The 1st COPOLAD II Annual Meeting of National Drugs Observatories (NDO) congregates in its first edition, 71 high-level representatives from 13 countries of the Caribbean region, 18 from Latin America, and 6 from the European Union (EU), which entails an unprecedented attendance success in the region.
The meeting is organised by COPOLAD, together with the National Council on Drug Abuse of Jamaica, the host country, with the cooperation of the Inter-American Observatory on Drugs (OID) of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD-OAS) and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).
The meeting aims to promote bi-regional cooperation and the exchange of mutual experience between the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the EU, and is organized in close coordination with the European Network on Drugs and Drug Addiction (REITOX), that involves all of the EU countries.
Associated operational objectives
0.1 - Establish the necessary operational bases to ensure the quality and coherence of the work to be performed and the necessary coordination and participation of all partners.
0.2 - Have adequate baseline information to: provide specificity to the contents and the actions planned in each component; meet initial expectations of each partner in relation to its participation in COPOLAD; and facilitate the programme evaluation.
0.3 - Ensure visibility of COPOLAD and its activities and disseminate the contents in the main political and professional forums in the field of drug policies to be held both internationally and in CELAC.
0.4 - Establish the necessary institutional contacts to avoid duplication with already developed initiatives and ensure synergies with ongoing initiatives, both within the EU and CELAC.
1.1 - Study and assess changes from C1 on the existing needs, to define specific final contents of foreseen activities under Component 1; adjusting them to different groups of countries, in order to establish and/or reinforce the role of National Drugs Observatories in CELAC countries
1.2 - Promote the establishment of sustainable information-sharing agreements between NAs, NDOs and other stakeholders in CELAC countries, which can provide key information to assess threats and deal effectively with the new psychoactive drugs.
1.3 - Test, develop or update evaluation and monitoring tools, processes and tasks, necessary to deepen the knowledge of the drugs situation in CELAC countries with well-established NDOs.
1.4 - Implement a sustainable bi-regional cooperation capacity building strategy focused on enhancing the reporting capacity of NDOs being in an early stage of development.
1.5 - Implement a cooperation capacity building strategy in key areas identified, with special focus on the assessment of rising trends of problematic use of specific drugs.
1.6 - Continue to develop training opportunities focused in building capacities for strategic planning and the use of monitoring methods and tools, which can be mutually complementary.
During the first two days of the meeting (5th – 6th December) the results of the Study on the CELAC National Drug Observatories (2016), were presented. This information provided the necessary bases to facilitate the final definition of contents and countries interested in the Working Groups (WG) foreseen for the National Drugs Observatories’ Component (Component 1 of COPOLAD).
The rest of the week was devoted to conduct 2 paralel courses: Course A) Research methods (20 participants); and course B) Esential concepts of the Observatories’ work (21 participants).
The meeting was attended by a total of 64 experts:
Representatives from all Latin American countries (18 countries / 20 participants).
Representatives of 86% of the Caribbean countries (13 countries / 18 participants).
Five European countries (5 participants).
Inter-American Observatory on Drugs (OID) of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission, Organization of American States (CICAD / OAS), (3 participants).
European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), (2 participants).
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), (1 participant).
The teaching team was integrated by professors belonging to the following institutions:
Autonomous University of Madrid; Spain
Catholic University of Uruguay; Uruguay
University of Saint George, Grenada
Fundación Universitaria Sanitas,Colombia
University of West Indies, Jamaica
The Executive and Coordination Body (ECB) of COPOLAD (3 participants).
The percentage of CELAC countries having a NDO, has increased, at least a 50% (from baseline situation).