Senator the Honourable Dr. Amery Browne, Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs participated in a virtual Ministerial Meeting hosted by United States Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, to launch the Global Coalition Against Synthetic Drug Threats on 7th July, 2023.
The meeting attracted over fifty-eight (58) countries and 10 regional and international organizations, that focus on illegal drugs and associated issues. The United States Government is seeking to work with interested countries to respond to the growing security and public health challenge of synthetic drugs. Illicitly-manufactured synthetic drugs such as fentanyl, tramadol, cathinones, synthetic cannabinoids, methamphetamine, captagon, MDMA, and ketamine pose a complex public health and security threat that all stakeholders - law enforcement, regulatory, commercial and public health entities - around the world must work together to address.
During the meeting, Minister Browne delivered this country’s National Statement, reaffirming Trinidad and Tobago’s commitment to working closely with the United States of America and all partners of the Global Coalition, to combat the grave and growing risk of illegal synthetic drugs to the health and safety of people around the world. The Minister also acknowledged that the illegal use of synthetic drugs is slowly increasing in Trinidad and Tobago among citizens and indicated that the Government is working assiduously to put measures in place to counter these challenges, including the establishment of The Early Warning System Trinidad and Tobago (EWS-TT) Working Group.
The EWS-TT is an inter-institutional, multidisciplinary network comprised of key stakeholders which issue alerts about new psychoactive substances (NPSs); undertakes training and sensitization webinars and workshops for practitioners in law enforcement and health and the general public; and fosters partnerships among stakeholders to reduce demand, investigate and interrupt transhipment.
The outcome document adopted at the conclusion of the Meeting was the Ministerial Declaration on Accelerating and Strengthening the Global Response to Synthetic Drugs which is a non-binding agreement to stress the importance of the issue and an agreement to work together to address the related challenges. The Global Coalition is intended to complement existing multilateral bodies and efforts and recognises the importance of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs to coordinate efforts.
Following the establishment of the Global Coalition, the United States and Partners are expected to collaborate in working groups to offer new solutions, drive national action and advance combatting synthetic drugs as a policy priority. The Global Coalition will meet again in the margin of the 78th United Nations General Assembly to share the Global Coalition’s work with a broader audience and support the advancement of international drug policy.