The 1994 United Nations World
Drug Demand Reduction Conference for Non-Government Organizations (NGO's)
held in Bangkok issued a mandate that NGOs form regional and hemispheric
coalitions. The intent was for NGOs to develop a method for organizations to
exchange ideas, materials, and people. Such exchanges would help NGOs become
more effective in their individual drug prevention activities.
The Drug Prevention Network of the
Americas (DPNA or RIPRED in Spanish) was formed as a result of this mandate. At
the Bangkok meeting, 65 representatives met from South America, the Caribbean,
and North America. This group formed an
ad hoc board with ten representatives that met the following year in Fort
Lauderdale, Florida, to continue the dialogue and form a hemispheric alliance.
The board adopted the name DPNA at the Fort Lauderdale meeting and accepted an
invitation to participate in Paraguay's first drug demand reduction conference
held in Paraguay in 1995.
Coalition Building Meetings
Paz Regional Meeting 1996
At the invitation of Bolivian
members, DPNA conducted a regional meeting in La Paz in 1996 where NGOs
formalized their relationships and recruited new DPNA member organizations.
Immediate outcomes of the session included an active interchange of ideas among
member NGOs via the Internet and e-mail.
Support to Latin American Mayors Against Drugs Conference
In 1995, the US Ambassador to Brazil requested DPNA to provide technical
assistance for the
Latin American Cities Mayors Against Drugs Conference
to be held in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Working with Col. Jim Dandridge of the US
Department of State, DPNA established a local organizing committee. The
well-attended conference established DPNA's reputation as a technical assistance
organization. The conference concluded with ninety-four Latin American mayors
signing the Declaration of Sao Paulo, pledging their cities never to legalize
drugs within their municipal districts.
First Global Conference on Drug Demand
The San Paulo meeting led to an invitation to DPNA to co-host with
CEDRO, the major drug prevention NGO in Peru,
the First Global Conference on Drug
Demand Reduction jointly sponsored by the Government of Japan, and the US
Department of State. The Conference, organized by DPNA, was attended by more
than thirty Asian delegates and an equal number of Latin American delegates.
Despite postponement due to the seizure of the Japanese Embassy in Lima, the
conference demonstrated that DPNA could conduct major world conferences that
furthered the resolve of attending NGO's to continue their battle against drug
abuse and its harm to their specific populations.
Peoria, Illinois, Western Hemisphere
Drug Demand Reduction Conference
In 1998 Delegates from 30 NGO's spanning from Latin America to Canada convened
in Peoria, Illinois for the Second Western Hemisphere Summit on Drug Demand
Reduction. Under the direction of the steering committee of DPNA consisting of
membership from both North and South America, representatives from 17 countries
as well as the Civic Alliance were invited to participate. Peoria, Illinois was
selected as the site since it represented across-section of America and was
typical of mid-sized American cities where civic involvement is more readily
perceived. . Representatives from mid-western drug prevention organizations and
US elected officials at the State and congressional level were able to
interact--many for the first time--with organizations from Latin America who
share their anti-drug abuse agenda. The highlight of this meeting was the
development of a five-year strategic plan for demand reduction priorities.
Delegates proposed creation of an Internet portal to coordinate the demand
reduction activities of the Western Hemisphere countries.
Second Global Conference on Drug Demand
Positive evaluations by conference participants at the First Global Conference
on Drug Demand Reduction led to an invitation to DPNA to co-host a
Second Global Prevention Conference,
held in Bangkok during spring 1999. DPNA and Colombo Plan members worked with a
local host agency in Thailand, and jointly planned the sessions. The resulting
conference was attended by more than 500 individuals from over 60 nations.
Meeting attendees again gave extremely positive evaluations to the meeting,
lauding its content and new ideas. The meeting concluded with the participants
passing the Bangkok Resolution.
Included in the resolution was a
concept presented by DPNA to establish a global Internet portal to coordinate
the activities of NGO's involved in drug demand reduction. Members of DPNA were
assigned to the Special Global Standing Committee to establish a World Wide Web
site for the use of NGO's.
Third Global Conference on Drug Demand
In September of 2000, over 700 delegates from over 70 countries convened in
Palermo, Sicily, Italy for the Third
Global Conference. The event organized by DPNA and the host organization
CASA Rosetta. At the conference, the delegations agreed that there was a need to
establish an international framework for the coordination of prevention
activities across the globe. A global committee was appointed to develop a
strategic plan for the creation of such a body. The event also concluded with
the unanimous passage of the Palermo Declaration.
