Media Center

Press Release


  September 29, 2006

The Republic of Bolivia and the Organization of American States (OAS) today signed an agreement for that South American nation to host the next meeting of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (known by its Spanish acronym, CICAD).

The meeting, which will be held in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra from November 29 through December 1, will gather delegates from the 34 OAS member nations to examine a wide range of issues related to the fight against illegal drugs in the hemisphere.

During a brief ceremony at OAS headquarters, Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin reiterated the importance of international cooperation as a fundamental strategy in the hemispheric fight against drug trafficking and praised CICAD – which in Santa Cruz will celebrate twenty years of activity – as a “star” in this effort.

Nevertheless, Ramdin warned that this international problem continues to have serious domestic consequences. “In many countries it creates an environment of insecurity, of crime, of increased violence in many communities, so we need to continue this discussion within the inter-American system very strongly,” said the Assistant Secretary General.

Ramdin noted that the impact of the problem to society is considerable and can even threaten the democratic process, adding that ultimately, a fundamental principal of the OAS is to strengthen democracies in the region. He said the drug problem should be viewed in perspective because it reflects realities in the Americas. “The reality is that you have producing countries, consuming countries, and you have countries suffering from the trans-shipment, and I think we have to pay equal attention to all three elements within the plan of CICAD,” emphasized the Assistant Secretary General.

Among other issues, the Santa Cruz meeting will study the progress related to Secretary General José Miguel Insulza’s proposal for the countries to adopt laws that would regularly and permanently earmark funds towards CICAD at a level equal to less than one percent of the drug-related assets they have seized. Insulza invited the countries to study this plan during CICAD’s last regular period of sessions in May. During that meeting, Insulza called on the member states to “work on the legislative modifications that may be necessary” to do so.

The Bolivia meeting will also include presentations from experts on the problems of methamphetamines and the Internet sales of drugs.

Reference: E-205/06