The latest phase of the EU-funded Central Asian Drug Action Programme (CADAP 7), is celebrated today in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan). The EMCDDA is participating in the official launch ceremony as one of the EU agencies providing ad hoc support to the programme until 2024 (1).

CADAP is a drug demand reduction initiative designed to promote the development of effective, comprehensive drug policies, based on scientific evidence and best practice.

Five Central Asian countries participate in the programme: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The overall objective of the programme is the gradual adoption by the five countries of EU and international good practice on drug policy in order to contribute to reducing drug use and its associated risks and harms. The programme assists Central Asian governments in developing integrated, science-based drug policies which include a gender and human rights-based approach.

CADAP 7 reflects the EU’s long-term engagement with Central Asian partners to help further strengthen their national policies in drug demand reduction (CADAP dates back to 2003).

CADAP beneficiaries include: policymakers, drug experts, penitentiary and hospital staff, media professionals, teachers, drug users, prisoners, young people and the general public. The latest phase of the programme is implemented by the Fundación Internacional y para Iberoamérica de Administración y Políticas Públicas (FIIAPP).

The launch ceremony will be followed by a CADAP Steering Committee meeting on 30 March. This body will meet once per year to provide policy guidance, review progress and facilitate overall programme implementation.

The events this week will be attended by representatives of the: Central Asian Beneficiary State agencies; EU Delegations to Central Asian countries; European Commission, diplomatic bodies, international organisations, other Central Asian regional programmes, agencies and FIIAPP.

The importance of identifying global drug trends that could impact on the European drug situation is underlined in the EMCDDA Strategy 2025. Among the agency’s work in the area of international cooperation is support for EU-funded regional drug programmes of this kind.

The EMCDDA has provided support to CADAP in previous phases for more than a decade.