Lima Hosts Second High-Level Conference on Alternative Development

By Dialogo
November 19, 2012

Representatives from 32 countries and 10 international organizations got together from November 14-16 for the Second High-Level International Conference on Alternative Development, in Lima, Perú.

Focused on finding substitutes for coca cultivation, the conference is a great opportunity to measure and compare results regarding alternative development, supply control, prevention and rehabilitation, said Carmen Masias, head of Peru’s National Commission for Development and Life Without Drugs (Devida) and conference organizer, according to Andina news agency.

Masias urged participants to redouble their efforts to fight drug-related crimes through alternatives to coca production, and emphasized that everyone has something to teach as well as something to learn, “as all countries are involved in this, either as producers or as consumers,” she stated.

The conference included a trip to the city of Tarapoto in San Martin, where participants witnessed firsthand the advances made by organizations already working with alternative development programs in Peru, reported Peruvian newspaper El Peruano.

According to Devida, the conference served as a forum to draw up agreements and measures to improve the practices and results of alternative development projects in regions that want it.

While the Bolivian delegate urged countries to reinforce their drug fight by exchanging information and tracking drug money, Masias reinforced that thought by reminding participants to, “act as brothers, reaching consensus on the fight against drug trafficking,” according to Andina.

She called for countries to support alternative development by introducing new products, “such as coffee and cacao, two substitute crops that have worked well for Peru’s campaign to eradicate coca,” she concluded.

An address calling for the improvement of anti-drug policies in participating countries that are sponsored by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime concluded the conference.