OAS agrees to adopt new hemispheric counter-narcotics strategy

The Washington D.C.-based Organization of American States have agreed to adopt a new hemispheric strategy that will call on member states to conduct more periodic and independent evaluations of counter-narcotics efforts.

OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza called on member countries a year ago to reevaluate and reshape the Anti-Drug strategy in the hemisphere.

“The adoption of the new Hemispheric Drug Strategy is the culmination of one year of collective work,” Insulza said in a statement.  He added that the revised strategy constitutes “a gratifying event for me and probably so for the member countries of the OAS, because they can see that their efforts to confront face to face one of the great problems of our continent are not sterile but capable of results such as this.”

The agreement – called the Hemispheric Strategy for Drugs – includes recognizing drug addiction as a chronic illness and proposes a greater emphasis on treatment. Member states will also be required to strengthen national counter-narcotics organizations and boost their support for hemispheric strategies.

The strategy calls on member states to consider the impact of poverty and marginalization, gender, and promote open debate on drug-related topics with civil society. The agreement also reportedly places a greater emphasis on human rights.

Meanwhile, the representative in Peru for U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Andrew Herscowitz, said the U.S. will likely provide about $150 million for counter-narcotics activities this year in the Andean country, similar to 2009 levels.

“We are talking about more than $150 million from the United States in 2009,” Herscowitz  told state news agency Andina. “For 2010 it is still not determined and I don’t want to talk about numbers still, but we have an expectation that there won’t be a large difference between [2009 and 2010].”

Peru is the world’s second largest manufacturer of cocaine, after Colombia. A report by the International Narcotics Control Board, however, said the country’s growing illicit cultivation of coca leaf – the raw material used to make cocaine – and consequent drug supply could surpass Colombia in five to 10 years.

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One Comment

  1. rick bourne says:

    let a doctor prescribe the drug legalize it tax it let the world go on its way everybody will be much happier instead of all this wasted killings and jealousy of money for cocaine

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