The Report Background



The Heads of State and Government of the Americas, gathered at the Sixth Summit in Cartagena, Colombia, entrusted the OAS with the task of preparing a study on the drug problem in the Americas. In keeping with the wishes of the dignitaries, the study examined the results of current policy in the Hemisphere and explores new approaches for responding more effectively to the problem.

Under the leadership of OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, this study carries out a comprehensive analysis of policies applied in the Americas, and, based on the evidence found, highlight the strengths, weaknesses, and challenges in the implementation of those policies. The findings of the study provided the basis for a scenario analysis with a view to examining new approaches. The Secretary General is coordinating with the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the CAF (Development Bank of Latin America), and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The CICAD Executive Secretariat provided technical and administrative support for the study.

Two tracks

The study consists of two separate, but interconnected reports:

  • An analytical report surveys the current drug policy landscape by drawing on existing expertise (governments, civil society, academia or think tanks) and synthesizes lessons learned and a spectrum of policy options
  • A scenarios report maps out potential outcomes of several sets of policy options when exposed to a broad discussion of stakeholders in the drug problem in the Americas

The technical secretariat compiled and analyzed the information for the study, which was divided into the following chapters consistent with the different areas of the problem targeted by the study:

  1. The relationship between drugs and public health;
  2. The relationship between drugs and social development;
  3. The security challenges as reflected in the nexus between drugs, violence and organized crime;
  4. Production and supply of plant-based and synthetic drugs, pharmaceuticals, and chemical precursors;
  5. The economics of drug trafficking; and.
  6. The alternative legal and regulatory approaches to the drug problem.

Each chapter provided a baseline analysis of the current state of play in the region; examined best practices and promising new approaches being pursued by different countries, with the point of departure being the Hemispheric Drug Strategy, and outline challenges and obstacles to improved results.

Based on the findings of the Analytical Report, an exercise was undertaken to identify diverse approaches to the problem. To that end, potential scenarios were developed, capable of providing the Heads of State and Government of the Americas with courses of action for tackling the drug problem.

The study was delivered by the Secretary General in May 2013.

Advisory committee: OAS member states are receiving periodic briefings on the progress of both the analytical and scenarios reports.

A First Working Session

In early September 2012, OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza participated in a work session organized by the CICAD Executive Secretariat, aimed at agreeing on the methodology of the report. Accompanied by CICAD Executive Secretary Paul Simons, Insulza met with a select group of specialists on drug issues from across the Americas, who will be collaborating on the study. Insulza said the task to be carried out is a "mandate from the Presidents of the Americas," and expressed hope "that this is not just another report" on the subject, as the task entrusted to the OAS "has aroused a significant interest" in the region.

About 20 outside consultants joined CICAD and OAS staff on September 5-7, 2012 in creating an outline for the Analytical Report and assigning tasks of investigation and analysis to the participants.

CICAD Executive Secretary Paul Simons, OAS Secretary for Multidimensional Security Adam Blackwell and CICAD Assistant Executive Secretary Rafael Franzini-Batlle led the closing discussion about instructions for the Analytical Report.

updated on 1/9/2014 4:03:04 PM