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President of Costa Rica Opened Meeting of CICAD of the OAS in San Jose

  November 29, 2012

The 52nd Regular Session of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) of the Organization of American States (OAS) was inaugurated in San Jose on Wednesday by the President of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla, and the Secretary for Multidimensional Security of the OAS, Ambassador Adam Blackwell.

The meeting coincides with the stage in which the organization is preparing the Report on the Problem of Drugs in the Hemisphere, pursuant to the mandate of the Sixth Summit of the Americas. This report, to be completed in the first half of 2013, is being carried out under the leadership of the Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza, who is participating today in the meeting in Costa Rica.

The event in San Jose will also address the focus on public health for the Comprehensive Drug Dependence Treatment System; the alternatives to imprisonment, the confiscation and administration of the assets of organized crime, and the particularities of amphetamines and other synthetic drugs.

In the opening ceremony, President Chinchilla welcomed the representatives of the Member States of the OAS and thanked CICAD for giving Costa Rica the opportunity to host the event and assume the presidency of the Commission, a position taken by Costa Rica's anti-drug commissioner, Mauricio Boraschi.

The Costa Rican President expressed her country's commitment to the war on drugs, and to the search for new ways to carry it out. "Costa Rica reaffirms its determination to continue to fight against this problem and therefore with take certain steps to improve the institutional framework, such as legal reforms to improve the technique of wiretapping, the extradition of nationals and the promotion of a regional treaty for patrols in the Pacific," said President Chinchilla. "Additionally, we will request that the UN Security Council declare drug trafficking as a threat to peace and security in the world," she added.

The Central American region is no longer just a transit region for drug traffickers, warned President Chinchilla; it has become one of consumption, which increases the problem of criminal organizations, all of which makes "the magnitude of problem we are facing enormous dimensions."

The Secretary for Multidimensional Security of the OAS, Adam Blackwell, recalled that, according to the task given to the OAS in the Sixth Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, the report should "evaluate the policies and experiences on drugs and offer new alternatives." To fulfill this mandate, Ambassador Blackwell said, "the OAS has organized a team of valuable consultants and partners."

"One of the lessons that we can draw from the report is that the answer to the drug problem must be comprehensive. It is not the exclusive task of a ministry or agency, but a job shared by various ministries and agencies. It is a task that includes health, education, as well as the agencies of public security, and that demands the efforts of the private sector and civil society along with those of the state," said Blackwell.

In conclusion, the OAS official said that "the job is large. No doubt there will be differences between us on how to deal with this or that matter. But what is no doubt about is that we all want to mitigate a complex situation of addiction, crime and economic costs that only hurt the people of the Americas."

For his part, the outgoing president of the CICAD, Rafael Bielsa (Argentina), highlighted the following achievements during his tenure: the continuation and subsequent success of the Seized and Forfeited Asset Management project, the modification of the Model Regulations for the Control of Chemical Substances and the preparation of the preliminary guide for tracking controlled chemicals; recommendations on preventing prescription drug abuse and the guide for the prevention of driving under the effect of drugs, and the new assessment tool of the Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism (MEM), which now includes 27 recommendations based on the Hemispheric Strategy and Action Plan.

The new CICAD President, Mauricio Boraschi (Costa Rica), highlighted the key tasks facing CICAD in the next period; first, to complete the Hemispheric Report on the Drug Problem; and second, to implement the new hemispheric assessment tool so that, with new benchmarks of evaluation, the progress and efforts in drug control be reviewed with greater scientific value. Boraschi thanked the specialists of the MEM Section for all their support throughout this process in the development of this new instrument.

CICAD is the Western Hemisphere's policy forum for dealing with the drug problem. The Hemispheric Drug Strategy, approved in May 2010, expresses the firm commitment of Member States to deal with the consequences of the drug trade, which pose a growing threat to health, economic development, social cohesion, and the rule of law.

The agenda of the 52nd Regular Session is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-436/12