OAS General Assembly Special Session in Guatemala

At its 46th Special Session, the OAS General Assembly adopts resolution on the drug problem in the Americas

The resolution entitled Reflections and Guidelines to Formulate and Follow up on Comprehensive Policies to Address the World Drug Problem in the Americas, was debated and approved at the forty-sixth Special Session of the Organization of American States (OEA), held on the 19th of September, 2014 in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Dianova International participated in the meeting as a civil society organization, through its representative, Rafael Guerrero Delgado, Director General of Dianova in Nicaragua.

The inaugural session was led by the President of Guatemala, Mr. Otto Pérez Molina, while the assembly was presided by  Mr. Raúl Morales Moscoso, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Guatemala. The Secretary General of the OAS, Dr. José María Insulza, presented a document entitled OAS Drug Report: 16 Months of Debates and Consensus. Mr. Insulza asserted that there is consensus on the need to move forward on four key elements: to include the public health factor in the drug issue approach; to implement reforms to the legal system and seek alternatives to incarceration; to remain vigilant against transnational organized crime, which is a core player in the drug problem; and to work towards strengthening legal institutions and public order within the region.

The resolution project which was debated and approved emphasizes a number of elements including:

  •   The importance of hemispheric and international cooperation,
  •   The importance of effective implementation of the three United Nations Drug Conventions
  •   Regularly reviewing the drug policies adopted, ensuring that they are comprehensive and focused on the well-being of the individual; reviewing traditional approaches and consider the development of new approaches, based on scientific evidence and knowledge;
  •   Promoting equilibrium among citizen security measures, public health, human rights and mending of the social fabric, in order to achieve individual and community well-being;
  •   Promoting and strengthening comprehensive development programs with social integration;
  •   Developing comprehensive policies to deal with the world drug problem, measures, programs and actions that address the needs of the victims of violence and crime;
  •   Investing in the specific needs of at-risk groups, including children, adolescents and youth, both in and out of school;
  •   Requesting the Committee on Hepispheric Security to conduct an examination of the structural causes, triggers and the multiple factors, that contribute to violence and crime such as the global world drug problem so it can be taken intou account for the drafting of the Hemispheric Plan of Action on Drugs 2016-2020.

The interventions of the 22 member states of the General Assembly stressed the comprehensive nature of these policies, including justice, human rights, public health, local and national community development and citizen security. In addition was emphasized the need to collect further information and scientific evidence to improve public policies, programs and treatment models. All member states have committed to implementing and respecting the provisions of the resolution project.

"Reflections & Guidelines" – document in Englishin Spanish