Media Center



  June 5, 2007

PANAMA CITY, Panama—A decade after the creation of the Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism (MEM), the commission that leads the Organization of American States’ (OAS) anti-drug efforts presented a report on progress made by each country and the region as a whole in developing policies and programs to combat illegal drugs.

The overview by the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD)—“The Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism Achievements, 1997-2007—was presented to the hemisphere’s Ministers of Foreign Affairs and other Heads of Delegation attending the 37th OAS General Assembly, which ends today in the Panamanian capital.

The MEM tracks drug-control progress through the preparation of national and hemispheric evaluation reports, which make recommendations to the countries. The document presented to the foreign ministers summarizes the mechanism’s history and background as well as the changes and adjustments it has undergone in the last decade.

The report focuses on specific positive outcomes the member countries have achieved in specified areas related to drug control, as a result of their participation in the MEM process. For example, in the area of strengthening institutions, it highlights the approval of national anti-drug strategies, the creation of national authorities and observatories on this issue and the ratification of relevant international treaties. In terms of prevention, it shows that countries have progressed in developing minimum treatment standards and anti-drug programs that target different sectors of society. It also looks at progress in reducing illicit crops and tackling the demand side, as well as in implementing control measures.

Additionally, the report demonstrates the need for countries to continue implementing and improving public policies that lead to more effective anti-drug efforts. It also outlines the progress made in complying with recommendations issued to the countries during the three evaluation rounds that have been completed. Out of all the recommendations made, the report notes, the countries have responded positively to 76% of those issued during the first evaluation round, 85% in the second round and 81% in the third. The full report is now available on the OAS Web site.

CICAD implemented this mechanism in response to a mandate of the Second Summit of the Americas. With the commitment and participation of the 34 member states, it has worked to ensure that the MEM fulfills its two original objectives: to identify strengths and weaknesses, progress and ground lost in anti-drug policies and programs in every country and in the region, maintaining a balanced approach to the drug problem; and to help countries generate internal support in their fight against drugs, stimulating reforms and the development of systems to enhance drug control.


Reference: GA-20-07