Intercambios

Last November the Commission met in Buenos Aires and Argentina was elected to chair it for the next 12 months. The countries highlighted the use of scientific evidence produced in the Inter-American Drug Observatory as a pillar for the establishment of public policies. The event featured the participation of 22 member states and 21 observing organizations, among them Intercambios.

On November 2-4, the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) held its 50th session in Buenos Aires. During the meeting the Commission agreed to expand some of its programs to other regions, such as Central America and the Caribbean. The project for the establishment of Drug Treatment Courts and the work of the Inter-American Drug Observatory were highlighted. 

The Executive Secretary of CICAD, Paul Simons, highlighted the implementation of a new “Hemispheric Drug Strategy” focused on participation of civil society, development of policies based on evidence, and attention to the needs of at-risk groups, among others. 

Simons emphasized “the efforts by drug observatories in the hemisphere to contribute to anti-drug strategies based on scientific evidence”.

Argentinean José Ramón Granero, the then Secretary for Programming Drug Abuse Prevention and the Fight against Drug Trafficking (SEDRONAR) and Mauricio Boraschi, of Costa Rica, were elected as Chair and Vice Chair, respectively, of the Commission that celebrated its 25 anniversary, for the next twelve months. Granero 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”. 

Intercambios statement

In a brief statement, Graciela Touzé, president of Intercambios, highlighted that “public sphere is not a State monopoly” and, thus, expressed her enthusiasm for the importance given to civil society participation when implementing policies and programs. “For that reason –she said-, we allow ourselves to put the need of studying concrete mechanisms to effectively promote this participation at the national and regional levels to the Delegates´ consideration”.

“We think it would be appropriate that CICAD consider to have a special department for relationship with civil society to promote more systematic contact and interaction with NGOs in the region; it would help a more active involvement of civil society organizations and more affected groups, and would allow more diverse points of view”, she added.

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