Fourth Global Conference on Drug Abuse Reduction
The Fourth Global
Conference on Drug Abuse Prevention which had the theme “Skills for
Drug Abuse Prevention” was successfully held in Penang, Malaysia from 13 to 17
May 2002. It was organized by the Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Programme and
hosted by the National Drugs Agency Malaysia in collaboration with IFNGO and
PEMADAM Malaysia with funding from the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law
Enforcement (INL), US Department of State and the Government of Japan.
The objectives of the IV Global Conference were to enhance specific skills in
drug abuse prevention ; develop the global network on drug abuse prevention;
share best practices on innovative approaches in drug abuse prevention;
and forge linkages among coalitions, NGOs and prevention practitioners in drug
abuse prevention. More than 300 participants from 39 countries attended the
International Conference on Drug Prevention
Fifth Global Conference on Prevention
was held in Rome and Pomezia, Italy, September 22-26,
world-wide event hailed 500 people in attendance (on average: 384), representing
no less than 84 countries. Successful
prevention programs presently being implemented in different parts of the world
were highlighted, as well as corresponding factors which produced the good
results achieved among target populations. Of considerable note was the presence
of a large delegation of African bishops involved in pastoral social work which
gave its input on cultural diversity while discussing the various Conference
themes. Interchange on a personal level, as well as the sharing that went on
among organizations and the various task forces, found fertile ground within the
framework of the Conference, empowering the participating countries and
organizations present through sharing with others the beneficial results they
International Experiences in the
Prevention of Drug Abuse
On June 25-27, 2001, 724 delegates
representing 286 institutions and 15 nations gathered in Lima, Peru in an effort
to further develop the DPNA network. The event was held in an outdoor setting in
Miraflores. The meeting was not only an exchange of prevention resources and
networking, it was a celebration of the joy of life without drugs. The event
became imbedded in the community and invited the community of Lima to join the
conference participants in music, dance and art. A 5,000 person parade down the
streets of Lima was a fantastic show of support by the international community
of a Drug Free Lima. The meeting concluded with the passage of the Lima
On July 22-26, 2001, over 200 Caribbean and Texas youth gathered in Port
Antonio, Jamaica to convene DPNA's first youth event. The event provided youth
the opportunity to learn more about how they can become active participants in
the prevention movement. It also helped them to understand that drug prevention
is an international effort and that drug abuse crosses all national lines. The
event concluded with the passage of the
CARYFONDA Declaration which
called for the establishment of a youth initiative in DPNA.
National Conference on the Prevention of
On November 15-18, 2001, DPNA members will convene a meeting at the Monastery of
the Jesuit Fathers in
Sao Paulo, Brazil to bring more attention to
the DPNA effort, share what we have learned from our previous conferences and
add more members. Our host organization for the event is APOT. At the meeting,
DPNA and the Global Prevention Network (GPN) will unveil the GPN web portal
which will be used to coordination the efforts of prevention groups world wide.
International Exchange on Student
Engagement in Leadership
On July 1-5, 2001, DPNA, in partnership with Texas A&M University via
TexLINC ill and BellNet acted upon the
CARYFONDA Resolution to launch a youth initiative. The focus of the
meeting was the use of peer mentoring and peer education programs as a
prevention tools. BellNET will serve as our host entity for the event that will
be held in Killeen, Texas.
International Task Force on Strategic Drug Policy
The International Task Force on
Strategic Drug Policy is an initiative developed jointly by DPNA and the
Drug Free America Foundation. It is an international coalition of drug
policy experts working together to promote sound drug polices and strategies
and to counter drug legalization. The Task Force developed the St.
Petersburg Declaration and is preparing recommendations on effective drug
policies for the global community to be presented to various international
drug policy organizations. Meetings of the Task Force have been held in St.
Petersburg, Florida 2001; Vancouver, British Colombia, 2002; Buenos Aires,
Forging Leadership Workshop Series
During 2002, 2003, and 2004 DPNA teamed with the Drug Free America Foundation to
host more than on dozen drug prevention workshops throughout Central and South
America. The purpose of these workshops was to broadcast DPNA/DFAF
guiding principles on drug issues. enlist new DPNA members.
Workshop addressed drug policy issues, preventive drug education, and community
and NGO Coalition building. Regular communication was maintained with
conference participants though the
www.ripred.org website and the RIPRED e-mail group.