James Mack, Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), visited the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) in Lisbon today for talks with EMCDDA Director Wolfgang Götz. The focus of the visit was the endorsement of a new EMCDDA–CICAD work programme for 2011–13.
The EMCDDA collaborates with CICAD under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) it signed in 2000 with CICAD's parent body, the Organisation of American States (OAS)(1). In the context of the MoU, the two bodies held their annual coordination meeting in Washington in June this year to fine-tune the programme signed today.
Strategic objectives outlined in the three-year plan include: strengthening regional and international monitoring systems; harmonising and developing indicators in the areas of drug supply and demand; and supporting the establishment of national drug monitoring centres and drug information networks.
In line with the programme, the organisations will be releasing next month a joint handbook on building national drug observatories, a significant component of the EMCDDA–CICAD partnership. The upcoming publication is designed to support the establishment and development of national drug monitoring centres in Europe — including non-EU countries — and in Latin America. The handbook will be launched mid-October at events in Brussels and Montevideo (2).
Later this week, the EMCDDA and CICAD Directors will attend in Coimbra the EU–LAC City Forum, held under CICAD’s EU–LAC Drug Treatment Partnerships, an initiative funded by the European Commission (3). At the event, participating mayors will ratify, sign and launch a new EU-LAC City Partnership in Drug Demand Reduction, as agreed at the Drug Summit of European, Latin American and Caribbean Mayors and Cities earlier this year (4).
The Coimbra City Forum is being organised with the technical support of the Portuguese Institute on Drugs and Drug Addiction (Instituto da Droga e da Toxicodependência/IDT). A key figure at the event will be Chairman of the EMCDDA Management Board João Goulão.