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History of DPNA 


Background

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

 La 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. 

 Technical 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 Reduction

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 Reduction

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 Reduction 

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 conference. 

 Fifth International Conference on Drug Prevention

The Fifth Global Conference on Prevention was held in Rome and Pomezia, Italy, September 22-26, 2003. This 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 have obtained.

International Experiences in the Prevention of Drug Abuse

 Lima Drug Prevention Conference

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 Resolution. 

 CARYFONDA

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 Drugs

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.

 The 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, Argentina, 2003.

 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.