The CELAC-EU bi-regional meeting of the European COPOLAD programme represents a landmark in reducing drug demand in Honduras
Panama City hosted the third bi-regional meeting for the exchange of good practices in reducing drug demand between the countries of Latin America-The Caribbean and the European Union. The meeting was organized by FIIAPP, within the framework of the COPOLAD project funded by the European Union, in collaboration with the Spanish Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Health, as well as the Panamanian Public Prosecution Service through the National Commission for the Study and Prevention of Drug-Related Crimes (CONAPRED).
The meeting provided a space to present the progress achieved so far in the field of quality in Drug Demand Reduction (DRD) by the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. It also served as a space to jointly explore the main challenges facing the institutions that play a key role in the planning and implementation of the DRD quality policy, in order to optimize their efforts in a coordinated manner and thus move towards legal frameworks for quality assurance for programmes and services in this area.
Ensuring the quality of DRD programmes and services is a basic aspect of drug policies, given their direct impact on improving quality of life, living conditions, health and life expectancy among the population.
In recent decades, excellent tools and guides have been developed to facilitate informed decision-making regarding quality and evidence in the areas of preventing and treating problematic drug use. All these developments aim to facilitate the implementation of strategies, plans, programmes and services in this area aligned with the principles of respect for human rights, gender equality, the public health approach and consideration of effectiveness and efficiency criteria.
Since 2012, the Cooperation Program between Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union on Drug Policies (COPOLAD) has promoted a process in which all National Drug Agencies of the 33 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean have taken part, in addition to more than 200 experts and the collaborating civil society multilateral agencies and bi-regional networks IDPC and RIOD.