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Argentine deputy Foreign Minister chairs opening of 19th High-Level Meeting of the EU-CELAC Coordination and Cooperation Mechanism on Drugs

18 May 2017
Información para la Prensa N°: 
193/17

Today, the Argentine Deputy Foreign Minister, Pedro Villagra Delgado, chaired the opening of the 19th High-level Meeting of the EU-CELAC Coordination and Cooperation Mechanism on Drugs, held at the Foreign Ministry in the city of Buenos Aires.

The meeting was attended by the Minister of Security, Patricia Bullrich, the Secretary for Comprehensive Drug Policies of the Argentine Republic (SEDRONAR), Roberto Moro, and the President of the Representation of Malta to the European Union Council, Stephanie Pappalardo.

This mechanism is aimed at promoting dialogue and cooperation between the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which comprises 33 countries, and the European Union (28 States). The Argentine Republic currently co-chairs the Mechanism alongside the Republic of Malta.

Ambassador Villagra Delgado stated that the mechanism "encourages debate, the exchange of ideas and good practices and, above all, information, so as to jointly address the World Drug Problem. The Argentine Republic believes that this scourge must be addressed from a comprehensive and balanced approach focused on the restriction of drug supply and the reduction of its demand, on the basis of the principles of common and shared responsibility and full respect for human rights and international law."

As regards the "common and shared responsibility principle", the Deputy Foreign Minister stated that "common" means that the problem concerns us all, and "shared" entails that each of us must make a contribution to reduce the supply and demand of drugs and psychotropic substances.

"Argentina actively promotes cooperation on bilateral relations and on the regional, hemispherical and international arenas in order to exchange information and coordinate actions against drug trafficking, not only as regards security but also in terms of money laundering practices that favour its growth. With the same determination, our country cooperates internationally on issues pertaining to drug demand and the health and social reintegration of drug addicts," underscored Villagra Delgado.

In this regard, he added that "the complexity of a territorial, comprehensive and individual-centred approach compels all levels of Government and social sectors to work jointly to provide effective multidisciplinary solutions. The fight against drug trafficking is one of the three pillars of action of the Argentine Government, in addition to zero poverty and uniting the Argentine people."

Among the new challenges faced by our States are designer drugs, Internet usage growth and easy access to modern technologies which provide new drug trafficking opportunities for criminal organizations," explained Deputy Foreign Minister Villagra Delgado.

Finally, he underscored that "tragedies such as the murder of journalist Javier Valdez Cárdenas in Mexico this week demonstrate the importance of this meeting and the action we can take on these issues. We express our solidarity with the Government and people of Mexico as regards these crimes, which show the influence, violence and lack of boundaries of drug traffickers. I am convinced that this type of events regrettably demonstrate, very precisely, the importance of this meeting and of all the work ahead of us."

Press release No. 193/17
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