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CICAD: Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism (MEM)

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CICAD: Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism (MEM)

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CICAD: Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism (MEM)

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CICAD: Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism (MEM)

What is MEM?

 

BACKGROUND

The creation of a multilateral evaluation mechanism which would make periodic recommendations to member states on improving their capacity to control drug trafficking and abuse and enhance multilateral cooperation, was proposed at the Second Summit of the Americas in 1998. The Heads of State and of Government of the Americas turned the concept of multilateral evaluation into a mandate, declaring in the Plan of Action that their countries would undertake the following specific action:

“Continue to develop their national and multilateral efforts in order to achieve full application of the Anti-Drug Strategy in the Hemisphere, and will strengthen this alliance based on the principles of respect for the sovereignty and territorial jurisdiction of the States, reciprocity, shared responsibility and an integrated, balanced approach in conformity with their domestic laws;

With the intention of strengthening mutual confidence, dialogue and hemispheric cooperation and on the basis of the aforementioned principles, develop, within the framework of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD-OAS), a singular and objective process of multilateral governmental evaluation in order to monitor the progress of their individual and collective efforts in the Hemisphere and of all the countries participating in the Summit, in dealing with the diverse manifestations of the problem.”

Based on these mandates and in order to execute them, the twenty-third regular session of CICAD (May 1998) formed an Inter-Governmental Working Group on the Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism (IWG-MEM) headed by Canada and Chile, in order to design the mechanism to begin in 1999.

OBJECTIVES

The objective of the MEM is directly to strengthen mutual confidence, dialogue and hemispheric cooperation in order to deal with the drug problem with greater efficacy. It follows the progress of individual and collective efforts of all the countries participating in the Mechanism, indicating both results achieved as well as obstacles faced by the countries. Other objectives of the MEM are:

  • Identifies the strengths, weaknesses, progress, and setbacks in each member state and of the hemisphere, in order to help orientate policies and programs to confront more effectively the drug problem.
  • Assists countries in generating internal support to fight the drug problem and stimulating change and development of the systems in drug control.
  • Offers countries the opportunity to request technical or financial assistance and training to implement the MEM recommendations.

THE MULTILATERAL EVALUATION PROCESS

The Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism (MEM) is an instrument designed to measure the progress of actions taken by the 34 member states of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD). This evaluation is carried out through the elaboration and publication of national and hemispheric reports on the progress in drug control. Acting on a mandate from the Second Summit of the Americas, the MEM was created in 1999 with the objective of increasing coordination, dialogue, and cooperation within the 34 member states in order to confront the drug problem more efficiently.

The evaluation reports produced during the MEM process are drafted by government experts designated by OAS member states. Each country is entitled to one main expert and alternate experts, with the specification that each country has only one voice, and experts do not participate in the evaluation of their own country. These experts compose the Governmental Expert Group (GEG), a multidisciplinary group that ensures the objectivity and the multilateral component of the MEM.

PRINCIPLES OF THE MEM PROCESS:

  • Respect for sovereignty, territorial jurisdiction, and the domestic laws of States
  • Reciprocity, shared responsibility and an integrated balanced approach to this issue
  • Observance of the Anti-Drug Strategy in the Hemisphere and international agreements and instruments in force

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MEM:

  • Governmental, singular and objective with the participation of specialized representatives of the governments
  • Transparency, impartiality and equality to assure an objective evaluation
  • Full and timely participation of the States based upon mutually and previously established rules and procedures of general application to guarantee an equitable evaluation process
  • The exclusion of sanctions of any kind
  • Respect for the confidentiality of the deliberations and the information provided by States, in accordance with established norms and procedures

     

MEM STAKEHOLDERS:

The "Procedural Manual", an updated edition of which was approved during the Fifty-Second Regular Session of CICAD, outlines and defines the roles of the various stakeholders that are involved in the MEM process. The following is a summary of the main points of the Procedural Manual:

  • Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD): approves the reports drafted by the Governmental Experts Group (GEG) and the recommendations made by the Inter- Governmental Working Group (IWG)
  • Governmental Expert Group (GEG): analyzes the information provided by member states and drafts the national and hemispheric reports. The GEG is composed of experts from different areas affected by the drug problem. Each member states designates an expert and each country has a principal expert and at the country's discretion may also appoint an alternate expert. Regarding the structure, function, and characteristics of the GEG, the GEG is headed by a General Coordinator and Assistant General Coordinators (the Coordinators are chosen by the GEG at the beginning of each evaluation round), works in the form of working groups, and governmental experts do not participate in the evaluation of their own country.
  • National Coordinating Entities (NCEs): are designated by each member state at the beginning of each evaluation round with the objective of collecting and reporting the information which is then evaluated by the GEG. The National Coordinating Entity in each member state has the responsibility of providing and coordinating the official answer of the country to the indicators and to questions made by the GEG.
  • Inter-Governmental Working Group (IWG): comprised of all member states, the IWG reviews and prepares proposals for the MEM’s next round, evaluating and strengthening the MEM through its continuous updates from round to round. This review includes modifications to the instrument itself as well as a revised version of the cycle of activities and the MEM’s Manuals.
  • MEM Unit: The MEM Unit was established within the CICAD Executive Secretariat to support and coordinate all the activities of the process and to provide technical support to all the stakeholders that participate in the MEM process.

THE SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS AND THE MEM

The Second Summit of the Americas held in Santiago, Chile in April 1998, acting through the OAS, asked for the creation of a mechanism to evaluate progress in the field of drugs on a common, shared basis as the beginning means of pooling and coordinating better the work of individual nations.

The Second Summit of the Americas: Santiago, Chile

Summit participants proposed the creation of a multilateral evaluation mechanism which would make periodic recommendations to member states on improving their capacity to control drug trafficking and abuse and enhance multilateral cooperation.

The Heads of State and Government of the Americas turned the concept of multilateral evaluation into a mandate, declaring in the Plan of Action that their countries would undertake the following specific action:

“Continue to develop their national and multilateral efforts in order to achieve full application of the Anti-Drug Strategy in the Hemisphere, and will strengthen this alliance based on the principles of respect for the sovereignty and territorial jurisdiction of the States, reciprocity, shared responsibility and an integrated, balanced approach in conformity with their domestic laws;

With the intention of strengthening mutual confidence, dialogue and hemispheric cooperation and on the basis of the aforementioned principles, develop, within the framework of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD-OAS), a singular and objective process of multilateral governmental evaluation in order to monitor the progress of their individual and collective efforts in the Hemisphere and of all the countries participating in the Summit, in dealing with the diverse manifestations of the problem.”

The Third Summit of the Americas: Quebec City, Canada

The first reference-fixing evaluation round of the MEM for all CICAD member states, based on sixty-one indicators, presented its results and recommendations at the Third Summit of the Americas in Québec City, Canada in April 2001. In its support for the MEM, the Summit declared in its Plan of Action that the Governments would:

“Note with satisfaction the creation and implementation of the MEM, and reiterate their commitment to make this instrument, unique in the world, a central pillar of assistance toward effective hemispheric cooperation in the struggle against all the component elements of the global drug problem;

Implement the proposals and recommendations found in the national and hemispheric reports, approved by CICAD, in accordance with the specific situation of each country;

Continue strengthening and reviewing the MEM to monitor national and hemispheric efforts against drugs, and recommend concrete actions to encourage inter-American cooperation and national strategies to combat this scourge;”

THE FIFTH SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS: Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

During the Fifth Summit of the Americas, in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, in April 2009, the member states reiterated their support to the MEM, in the Declaration of Commitment of Port of Spain:

"72. We will increase our efforts to prevent and combat all aspects of the global drug problem and
related crimes, with strengthened international cooperation and an integral and balanced
approach based on the principle of common and shared responsibility, in accordance with the
principles enshrined in the United Nations and OAS Charters, international law and our
applicable legal frameworks. To this end, we will strengthen our national capacities and will
continue to implement, as appropriate, the recommendations of the Multilateral Evaluation
Mechanism (MEM). We welcome the completion of its latest Evaluation Round, and we will
continue strengthening the Mechanism so as to enable it to face the new challenges and needs
of the countries of the Hemisphere. We also recognise the importance of sustainable alternative
development programmes and, where appropriate, of preventive alternative development in
tackling the global drug problem".


updated on 1/9/2013 12:40:51 PM