OAS statement

We are sharing our hemisphere’s perspective on WDP.  Role of OAS.  For 27 years we have worked with all our member states.  CICAD.  I am Executive secretary.  We have three strategies.  Coordinate policies, work on mutual evaluations, offer technical assistance, share good practices with all the countries in the region.  Grateful for their presence here.  Support their drug strategies.  Colombia meeting at Cartagena prepared report on America.
Two major concerns.  1) Increase in consumption in region and 2) increase in violence linked to drug trafficking.
Four major issues.
1) Drug problem manifests in different forms in each country
2) links between drugs and violence complex.
3) use of drugs requires public health focus, which requires more resources and evidence based program.
4) multiple and diverse approach, understanding of various realities and both united and diversified.  Have heard a lot here from participants that it is contradictory to say that drug addicts should be treated as patients and at the same time penalized for that and related criminal activities.  Have to look for alternative approaches for people who have committed crimes based on dependency.
Depenalization of personal drug use adopted by 12 countries in our hemisphere. 2) what are next steps to take for OAS for member states.  We are approaching end of period for disseminating report.  Considered in Guatemala.  We have Antigua declaration.  What are the next steps?
Our member states have identified certain areas we want to share.
1) deepen public health based approach to drug problem.  Disease identified in 2010. But countries have been slow to integrate that approach into their strategies and invest resources.  We have been able to attract interest of ministers of health.
What followed was specific and concrete activities.  Established joint directions for work with ministers of justice.
2) Judicial reforms, proportionality of sentences and alternatives to incarcertation.  Severe laws have led to prison overpopulation but drug use has not stopped at the threshold of our prison.  Root of problem not addressed.  Need for alternative measures based on respect for human rights but maintain and guarantee public security.  Addressed in Antigua Declaration.
3) more intensive cooperation in combating money laundering and adminsitration of seized assets.  Closer cooperation with regard to NPS.  Worked with Europe on that too.  Reiterate that we are willing to put our report at the disposal of this meeting.  All reiterate need for cooperation based on scientific evidence with respect for specificity and needs of each country.  Call for a broad debate on drugs involving all sectors of society, all stakeholders who can contribute their experience.

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