Building up on UNGASS recommendations for measurable and evidence based approaches to drug policies and programs
The 61st Regular Session of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) continued to build up on the agreed conclusions of last year’s Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS). The recent international recognition of the fundamental need to move the focus on drug policies from the substance to the individual shaped the conversation between member states of the Organization of American States (OAS) and between them and the civil society.
One year after the achievements realized at the UN, the 61st CICAD discussed the regional implementation of the recommendations of UNGASS 2016. Additionally, in a dialogue with civil society the forum also addressed the need to measure progress with an assertive focus on the consequences of drug policies to the individuals, with a clear public health approach to the issue and in absolute respect for human rights.
Among others, the meeting also discussed public health responses to the opioid crises; policies and challenges in the provision of drug treatment services; advantages of having Early Warning Systems in place for awareness raising with populations and institutions; and innovative approaches in the justice systems working with communities to address juvenile drug-related offenses.
The 61st CICAD hosted a fruitful conversation about knowledge developed in the Americas and fostered the exchange of best practices on drug policy and programs between its members. The meeting also highlighted the work of the Inter-American mechanisms in facilitating regional coordination and cooperation for professional certification and for the prevention and treatment of problematic use of drugs, as well as its initiatives supporting research, design, implementation, and evaluation of policies and programs in this field.
The new Executive Secretary of the CICAD, Adam Namm, reinforced the Commission’s commitment with creating opportunities for international cooperation to promote effective and balanced approach to drug policies in the region. Likewise, the CICAD is expected to strengthen member states’ capacities to address the drug-related challenges using and fostering evidence based practices, from a public health perspective, and with a focus on the individual and on the sustainability of healthy societies.
Dianova Statement and Civil Society Participation at the CICAD
In the current dynamic of the CICAD, civil society participation remains limited to very specific slots pre-determined in the program. While civil society is not allowed voice in most of the interactions happening during the meeting, Dianova sees value in joining the yet small number of participant NGOs in the opportunities to provide input to the Commission from the perfective of professionals working on the ground and in contact with the affected population.
This year Dianova International shared with the CICAD Members the main points of the Declaration of Mallorca endorsed by 55 organizations worldwide and adopted last December in the celebration of the 5th Institute of the World Federation of Therapeutic Communities. Echoing the Declaration’s message, Dianova encouraged policy makers in the room to support Therapeutic Communities in their own countries and to work with them as allies in providing irreplaceable aid in the field of treatment and addiction.
The next session of the CICAD will be held in Mexico City, between 6-10 of November, 2017.