Kingston, December 5th, 2016. 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, along with 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.
The opening ceremony was presided over by Dr. Winston De La Haye, chief physician of the Ministry of Health of Jamaica, accompanied by the Ambassador Malgordzata Wasilewska, head of the Delegation of the European Union to Jamaica, of Teresa Salvador-Llivina, Director of COPOLAD, Francisco Cumsille, Director of the Inter-American Commission on Drug Abuse Control (CICAD-OAS), and Cécile Martel, head of the international cooperation sector of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).
The Cooperation Program on Drugs Policies between Latin America and the European Union (COPOLAD), a European program managed by the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP), promotes this activity that will take place in Kingston from December 5th to 9th.
The strengthening of the institutions, key to improving the monitoring of the drugs phenomenon in Latin America and the Caribbean region
As emphasized in the Report on Drug Use in the Americas (CICAD, 2015), although the CELAC countries have made tremendous progress in their efforts to generate and analyse data on drug use, many challenges remain ahead. In many countries, it is necessary to establish or consolidate adequate resources and tools to guarantee the collection of reliable indicators on a periodic, sustainable and comparable basis.
COPOLAD bolsters the exchange of knowledge and the training of professionals in the National Drugs Observatories
This meeting meets a double objective: on the one hand to present the outcomes of the Study of NDO in the CELAC countries, 2016, that will serve as a basis to organize working groups that take place during the three coming years of the duration of the program. On the other hand, it contains a sound training load dedicated to the professionals in charge of implementing the initiatives in their respective countries.
This series of annual meetings aims to enhance the implementation and strengthening of the drugs Observatories in the CELAC countries in which they have been recently created or are in the process of creation, as much as enhancing the technical skills of the representatives and professionals from those already consolidated.
The second phase of the COPOLAD program is 100% funded by the European Commission, with a budget of 10 million euros that will be administered by Spain during the next four years.