COPOLAD meets countries’ demand from Latin America and the Caribbean to visit the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) which is reference agency of the EU. Spain leads this yearly initiative that on this occasion convenes in Lisbon more than 80 experts with the objective to keep promoting development and cooperation among the National Drug Observatories of the CELAC region. Portugal successful example serves as a reference for best practices in the region and will be presented to the visiting countries.
The 2nd COPOLAD II Annual Meeting of National Drugs Observatories was attended by the National Drug Observatories from 32 countries of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the EU countries, acting as referents in this Component. The meeting had the input and support of both, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and the Inter-American Observatory on Drugs (OID-CICAD), among other institutions working in this field.
The objectives of this year’s meeting were:
to provide and in-depth view on the EMCDDA role and activities, as well as the work performed by the General Directorate for Intervention on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies (SICAD), as an example on how organizes its activities a EU country in this field;
to widen the previous training provided regarding the Trendspotting methodology as a method to complement other ways of collecting information; and
continue developing the tasks foreseen for the ongoing working groups in Component 1, especially those focused in Early Warning Systems and National Drugs Report.
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.
Twelve key note presentations were covering the first objective of the meeting. Ten CELAC countries presented their background situation, providing the basis for developing the Trendspotting exercise. And finally, the COPOLAD’s working groups 1.3 and 1.5, provided participating countries with tools and the roadmap to progress in the implementation of Early Warning Systems and National Reports of Drugs; these two groups were supported by key documents prepared to facilitate a South-South cooperation approach between countries, having the input of five EU countries participating as referents.
2nd Annual meeting is held to enhance internal and external coordination among relevant actors as well as other actions included in the component.