statistics and indicators on drugs and crime, as well as in the management of information and knowledge on these issues.

Research and analysis

The coordinator of the CoE, Gabriel Andreuccetti, presented the work that has been done in the scope of the pilot project, focusing on international cooperation and information exchange, through data analysis and seminars with the dissemination of data and research. "Our partnerships are global. We have established partners such as the UNODC Office in Colombia, the Center of Excellence in Mexico, which has been working for several years as a pioneer in this theme, and the UNODC Office in Vienna, responsible for the World Drug Report".

Andreuccetti also highlighted the research that has been conducted by the CoE on the impact of COVID-19 on the illicit drug markets in Brazil, with a quantitative and qualitative analysis in three states, Mato Grosso do Sul, Paraná and Sao Paulo.


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