Initiatives for Sub-Working Group 2.2 - Information Sharing, Interagency Collaboration and Policy Formulation

Support the Development, Implementation, and Monitoring and Evaluation of National Drug Policies, Strategies, and/or Plans of Action

Initiative that promotes the development and implementation of national drug policies, strategies, and/or plans of action through strengthening institutional capacities of the Americas in the formulation, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of drug policies and strategies. 

This initiative seeks to address the lack of drug policies and action plans for implementation, and incomplete draft drug policies that need to be approved. Drug policies determine and articulate actions, interventions, and programs that address various aspects of the drug problem. Likewise, they represent a political commitment that stimulates discussions and coordinates work between different state sectors and other key actors in order to achieve a comprehensive, effective, and collective response to the problem.  

The methodology supports the policymaking process from drafting to approval. Technical assistance (in-country and virtual) and training provide guidance, knowledge, and skills in formulating national drug policies, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation plans.  

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Creating Strategies for New Psychoactive Substance Institutional Response

Initiative that builds and strengthens the institutional capacity to address the Fentanyl problem and other emerging to new psychoactive substances (NPS) in the countries. Fentanyl and other NPS are the most common drugs involved in overdose deaths. It is often added to other drugs because of its extreme potency, which makes drugs cheaper, more powerful, more addictive, and more dangerous.

This initiative seeks to reduce deaths, health consequences, violence, and other related issues to Fentanyl and other NPS by strengthening and coordinating institutional strategies to provide an effective response through inter-agency coordination, strategic planning of interventions, and referrals to services and programs.

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Increased capacity to Prevent, Detect and Respond to Diversion of controlled drugs/substances/medicines through multisectoral and multidisciplinary training on the Universal Curriculum on diversion

The Universal Curriculum on Diversion of controlled medicines – Prevent, Detect, Respond aims at supporting countries, especially low- and middle-income countries, in building their capacity to address the diversion of controlled substances used for medical and scientific purposes. Diversion of these substances can happen at any stage from manufacturing, distribution and even at the final stage – disposal. While prevention, detection, and response to diversion of controlled substances feasible, it requires a multisectoral and multidisciplinary approach. 

Tackling the issue of diversion also requires a set of evidence-based national policies as well as, well-trained staff in various settings including health care systems to apply prevention, detection, and response measures. 
The Universal Curriculum on Diversion of controlled medicines – Prevent, Detect, Respond contain of a set of trainings aiming at supporting countries in building capacity of work forces in different settings to apply control measures and minimize diversion at early stages with appropriate and effective approaches. 

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Universal Curriculum on diversion of controlled medicines – Prevent, Detect, Respond

This project initiative consists of development of a Universal Curriculum on diversion of controlled medicines. This curriculum will allow the development of the required strategies to prevent, detect and respond to this phenomenon, which is the underlying cause of non-medical use and misuse of these substances, and constitute a major public health issue in many countries around the world. 

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Establishing functioning networks of drug epidemiologists and toxicologists in East and Southeast Asia

With the emergence of potent synthetic drugs, information from epidemiologists and toxicologists has become a critical component of drug policy development. However, there is a significant lack of information from epidemiologists and toxicologists in East and Southeast Asia largely due to the prevailing enforcement and seizure focused approach to addressing drug matters across the region. To address this challenge and broaden the scope of the approach utilized by governments in East and Southeast Asia to address the synthetic drug challenge, this initiative aims to establish functional networks among epidemiologists and toxicologists in the region to address the information gaps, support regional early warning purposes, and integrate their insight for developing drug policies.  

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Enhancing engagement with policymakers to address synthetic drug challenges in Southeast Asia

Addressing evolving synthetic drug challenges requires a mix of enforcement, legal, regulatory, health and education responses. In Southeast Asia, there have been limited channels to engage with policymakers (particularly parliamentarians) and provide them with briefings and trainings on synthetic drug matters and associated security and public health challenges despite the existence of relevant parliamentarian committees at the national level. UNODC proposes to address this gap by creating new channels to better engage with policymakers and provide them with the latest data and information through this initiative for developing national and regional synthetic drug policies.  

