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August 25, 1999  



The Organization of American States (OAS) signed an agreement today with the government of Uruguay, paving the way for that country’s capital, Montevideo, to host the 26th Regular Session of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) next October 5 through 7.

Signing the agreement, OAS Secretary General César Gaviria stressed the importance of the hemispheric meeting, saying it would be a crucial stage of efforts by OAS member countries to implement the Multilateral Evaluation process for drug policy in the hemisphere. "This mechanism is but a continuation of that process and demonstrates the usefulness of the multilateralism we practice at the OAS and how vital it is in tackling the collective problems of the hemisphere," Mr. Gaviria observed.

Uruguay’s Ambassador to the OAS, Antonio Mercader, said his country was especially interested in taking part in collective efforts to confront the drug problem, which he described as "one of the worst problems now affecting the region." Recalling that Montevideo was where member states adopted the Hemispheric Anti-Drug Strategy late 1996, the Uruguayan diplomat said "the multilateral strategy against drugs has borne positive results and is an area in which the OAS has found its raison d’être."