GEORGETOWN, Guyana – A two-day regional workshop aimed at strengthening the capacity of National Drug Observatories representatives to gather, analyse and report on drug-related information got underway here on Wednesday.
The Guyana-based Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat said it is collaborating with the Inter American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) in hosting the workshop which is also to enable the development of evidence-based drug policies and programmes.
The event is part of the response under the Drug Demand Reduction (DDR) component of the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Crime and Security Programme between the European Union and the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM),
The DDR component seeks to strengthen institutional capacity of national and regional drug demand reduction entities and practitioners to effectively develop strategies and implement policies and programmes in CARIFORUM. The use of illicit drugs continues to rise in CARIFORUM countries and a lack of institutional capacity has been identified as one of the challenges in the response against this issue.
The two-day event will, among other things, review the results of household drug prevalence surveys which were recently done in the Caribbean; discuss the policy changes related to marijuana and their implications for research; and promote the standardized indicators for National Drug Information Networks Manual, along with data collection tools to pilot these indicators in selected countries across the region.
The secretariat said that delegates will also receive updates on the progress of the EU’s Cooperation Programme between Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union on Drug Policies (COPOLAD) working groups on early warning systems, annual reports and problematic drug use scales. The status of the 2018 Report on Drug Use in the Americas being drafted by CICAD.
Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan will address the opening ceremony, the Secretariat said. – CMC