By Jordi Alos, President of Dianova Uruguay – The Dianova International Organization virtually attended and presented a statement on gender and human rights during the segment dedicated to interventions by permanent observers of the OAS, international and regional organizations and civil society organizations accredited to the OAS.
During these meetings, we were able to note that, while the continent has very diverse realities, the concept of “cooperation” between the 35 member countries is being strengthened, particularly through the exchange of experiences, actions and training carried out by CICAD’s expert groups, which are achieving positive results (integral and sustainable alternative development, demand reduction, drug smuggling at sea, chemical and pharmaceutical substances, and money laundering control).
- Speech by OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro
- Documents related to the session
- Read statement to CICAD, by Patricia Puigdeval
With regard to those affected by drug use and micro-trafficking, we would like to emphasize that we have been able to confirm that the concepts of human rights, public health and sustainable development are being better integrated, which is a great step forward, given that some of the public policies implemented in the region continue to criminalize use and possession, with many negative consequences in terms of human rights, despite acknowledging the failure of the “war on drugs”.
We were pleased to note that emphasis was placed on the need to integrate a gender perspective into public policies through a cross-cutting approach. Otherwise, the effectiveness of public policies would be seriously threatened.
The issue of drugs integrates a multiplicity of factors (trafficking, money laundering, security, countries of production/consumption, people concerned, etc.), and in fact, within these discussion forums, the position of each participant reflects their own perspective.
Faced with this, we need to reflect on our role as an organized civil society and the strategies we should adopt in order to influence public policies, bearing in mind that the space and time allocated to these sessions are by nature very limited.
We need to be advocates for the rights of those affected through our ability to interact with the governments of the countries in which we operate. This is the only way we can influence the decisions made by states at these multilateral meetings.
At Dianova, we firmly believe that interactions between the state and civil society are beneficial, provided they are conducted on the basis of strategic alliances. Considering civil society as a mere implementer of public policies does not allow to take advantage of the benefits that may emerge from these interactions.
In conclusion, I would like to make special mention of the words of the Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, who, in his opening address, stressed the need to listen to civil society: “The reflections of civil society reflect the public debate and the feelings of citizens. Let us not close our ears to what civil society is telling us”.