Media Center

Press Advisory

Regional Drug Commission Renews Assessment of Control Policies in the Americas

  May 8, 2012

The Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) of the Organization of American States (OAS) will take a hard look at the current status of drug trafficking in the Americas and its impact on regional security at its 51st regular session, to be held in Washington, DC, May 9-11.

OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza will deliver the opening remarks of the meeting, informing the commissioners about the mandate given by the heads of state at the recent Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia to prepare a report on the results of the existing drug policies in the hemisphere and the options for the future.

Rafael Antonio Bielsa, CICAD Chair and Secretary of State in the Secretariat for Programming Drug Abuse Control and the Fight Against Drug Trafficking (SEDRONAR) of Argentina, will preside over the meeting.

In the inaugural session, the Director of the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), Mirta Roses Periago, and the OAS Secretary General will sign a new cooperation agreement between the two organizations to set up a joint, coordinated initiative to assist member states in making their public health systems more effective and responsive to the risks of substance abuse, especially at the level of primary care.

As a priority concern of the meeting, representatives from the OAS Member States will discuss issues concerning drug trafficking and drug use trends, with emphasis on Central America and the Caribbean. In addition, the commissioners will receive reports on the increasing use of specific illicit drugs, like heroin and smokeable cocaine, in some countries.

Regarding longer-term actions, the Commission will focus on the importance of incorporating gender perspectives when defining drug control policy and measures, the value of evidence-based policies in evaluating the effectiveness of government programs, and the contribution of civil society in implementing CICAD’s Hemispheric Drug Strategy and Plan of Action, 2011-2015.

Delegations from nearly 30 member states will participate in the event, as well as guest speakers. OAS Secretary for Multidimensional Security Adam Blackwell will deliver the closing remarks on Friday afternoon.

The opening meeting will be open to be the news media. At the meeting’s conclusion, a news conference will be held at 14:45 EDT (18:45 GMT)on Friday, May 11.

The meeting’s agenda, schedule and other documents are available on the CICAD website.

WHAT: 51st regular session of CICAD

WHEN: May 9-11. The inauguration is on Wednesday, May 9 at 9:00 EDT (13:00 GMT), and the news conference is on Friday, May 11 at 14:45 EDT (18:45 GMT)

WHERE: Padilha Vidal Conference Room
Organization of American States
1889 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20006

Reference: AVI-069/12