The non Governmental Organisations Association Diogenis, PRAKSIS, Positive Voice, Cetre for Life, Promitheas and the Association of people in Treatment by OKANA express their views on the National Strategy (2014-2020) and the Action Plan (2014-2016) on drugs in a letter to the National Drug Coordinator Mrs. Chr. Papoutsopoulou-Diamantopoulou.These organizations had requested last June to enable civil society organizations to submit their views. After their letter to the Prime Minister the national coordinator answered positively. The organizations welcome the positive response and comment on five key points of the National Strategy:
a. The relationship between the National Strategy and specific priorities in the National Action Plan.
b. The shift of interventions from repressive policies to policies that guarantee human rights and promote public health
c. The interdepartmental coordination of institutions, government bodies and non-governmental organizations
d. The cooperation with NGOs and
e. The continuous review and assessment of programmes and actions.
The NGOs agree with the objectives of the National Strategy. They note, however, that “the planning framework of the Strategy should be accompanied by specific priorities in the Action Plan for the period 2014-2016.” The general impression of the organizations is “that the present draft Strategy recognizes the need to implement major changes in drug policy, but the Action Plan 2014-2016 is lagging behind in terms of specific proposals for their implementation.”
The Organisations are ardent supporters of major changes contained in the new drug strategy. They mention specifically two main points which they consider should be implemented immediately. One is the topic of “shifting the focus of interventions from repression to policies that guarantee human rights and promote public health” and the other is the is the proposal to address the lack of interdepartmental coordination and promote networking among organizations that provide services, government bodies and non-governmental organizations” as well as the need to evaluate programmes and actions.