The meeting was hosted by the Government of Uzbekistan and brought together more than 70 participants including representatives from governmental institutions and international agencies. Mr. Dilshod Akhatov, Head of the Department for Cooperation with European Countries and NATO of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan, highlighted the role of CADAP in joining forces and working together with Central Asian countries to improve their drug policies, prevention measures among school children and drug treatment methodologies.
Head of the EU Delegation to the Republic of Uzbekistan, H.E. Ambassador Eduards Stiprais, emphasized that “it is highly appreciated that the governments of all Central Asian states have been closely cooperating with the EU in implementing the 6th phase of the programme. Let me repeat that your cooperation is a key factor for the programme’s success.”
Mr. Jörg Pudelka, Country Director of GIZ Offices in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan told in his welcoming speech that “we believe that a lot of hard work has been done […] in view of endorsing modern methods of drug demand reduction, providing and adopting modern drug treatment methodologies both in the public health and the penitentiary system, improving and strengthening of drug information systems as well as of drug abuse prevention and raising awareness among the population and target groups.”
National partners made presentations on the initiatives implemented under the framework of CADAP in 2017 in their countries. The EU experts presented success stories from their components, as well as the current and planned activities in the fields of policy advice, monitoring of the drug situation, prevention, drug treatment and harm reduction services in 2018-2019.
Highlights in 2017 included: a report on the state of play of drug policymaking in Central Asia; reports on the national drug situations in the CADAP countries; and a national school survey in Kyrgyzstan, which was based on the methodology of the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD). In 2017 the European Union invested 65 thousand Euro in the medical equipment for a dispensary for drug users in Kulyab, Tajikistan through CADAP, and procured two haematology analyzers for two dispensaries in Tashkent and Bukhara in Uzbekistan. In 2017, CADAP national partners were exposed to the European best practices in drug prevention, narcological treatment and drug policy during four study visits to Portugal, Germany, Poland and the Netherlands. In prevention, CADAP trained 1400 teachers, 100 instructors and 28000 parents as part of its prevention campaigns in Central Asia.
As CADAP’s current phase is coming to an end on 31 March 2018, this RSC meeting triggered discussions for the foreseen 18 months extension of CADAP till September 2019.
The future of CADAP was also extensively discussed during the meeting. For instance, it is planned to establish drug information systems and National Early Warning System for New Psychoactive Substances (NPS).
Given that Central Asia borders countries with dynamic markets for synthetic drugs, like China and Russia, such a context could also stimulate a growing spread for synthetic drugs in the future. Recently, Central Asian countries have been taken steps to develop legislative measures and forensic capabilities to address the emergence of NPS.
CADAP will further spread the knowledge on drug prevention quality standards. These initiatives will focus on both universal and indicative prevention, using science-based approaches to preventive intervention.
Furthermore, CADAP will develop a series of papers on drug demand reduction issues, including street work, dual pathology (coexistence of psychiatric disorders with substance abuse) and health programmes in community and prison settings.
A panel discussion on the foreseen CADAP extension phase and next steps to further strengthening EU-Central Asia cooperation on drug issues was also held. National partners and EU representatives discussed such specific issues as narcological registration in treatment, gender issues and the institutionalization of programme activities in their countries.
CADAP 6 represents continuity of the EU policy and long-term engagement with Central Asian partners to help further strengthen their national strategies in drug and drug demand reduction policies. The programme is co-financed by the European Union and BMZ.
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 the 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 the EU Drug Strategy (2013-2020) and Action Plan. Germany has supported CADAP’s steering and coordination since 2010.