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In order

Barbados’ Anti-Drug Plan will be well-aligned to the Hemispheric Drug Strategy and its plan of action.

This assurance has come from Manager of the National Council on Substance Abuse, Yolande Forde, who pointed out that Barbados’ plan was a requirement of the Hemispheric Drug Strategy plan of action.

Addressing the closing ceremony of the National Consultation on Barbados’ Anti-Drug Plan at the Amaryllis Beach Resort yesterday, Forde further noted that Barbados, like other members of the Organisation of American States, was about to embark on the sixth round of the Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism.

“The MEM is a monitoring and evaluating instrument designed to measure the progress of actions taken by the 34-member states of the Organisation of American States to combat the hemispheric drug problem and other related offences,” she said.

Forde explained that the MEM questionnaire for this exercise evaluation would be more succinct than in previous rounds, and moreover, its structure on this occasion was specifically derived from the same plan of action of the Hemispheric Drug Strategy.

“In terms of the Multilateral Evaluation [Mechanism], departments and agencies would soon be receiving copies of the instrument from the NCSA, and a member of our staff would be in contact with you with regard to responding to the questions where our BARDIN (Barbados Drug Information Network) database resource is inadequate,” she said.

The manager explained that some of the information required to complete the questionnaires could be gathered through the BARDIN. However, she pointed out that in cases where there were information gaps, the NCSA would approach the relevant departments or agencies to get that information.

“I agree that going forward we need to organise ourselves at the NCSA to provide the majority of information that is needed for the MEM through our Drug Observatory or BARDIN,” she disclosed.

The manager stressed that all agencies responsible for collecting information relating to specific areas of drug control needed to contribute to BARDIN, which was the central repository and disseminating mechanism of information in the drug control sector.

Forde gave the assurance that the NCSA would continue to build stronger relations with its drug control partners and seek to establish opportunities for greater engagements.

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