Joining forces against demand for drugs in Central Asia
A report from the 2nd Regional Steering Committee Meeting, 31 January 2017, in Astana/Kazakhstan
Delegations from five Central Asian countries came to Astana/Kazakhstan to take part in the 2nd Regional Steering Committee Meeting of the Central Asia Drug Action Programme (CADAP). The meeting highlighted partner countries’ achievements in effectively reducing both drug demand and supply.
In its 6th phase, which started in April 2015, CADAP has continued to strengthen its five Central Asian partner countries’ capacities in the design and implementation of drug policies and a comprehensive, integrative and sustainable approach to reducing both drug demand and supply.
On 31 January 2017, it brought together key partners from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan as well as representatives from EU Member States’ embassies and international organisations to take part in its 2nd Regional Steering Committee Meeting. CADAP convened this meeting to promote dialogue, mutual learning and exchange amongst partner countries’ national authorities, the EU and its consortium of implementation partners (see textbox). Together, they took stock of achievements in this phase and set priorities for its remainder.
|As part of the EU Central Asia Drug Action Plan 2014-2020, CADAP 6 is implemented by a Consortium of EU institutions, namely the Trimbos Institute (the Netherlands), ResAd (Czech Republic), the National Bureau for Drug Prevention (Poland), and Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences (Germany), led by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The programme adheres to the principles, standards and practices of both the Action Plan and the EU Drug Strategy (2013-2020). Its goals are the reduction of HIV incidence and illegal drug use, and increased capacities of institutions providing services for drug users in communities and in prison settings. Since 2010, Germany has supported CADAP’s steering and coordination. By adhering to the guiding principle of the Sustainable Development Goals, “leaving no one behind”, CADAP also contributes to Germany’s engagement in Central Asia.|
A flagship EU programme in Central Asia
The conference began with opening remarks by representatives of CADAP, the Government of Kazakhstan and the European Union Delegation, who all highlighted the importance of having delegations from all 5 Central Asian countries present at the Steering Committee.
Mr. Rolf Mafael, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Germany to Kazakhstan, emphasized that CADAP is one of the flagship EU programmes in Central Asia, providing an excellent framework for exchanging the EU’s best practices and experience with Central Asian partners.
Mr. Sultan Kussetov, Head of the Department for Combating Drug Trafficking and Drug Control, Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, highlighted the positive results which have already been achieved in the areas of drug strategy and treatment. However, he also drew participants’ attention to the emerging threat of new psychoactive substances (NPS), a topic requiring further CADAP efforts and support.
A forum for professional exchange between equals
CADAP’s Consortium of implementation partners expressed gratitude towards the Central Asian Governments for their willingness to openly discuss drug policy issues and developments. They emphasized that the cooperation between the implementing partners and beneficiary countries is based on a professional exchange of ideas and concepts between equals, and that it must ensure that the specific needs of each of the five Central Asian countries are taken into account.
Next, the Consortium partners presented important achievements of the current programme phase: Drug Information systems have been established in all five Central Asian countries and Drug Policy Reports were elaborated for all of them. The implementation of prevention measures at the local level in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan can also be called a success: 1400 teachers, 100 instructors and 28,000 parents were trained in ways to encourage young people to live healthy lives, safeguarding against the harmful effects of smoking, alcohol and drug abuse.
National Focal Points (also known as National Drug Observatories) are already fully operational in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, whereas the process of institutionalization has started in the other countries. Meanwhile, National Working Groups of experts (substance abuse specialists, psychologists, social workers) and of NGOs have been established in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan for conducting trainings on treatment issues and fostering the implementation of international standards of treatment of drug use disorders.
Following the Consortium partners’ presentation of achievements, representatives of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Central Asia as well as of the new EU funded programme “EU ACT” suggested new topics for CADAP cooperation, including law enforcement, data collection and the exchange of expertise in the fields of alternative measures to incarceration and NPS.
A keen interest in extending CADAP 6
In his address to the participants, Mr. Luca Carapelli, Project Manager of the European Union Delegation to the Kyrgyz Republic, emphasized that the European Union has a keen interest in extending the ongoing project phase until October 2019. For this programme extension it will provide an additional budget of € 1,6 Mio. All Central Asian delegations expressed their wholehearted support for this proposal, reaffirming their willingness to contribute to this successful regional cooperation.
Sarah David, CADAP Junior Advisor & Ernest Robelló, CADAP Project Leader