The First Annual COPOLAD II Meeting of National Drug Observatories (NDO), in its first edition, brings together 71 senior officials from 13 countries of the Caribbean, 18 of Latin America, and 6 of the European Union (EU).
The meeting is being organised by COPOLAD along with the National Council on Drug Abuse of Jamaica, the host country, in addition to the Inter-American Observatory on Drugs (OID) of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD-OAS) and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). The objective is to promote cooperation and bi-regional exchange between CELAC and the EU, and it is organised in close coordination with the European Information Network on Drugs and Drug Addiction (REITOX), in which all the countries of the EU participate.
COPOLAD, an EU-funded international cooperation programme managed by the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP), is driving this activity which is taking place in Kingston from 5th to 9th December.
As indicated in the Report on Drug Use in the Americas (CICAD, 2015), although the CELAC countries have made great progress in their efforts to generate and analyse data on drug use, many challenges still remain. In many countries it is still necessary to establish or consolidate the resources and instruments for guaranteeing the collection of reliable indicators in a regular, sustainable and comparable way.
To meet these challenges, it is necessary to strengthen the observatories to give them the capacity to conduct high-quality studies in both epidemiological and qualitative terms. It is necessary to develop and improve the national information networks on drug use so that they can contribute in a stable way to collecting and disseminating information.
This event achieves a dual objective: first, that of presenting the results of the Study on National Observatories (NOD) in CELAC countries, 2016; and second, it contains a significant training component aimed at the professionals responsible for implementing the initiatives in their respective countries.
This series of annual meetings aims to promote the establishment and consolidation of drug observatories in the CELAC countries where they have recently been created or are in the process of being created, as well as to strengthen the technical capacities of the leaders and professionals in those where drug observatories are already consolidated.