|Manager of the NCSA, Yolande Forde, addressing the closing ceremony yesterday. (C. Pitt/BGIS)|
A multisectoral review committee has been formed to ensure that the final report on Barbados’ National Anti-Drug Plan is a true representation of issues raised during the just concluded two-day consultation.
Manager of the National Council on Substance Abuse (NSCA), Yolande Forde, made this disclosure yesterday after the curtain came down on a two-day national consultation for the Barbados Anti-Drug Plan at the Amaryllis Beach Resort.
"What we have done here at the closing is form a multi-sector review committee. As the consultant goes away and begins to compile the mass of information put out during the consultation over the last two days, we would then have a review committee sit down from each sector and agree that it is a true and fair representation of what was put forward by the groups," she said.
Speaking to the media following the closing ceremony, Ms. Forde said the Attorney General had made a request for Barbados’ plan to be completed by the next quarter, and all efforts were being made to have it ready by the end of June. "Based on what our consultant has indicated, we are on stream to meet that particular deadline," she said.
The consultant is also expected to use all the information garnered and bring it together in one all-encompassing comprehensive document.
Ms. Forde explained that the consultative process was critical to ensuring that Barbados had a well-designed, well-constructed, national anti-drug plan. "To devise a plan like this and have it implemented means that there are a number of critical steps that you have to take, which means you have to have all the necessary stakeholders in drug control present, you have to have their buy-in, you have to have their interest, you have to let them take ownership of the process," she stated.
The NCSA Manager pointed out that several issues were raised during "think tank" sessions held during the consultation. She explained that groups focused on five key areas: institutional strengthening, demand reduction, supply reduction, control measures and international cooperation.
"In this regard, we, as the drug control stakeholders are ensuring that the Barbados National Anti-Drug Plan is well aligned to the Hemispheric Drug Strategy and its plan of action," she stressed.
Participating agencies included representatives from the Barbados Postal Service; the Barbados National Drug Service; Regional Security Systems; other members of law enforcement, officials from the area of drug demand reduction, educational institutions and a representative to facilitate international cooperation.