Latin American Informal Drug Policy Dialogue

4 December 2007

In 2007, the Transnational Institute (TNI) and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) started a Latin American Informal Drug Policy Dialogue. The initiative was to modelled on the dialogue process in Europe that started in 2004. Purpose of the dialogue is to have an open-minded exchange of views on current dilemmas in international drug policy making and discuss strategies on how contradictions might be resolved.

The meetings are guided by 'Chatham House Rules' to encourage a free exchange of thoughts and confidentiality. Participants include government officials, representatives from the United Nations and Latin American and other international institutions, and non-governmental drug policy experts and academics engaged in an open-minded debate about ongoing trends.

  • Final report of the meeting in Buenos Aires, October 22-24, 2009 (>Download PDF)
    The sixth meeting was held in the Hindu Club, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina.  The meeting was organized by WOLA and TNI, and sponsored by the Argentine Government through the Chief of Cabinet and its Scientific Advisory Committee with the support of our colleagues of Intercambios.  Participants included 38 persons from Latin America, Europe and the United States who are directly or indirectly involved in the current reform processes of national and international legal instruments related to drug issues.  Debates centered on three key areas: (1) Reforms in policies regarding the prevention and treatment of problematic use of substances; the future of Harm Reduction programs in Latin America; (2) Decriminalization of possession; limits to and extent of current penal reforms; and (3) Legal reforms in the international arena: the case of the coca leaf.
  • Final report of the meeting in Rio de Janeiro, February 26-28, 2009 (>Download PDF)
    The fifth meeting of the Informal Drug Policy Dialogues in Latin America took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and was organized by the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and the Transnational Institute (TNI), in cooperation with the Department of Mental Health of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Justice of Brazil. The discussion focused on the UNGASS review process and the Political Declaration to be adopted at the high-level segment of the 52nd session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, held in Vienna on March 11 and 12, 2009. The dialogue in Rio de Janerio focused on three key issues: (1) Latin American Perspectives on the Political Declaration; (2) The Effectiveness of the Conventions: The Case of Latin America; and (3) Human Rights and Policies Related to Drug Law Enforcement.
  • Final report of the meeting in Cochabamba, 29-30 August 2008 (>Download PDF)
    The fourth meeting in the series of Informal Dialogues on Drug Policy in Latin America was held in Cabañas Tolavi, Cochabamba, Bolivia. The meeting was organised with the support of the Government of Bolivia, in coordination with the CONALTID secretariat in the Ministry of Foreign Relations. 25 people from different countries in Latin America, Europe and the United States who are directly or indirectly involved in the debates on current policies participated in the meeting. The dialogue was structured around three sessions covering the following topics: (1) Progress and Challenges in the UNGASS Review Reflection Period; (2) Coca Leaf and Integrated and Sustainable Development: What are the options for the future? / Integrated and Sustainable Development: Can the international community play a new role in supply control policies? (3) No Escape? The Prison Problem and Drug Policy in Latin America: proposals for change.
  • Final report of the meeting in Quito, February 21-23, 2008 (>Download PDF)
    The third meeting of the Informal Dialogue on Drug Policy in Latin America took place in Quito, Ecuador. The event was organized with the support of the Government of Ecuador – the Ministry of Internal and External Security and the Ministry of Government – and focused on the evaluation mandated by the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on Drugs, or the UNGASS review, to take place between March 2008 and March 2009, and the high level meeting to be held prior to the March 2009 meeting of the Commission on Narcotics Drugs (CND). The dialogue was carried out in four sessions: (1) From the Andean Initiative to Plan Colombia (1989-2005): results and impact in Latin America; (2) Perspectives for Latin America in the 2008 – 2009 UNGASS review; (3) Criminal justice, the prison system and drugs: a human rights perspectives; (4) Proposals and strategies for the 2008 reflection period and for the UNGASS review to be completed in 2009.

  • Final report of the meeting in Montevideo, 10-12 September 2007 (>Download PDF)
    The first meeting of the Informal Dialogue on Drugs Policy in Latin America, an initiative of the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and the Transnational Institute (TNI), took place in the Hostería del Lago Hotel, Montevideo, Uruguay. The meeting had the support of the National Drugs Council in Uruguay (Junta Nacional de Drogas or JND), who helped with logistical organization and offered their generous hospitality to the participants. Twenty-five people took part from eight countries in Latin America, Europe and the US, all of whom are actively involved in current political debates.


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