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UN Toolkit on Synthetic Drugs

The UN Toolkit on Synthetic Drugs supports the international community to implement comprehensive responses to counter the synthetic drugs problem.  
The Toolkit was created in response to Resolutions 61/8 (2018) and 62/4 (2019) of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs which called on UNODC, WHO, INCB and the international community to develop new and innovative approaches to address the international threats posed by the non-medical use of synthetic drugs.

The Toolkit is a one-stop shop coordinated by the UNODC Synthetic Drug Strategy which brings together a wide range of guidance and resources from a variety of specialised agencies across the UN system. 

The Toolkit is tailored to experts, practitioners, and policymakers in the fields of health, law enforcement, forensics and research and contains over 350 practical resources and tools. The Toolkit is available in all six official UN Languages. 
The content of Toolkit is organised into modules on different topics such as forensics, postal security, access to medicines, legal approaches, treatment and prevention and precursor control. New modules, tools and resources are being added to the Toolkit on a continuous basis to keep it current, beneficial and relevant.

The UN Toolkit on Synthetic Drugs was developed by UNODC in collaboration with the World Health Organization, the International Narcotics Control Board, the Universal Postal Union and the World Customs Organisation. 

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Increasing institutional capacity of Law Enforcement, National Revenue Authorities [Customs Department], National Prosecution Services, National Medicines Regulatory Authorities, National Quality Control Laboratories, and prosecutors to identify, detect and prosecute synthetic drugs to reduce their trafficking and mitigate their public health impact

Increasing institutional capacity of Law Enforcement, National Revenue Authorities (Customs Department), National Prosecution Services, National Medicines Regulatory Authorities, National Quality Control Laboratories, and prosecutors to identify, detect and prosecute synthetic drugs to reduce their trafficking and mitigate their public health impact. 

UNODC ROSAF will provide training to the police, customs, ports/airports authorities, national medicine regulatory authorities, national quality control laboratory and prosecution services in 5 identified countries under ROSAF in line with WCO, INTERPOL and UNODC tools and International Standards and best practices. 

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International Network for Legislation on Drugs [INLOD]

While addressing the manufacture and trafficking of illicit drugs is of paramount importance to global public health and security, it is crucial to acknowledge the existing gap between policy-making expertise and legislation in this domain. The novel and fast-evolving nature of synthetic drugs presents unique challenges for policymakers who may lack the requisite knowledge and expertise to formulate effective responses. This initiative addresses this lack of expertise, which can hinder the development of robust legal frameworks and set back international cooperation.  

Building the International Network for Legislation on Drugs (INLOD) project will be part of a global effort with multiple international partners. INLOD will serve as a knowledge exchange platform for parliaments/legislators and their professional staff, and policy makers, in the Americas to collaborate, generate, and share best practices, sample legislation, and relevant information on global drug-related legislative actions. Parliamentary members, policy makers, and international experts of this initiative will be able to contribute to harmonizing best practices on drug-related legislation, promoting horizontal cooperation, and generating valuable tools (e.g., sample legislations and procedures) through virtual and in-person technical groups, regional and international fora. In addition to finding legislators to champion this initiative, a critical component is to include legislative staffers and aides. These individuals often draft the laws, offering working-level access to individuals who can implement legislative change. The goal of creating this framework is to develop a cadre of legislators to work on model legislation by the provision of draft legislative agendas focused on synthetic opioids.  

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DAIS: Comprehensive and Sustainable Alternative Development

According to the mandate of the OAS Hemispheric Drug Strategies and its corresponding plan of action, ES-CICAD is collaborating with the Expert Group on Comprehensive and Sustainable Alternative Development (known by its Spanish-language acronym GEDAIS), to provide a political forum for dialogue and development of policy and guidelines. Alternative development seeks to provide vulnerable communities involved in substance production and or trafficking with a livelihood away from crime and drugs. Alternative development efforts in the Americas have focused on crop substitution and rural development. In those efforts, ethnic and female-led productive associations have been vital in sustaining the fight against illicit crops and protecting the environment. 


