Media Center

Press Release

OAS Member States Begin Negotiations on the New Hemispheric Plan of Action on Drugs 2016 - 2020

  April 27, 2015

The member states of the Organization of American States (OAS) today began their work to prepare the 2016 – 2020 Plan of Action of the Hemispheric Drug Strategy, a document with which they seek to address the main hemispheric challenges on the issue of drugs, considering its causes, the available scientific evidence and the particular context in each country.

The first meeting of the Working Group for the Elaboration of the Plan of Action 2016 takes place this week within the framework of the 57th Regular Session of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD).

The Plan of Action 2016-2020 will follow the 2011-2015 Plan, and will establish guidelines to continue with the implementation of the Hemispheric Drug Strategy approved by member states in 2010, and serve as a reference guide for the development of projects and programs aimed at the implementation of the Strategy. The new Plan of Action, like the previous one that covered a five-year period from 2010 to 2015, are used as tools for the integration of the hemispheric agenda of CICAD and its subsidiary bodies, in order to align them and generate synergies.

The OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, has urged member states "to contribute ideas and participate in the preparation of this Plan, which is fundamental to giving continuity to the many successes that our joint work has produced in the Americas in the area of drugs in recent years, since the Hemispheric Strategy of 2010 that for the first time acknowledged that the addict is primarily a sick person and not a criminal, to the Report on the Drug Problem of 2013, which brought the issue to the highest level of political hemispheric debate."

The leader of the multilateral Organization said that "the OAS, particularly CICAD, and member states have done an excellent job in recent years, which allows us to proudly say that our Hemisphere is leading the world in the analysis and formulation of policies on drugs. But much remains to be done, we must continue working with the same enthusiasm and focus to continue finding solutions to this problem."

Upon opening the meeting, the Executive Secretary of CICAD, Paul Simons, noted the importance of the document that will be prepared by countries and referred to the agreements and tools at their disposal, including the Report on the Drug Problem prepared by the OAS; the commitments agreed during the OAS Special General Assembly held in Guatemala in September 2014 and the results of the Hemispheric Report of the Sixth Round of the Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism (MEM).

In his speech, Simons mentioned some of the issues and pillars that could be considered in the design of the new plan, among which he highlighted institutional strengthening and policy coordination; research, information and monitoring as part of the evaluation; demand reduction; control of money laundering and asset forfeiture; and international cooperation. Representatives of member countries will consider these and other issues, their relationship with the Hemispheric Strategy and with their national plans for the development of the Plan of Action 2016 - 2020, which is expected to be approved next November, during the 58th meeting of CICAD.

Adopted on May 3, 2010 by CICAD in Washington, DC, the 2010 Hemispheric Strategy, consists of 52 articles covering five aspects: institutional strengthening, demand reduction, supply reduction, control measures, and international cooperation. The Strategy was adopted by the OAS General Assembly in Lima, Peru, in June 2010 and has been recognized as a milestone in addressing the drug problem in the Hemisphere, and recognizing that drug dependency is a chronic, relapsing disease that must be dealt with as a core element of public health policy.

The conclusions and progress made in the negotiation of the Plan of Action 2016- 2020 will be presented at the regular meeting of CICAD that begins on Wednesday April 29 and in which participants will discuss issues related to asset recovery networks, new psychoactive substances, training and certification of human resources for the treatment of drug abuse and dependence, medical marijuana, use of evidence in the design of regulated systems, reflections on policies aimed at the decriminalization of drug use and institutional advances in social integration and drugs in the Americas.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-152/15