Ambassador Paul E. Simons, Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) of the Organization of American States (OAS) visits the EMCDDA today to discuss with the agency’s Director Wolfgang Götz perspectives for the next EMCDDA–CICAD work programme (2014–18).

The EMCDDA collaborates with CICAD under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in 2000 with its parent body, the Organisation of American States (OAS) (1). In the context of the MoU, the two bodies hold regular coordination meetings to fine-tune work programme activities and assess progress.

During today’s visit, Ambassador Simons and Coordinator of the Inter-American Observatory on Drugs (OID) Francisco Cumsille, will also explore with Alexis Goosdeel, Head of the EMCDDA’s Reitox and international cooperation unit, possibilities for deepening relations under the EU’s Cooperation Programme between Latin America and the European Union on Drugs Policies (COPOLAD). During the talks, the visitors will evaluate the CICAD–OAS contribution to a recent COPOLAD training course, hosted by the EMCDDA, on contemporary approaches to drug monitoring (2) and prepare the ground for the next COPOLAD training activity to be held in Santiago de Chile in December 2013.

This afternoon, the staff of the EMCDDA and its national focal point in Portugal, the General-Directorate for Intervention on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies (SICAD), along with Portuguese experts in the drugs field, will hear Ambassador Simons present the findings of the Report on the drug problem in the Americas 2013. This report, released in May this year, was presented to the OAS Member States meeting in Antigua Guatemala from 4–6 June at the 43rd regular session of the OAS General Assembly (3).

Totalling around 400 pages, the report is divided into two volumes: the Analytical report and the Scenarios report. The former explores the use of different drugs in the OAS countries, the effects on social exclusion and respect for human rights and the possible forms of treatment and prevention practised today. The Scenarios report, on the other hand, examines the various paths the drug phenomenon could take in the region in the coming years if different responses were followed. These alternatives are presented as four scenarios — Together, Pathways, Resilience and Disruption. Rather than policy options, the scenarios are presented as contributions to support strategic policymaking. The report is the first of its kind produced on the drugs problem throughout the region and will be used to foster dialogue on the future of the drug strategy in the Americas.

On 5 November Ambassador Simons visited SICAD where he held talks with Portuguese National Drug Coordinator, Dr João Goulão.

(1) Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD)
(2) COPOLAD training course
(3) See Drugnet Europe 83