Under the work of the GEDAIS, it is possible to identify certain key areas that require support. Such issues include but are not limited to (i) DAIS challenges in natural protected areas and the preservation of biodiversity, (ii) DAIS in the framework of designing national drug policies and strategies, (iii) DAIS as a strategy to contain environmental crimes, (iv) marketing of DAIS products and positioning in sustainable markets, and (v) inclusion of ethnic and gender approaches into DAIS programs to counter vulnerability caused by drug-related illicit activities. 

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Policy Makers Against Synthetic Drug Trafficking [PMAST]

While addressing the illicit manufacture and trafficking of synthetic drugs is of paramount importance to global public health and security, it is crucial to acknowledge the existing gap in policy making expertise in this specific domain. The novel and fast-evolving nature of synthetic present unique challenges for policy makers who may lack the requisite knowledge and expertise to formulate effective responses. Policy Makers Against Synthetics Trafficking (PMAST) addresses this lack of expertise, which can hinder the development of robust legal frameworks and hinder international cooperation. 

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SNOOP: State-of-the-art targeting tools and enforcement capacity to combat online synthetic opioids, dangerous NPS & related chemical trafficking

OPIOIDS Project | SNOOP (Scanning Novel Opioids Online Platforms) tool for use by enforcement focal points provides vendor marketplace profiles weekly for targeting the Boards lists of synthetic drugs with no known legitimate uses.  SNOOP supports capacity and special international operations and develops special alerts, notices and actionable intelligence packages to detect, deny, disrupt and dismantle organized crime groups exploiting online services. 

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Next Generation Targeting Tools that Stop Synthetic Drugs, Dangerous NPS, Fentanyl & Related Chemical Trafficking: GRIDS Targeting Assist

GRIDS Targeting Assist (GTA) uses advanced structured data algorithm to identify linkages in INCB GRIDS’ IONICS communications and identify source of trafficking that would otherwise go unnoticed. The current proposal deploys the GTA algorithm as part of the IONICS suite of operational tools with 24/7 access to all enforcement focal points. This proposal is a force multiplier of frontline officer capacity and provides continuity and sustainability of national efforts to combat synthetic drugs, dangerous NPS, fentanyl and related chemical trafficking. 

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Next Generation Targeting Tools that Stop Synthetic Drugs, Dangerous NPS, Fentanyls & Related Chemical Trafficking - PING

The GRIDS Pre-flight Incident Notification Gateway (PING) allows international organizations or national government with IONICS access, to automate their requests verifying whether specific importer or exporter geospatial coordinates are associated with suspicious shipment or seizures of synthetic drugs, dangerous NPS, fentanyl and related chemical substance via IONICS. Developed to allow the Universal Postal Union’s (UPU) Dangerous Good Search Tools (DGST) to ping IONICS, it instantly returns a stoplight match score for potential secondary inspection prior to being loaded onto a plane and automates at-scale what is currently possible manually by focal points without the burden of data exchange 24/7.    

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Next Generation Targeting Tools that Stop Synthetic Drugs, Dangerous NPS, Fentanyl & Related Chemical Trafficking: Cyber-Communications Centre

Since 2019, the GRIDS Programme linked capacity building training, state-of-the-art targeting tools and Regional Technical Officer (RTO) facilitated intelligence exchange has directly contributed to the dismantling of numerous organized crime groups at their source. At the core of the GRIDS Programme is its Cyber-Communications Centre (GC3) providing 24/7 access to the IONICS suite of operational tools. This proposal builds on the multi-agency fusion centre model, with scalable IONICS communication system, GRIDS Intelligence HD, GRIDS Targeting Assist (GTA), Pre-Flight Incident Notification Gateway (PING), E-Learning Individual Training Environment (ELITE) and the Scanning of Novel Opioids on Online Platforms (SNOOP) targeting platforms for national and international enforcement focal points, enhancing their capacity that stop synthetic drugs, dangerous NPS, fentanyl and related chemical trafficking.

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