On 20-22 April, ISSUP was delighted to hold its three day annual meeting with representatives from our existing and potential National Chapters, which totalled 33 countries being represented.
ISSUP took the opportunity to discuss areas where we can further support the important work of the National Chapters, and it allowed us to thank them for their enthusiastic efforts delivering the mission of ISSUP around the world.
The online meeting was a moment for our Chapters to share time together and identify and to begin to address key issues that are relevant to their work. The event included fantastic videos reflecting the recent work of the National Chapters, and allowed us to hear from them on a variety of issues. Short videos were presented, reflecting examples of their creativity and commitment, and they demonstrated how much the Chapters have achieved over the past year in spite of the challenges of COVID-19 and limited resources.
This celebration of the work and achievements of the ISSUP Chapters, and the appreciation for their contribution to their countries (and to ISSUP), was evident in the messages of thanks from the ISSUP Global staff and Board and the extremely positive inputs from colleagues at UNODC, African Union, CICAD, Colombo Plan, ICUDDR and INL.
The meeting identified key issues to be addressed in the months ahead. It re-emphasised the need for Chapters and their host organisations to strengthen collaborative working with major international organisations, both to realise the full potential of ISSUP's work and to meet the shared objectives of achieving a professional drug demand reduction workforce focused on evidence-based, high quality and ethical policy and practice.
Melody Heaps, Chair of ISSUP, ended the meeting with the message ‘we are one family, speaking one language’ and we are very proud of the work the family are undertaking!