Media Center

Press Release


  November 18, 2009

For the first time in the history of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) of the Organization of American States (OAS), the Government of the United States today assumed the Presidency of said hemispheric body, highlighting the significance of this fact to the Administration of US President Barack Obama.

The election of the United States to preside the Commission and of Suriname to its Vice Presidency took place on the first day of the Forty-Sixth Regular Session of the CICAD (CICAD 46).

David Johnson, Assistant Secretary of State of the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, assumed the Presidency of the CICAD on behalf of his Government.

“Since the beginning of the Obama Administration one of the President’s key foreign policy principles has been the importance of working with others through international institutions to address global problems,” he said. “For us CICAD has proven an invaluable forum to address the problems of drug cultivation, trafficking, and abuse in our hemisphere and so will be a key instrument that we will work with during the administration.”

Chandrikapersad Santokhi, Suriname Minister of Justice and Police, assumed the role of Vice President on behalf of his Government.

“I consider this election as a great honor for myself and my country,” he said. He added that it is “a confirmation of our full commitment to the CICAD process.”

CICAD 46 is being held November 18-20. It features a continuing discussion of demand reduction efforts in the hemisphere; an OAS presentation on the state of drug consumption in the hemisphere; and an update on new directions in the United States for the treatment of persons with drug addictions.

The CICAD was established by the OAS General Assembly in 1986 as the Western Hemisphere's policy forum on all aspects of the drug problem. Each member government appoints a high-ranking representative to the Commission, which meets twice a year. CICAD's core mission is to strengthen the human and institutional capacities of its member states to reduce the production, trafficking and use of illegal drugs, and to address the health, social and criminal consequences of the illegal drug trade.

Reference: E-386/09