In August 2019, ISSUP and its National Chapters in Latin America were invited to take part in the XX Meeting of the Drug Demand Reduction Expert Group in Colombia. The three day meeting was organised by the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) and brought together experts from more than 20 Caribbean and Latin American countries. The Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission of the Organization of American States (OAS) serves as the preeminent Western Hemisphere forum for policy discussion and hemispheric cooperation on drugs. Representatives from governments and international organisations came together to share their experience and practice in drug demand reduction and develop recommendations for working with adolescents in prevention and addressing trauma in the treatment of substance use disorders.
CICAD provided a comprehensive overview of their work in the region and presented the results of the latest Report on Drug Use in the Americas. UNODC shared the latest version of the International Drug Use Disorders Prevention and Treatment Standards to inform and guide the development and implementation of programmes and initiatives in the region. Colombo Plan offered an overview of their training programmes and drug trends and data in Asia. The meeting provided an open space for exchange of experiences and an intercultural dialogue between Latin American, Caribbean, Asian and African countries to learn about each other's work within the drug demand reduction field.
ISSUP's Livia Edegger participated in a panel alongside CICAD's Andrea Escobar and ISSUP Argentina's Gustavo Mäusel. Livia gave a presentation on ISSUP global and its work in the region, followed by Gustavo who shared his experience in establishing ISSUP Argentina and their plan for the future. Andrea presented on the role of CICAD in the creation and management of Chapters in the region.
We would like to express our sincere gratitude to CICAD for inviting us and our Chapters to participate in the meeting and express our appreciation for their dedication and hard work in the region.