Minister of State: Alex White
As current holders of the Presidency of the EU, "Ireland sees this as a very important time for drugs policy".
That's according to Alex White, Minister of State at the Department of Health.
The Minister made the comments while speaking as host of a meeting of the EU National Drug Co-ordinators in Dublin Castle that ran yesterday and Monday.
The meeting brought together drug policy formulators from member states and EU Institutions under the theme: 'From Use to Recovery: Experiences and Future Approaches in Drug Policy'.
Speakers from Ireland’s statutory, community and voluntary sectors addressed the meeting and covered a range of topics relating to Ireland including drug prevalence; drug treatment provision; rehabilitation; and Irish legislation to tackle drugs supply, all with a focus on policy issues.
Delegates from across the EU member states and EU Institutions also provided valuable contributions and responses covering drugs policy across the EU.
Minister White spoke in relation to the agreement reached on an EU Drug Strategy saying: “One of our priorities is to finalise agreement on the EU Action Plan on Drugs 2013-2016 which will facilitate the implementation of the strategy up to 2016.”
He referred to the complexities and difficulties of the drug phenomenon and said he thought it was truly global in nature. He also noted the fact that problems were being experienced by individuals, families and communities on the ground.
The Minister said he was aware of his responsibility for the implementation of the Irish National Drugs Strategy, and the structures established to maximise the chances of the 63 Actions of the National Drugs Strategy being implemented.
“At EU level too we must address the challenge of ensuring that there is a focus on the implementation of agreed actions, particularly through the Horizontal Working Party on Drugs, but also through robust links with other EU bodies and through meetings of the EU National Drug Co-ordinators.”
On the worldwide level he added: “If we as the EU can speak with one strong voice at international fora we can really make an impact on the overall global drugs situation.”
My Purple Chair
The My Purple Chair title was born from my favourite place to sit and think about what's happening in the world. It's old but comfortable. So i suppose it's a bit like myself!