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Latin America and the Caribbean at 3rd Annual COPOLAD Conference: "The gender perspective needs to be included in drugs policies"

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Published on 19/06/18

Latin America and the Caribbean at 3rd Annual COPOLAD Conference:

Sofia, 19 June 2018. The International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policy (FIIAPP) along with the Government Delegation for the National Plan on Drugs (DGPNSD) organise n Sofia (Bulgaria) the 3rd COPOLAD II Annual Conference: "Women and drugs policy: Progress and challenges in the implementation of the gender approach and the empowerment of women as a cross-cutting matter".

This Conference provides a framework for appropriate dialogue, giving the opportunity to drugs policymakers in the European Union (EU) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) to exchange information, as well as to agree on cooperation actions between the countries of both regions, and between them and the multilateral organizations operating in them.

The opening session is chaired by Mrs. Aneliya Ivancheva, from the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Bulgaria in Brussels and Mrs. Danielle Veira, Director of National Security of the Cabinet of the Presidency of the Republic of Suriname, on behalf of the EU and the CELAC, respectively, as representatives of the countries that share the presidency of the CELAC-EU Coordination and Cooperation Mechanism on Drugs. The session is opened by Celine Ruiz, on behalf of the European Commission, Sofia Aragón, from the Government Delegation for the National Plan on Drugs (DGPNSD), representing Spain as a leading country in charge of implementing the COPOLAD Programme, and Germán García da Rosa on behalf of FIIAPP, the Spanish Cooperation Entity managing the programme.

International cooperation for the inclusion of gender issues in public drugs policy.

For two days participating delegations will explore the consideration of the gender perspective and the empowerment of women as an indispensable element in the design and implementation of public policies, what continues to be a challenge in terms of response, in practice and cross-cuttingly, also in the field of drugs.

Some of the major international and European reference organizations in gender issues, such as UN Women and its programme Evidence and Data for Gender  Equality (EDGE), next to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), the European Council, the European Commission, CICAD of the Organization of American States, PAHO of the World Health Organization, CARICOM, as well as bi-regional networks AIAMP, IDPC and RIOD, are participating in exploring the best way to move forward in this priority theme for the Global Development Agenda. The CELAC countries have responded massively to this call, this way all beneficiary countries of the programme in the region will be present this time.

Broadening the look towards women as a social justice measure

Cultural and social definitions of what it means to be male and female are behind much of gender inequalities, and the practical consideration of these differences is still a great challenge to address, in a comprehensive way, with equity policies that allow going beyond the development of isolated activities of attention to the women in high vulnerability situations.

A promising aspect is that new National Drug Strategies and Plans published in the CELAC countries are beginning to incorporate the gender approach, promising examples of these developments will be presented at this conference.

COPOLAD Annual Conference

In its third edition, the COPOLAD II Annual Conference underscores the consideration of the gender perspective and women's empowerment as an essential element, specifically when it comes to providing economically sustainable and socially just solutions in the area of drugs policy.

The Celebration of the Annual Conferences of the COPOLAD programme involves a unique annual occasion for drug policy officials of governments of CELAC and EU countries to be able to jointly explore lines of action in a framework of bi-regional cooperation.

The 3rd COPOLAD II Annual Conference is being held in Sofia (Bulgaria) from 19 to 20 June 2018.

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