RIOD Celebrates its 20th Anniversary

The Ibero-American Network of NGOs working on Drugs and Other Addictions RIOD, celebrated its two-decade anniversary in Madrid

RIOD 20 year seminar

Representatives of Dianova and association Proyecto Hombre attended the RIOD seminar in Madrid – Photo: Imágen en Acción

By Antonio Jesús Molina Fernández – Various presentations assessed and proposed future lines of actions on drug policies in Latin America and Spain. Forty-one organizations attended, including Dianova Spain, which participated in the public seminar, the work groups, the regional meetings and the RIOD’s General Assembly.

The Cibeles Palace in the capital of Spain was the venue for public sessions of the RIOD’s XX Ibero-American Seminar on Drugs and Cooperation from 7 to 9 May. Regional meetings and the General Assembly were held at the headquarters of the Help for Drug Addiction Foundation (FAD) on May 10th and 11th.

Sponsored by the Spanish Government Delegation for the National Drugs Plan (PNSD) and the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission of the Organization of American States (CICAD–OAS), this international meeting, one of the most important that NGOs hold for addictions, was useful for evaluating the RIOD’s work over the past two decades and the growth of the problem of addiction. This is why the seminar was called “Twenty years of sharing and providing solutions from civil society.”

Among the most outstanding presentations heard over these three days were  “Evolution of the phenomenon. Trends and impacts”, by José Francisco Cumsille, (International Consultant forSENDA Chile and awarded during this seminar with the PNSD’s Silver Medal for Merit) and Rosario Sendino (Director of the Information and Documentation Systems Unit of the DGPNSD); and “The focus of public health in drug policies and programmes over the past 20 years,” by Francisco de Asís Babán, (Government delegate for the PNSD), Luis I. Alfonso Bello (Regional consultant for substance abuse for the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) and Teresa Salvador-Llivina (Director of the COPOLAD programme). Likewise, “Alliances between involved stakeholders. Implementation and development of strategies and plans,” by Roberto Canay (Deputy Secretary for Strategies and Prevention for SEDONAR) and Beatriz Mesías (Deputy General Manager for Addictions at the Madrid Health Institute of Addictions), also offered interesting points of view on the subject of alliances with the third sector.

On Wednesday at noon, in the framework of the “5th Congress on Identifying Good Practices Orientation Projects,” a document was presented that gathered together the work of some twenty Ibero-American organizations that have developed projects to encourage and promote good practices to improve the quality of life of persons and communities affected by drugs.

Regional Meetings and General Assembly

The public seminar highlighted the internal work of the RIOD carried out with all participating organizations located in the regions that the network comprises (South, Andean, Central/Caribbean and Spain). In the region of Spain, the most significant news was the change in leadership that passed from Socidrogalcohol to the FAD, with the past coordinators first being thanked for the work they had done.

Later, in the General Assembly, accounts for 2017 were ratified, the budget for 2018 was considered, and the work of the directors, after a presentation by the only candidate for re-election, was confirmed and re-elected by a vote from the full assembly. An interesting fact worth mentioning is that the representative for Dianova Spain took part in the assembly as its secretary.