The 57th regular session of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) was held in Washington DC. This is one of two occasions in the year when authorities from countries in the Organization of American States (OAS) meet to discuss drugs and their implications for the hemisphere.
Dianova International participated as an observer to the commission’s work, along with other civil society representatives attending the session, and also contributed to a parallel event organized by NGOs and the government of Guatemala in the margins of the session.
The three working days were led by Guatemala, who held the CICAD presidency for 2015. A consensus had to be sought to promote a change in the hemispheric paradigm of drug matters, focusing the debate around public health, and discussions and policies were centered on the individual, rather than on the substance.
The Guatemalan Minister of Interior, Héctor Mauricio López Bonilla, the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy of the Unites States, Michael Botticelli, and the Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza, were present.
In this session, participants reflected on alternatives to incarceration, based on experience. Canada, Barbados, USA, Colombia and Ecuador, presented models for alternatives implemented in those countries, as their input to the reflection on the experience of member states and to contribute with best practices to the Technical Report on Alternatives to Incarceration for Drug Related Crimes, which was being drafted and which is now available in the form of an on-line platform that member states can consult for best practices.
Another topic for debate was that of New Psychoactive Substances, which pose an increasing challenge for the Americas. Continually updated information is needed to propose prevention and treatment plans, aimed mainly at young people, who are the population most vulnerable to these emerging trends.
Preparing for UNGASS 2016
In the margins of the regular session, an event exclusively for Commissioners was dedicated to the preparation for UNGASS 2016, the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the World Drug Problem to be held in 2016.