Surinamer appointed head anti-drugs body
Former Surinamese Justice and Police Minister Chandrikapersad Santokhi has been appointed chairman of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission CICAD, a security organ of the Organisation of American States OAS. The 48th meeting of CICAD where the 51-year-old Surinamer was elected, is ongoing at the OAS headquarters in Washington.
Mr Santhoki’s candidature was proposed by Brazil and supported by Mexico and other Caribbean countries. Suriname’s President Desi Bouterse also supported Mr Santokhi’s candidature for the CICAD post, even though the two were political rivals. Mr Santhoki was a candidate for the presidency himself in the formation talks following the May 2010 elections. The government allocated a budget for Mr Santhoki’s campaign. President Bouterse said he was the right man to represent Suriname in CICAD.
The president of the former Dutch colony was himself convicted for drugs offences in absentia in the Netherlands in 2000. In a press release issued by the Surinamese cabinet, Mr Santokhi is quoted as assuring the body that he would do his utmost in the fight against drugs. OAS Secretary-General Albert Ramdin – also a Surinamer - said Mr Santokhi’s appointment was an acknowledgement of the efforts made by the Surinamese government on the illegal drugs trade in recent years.
CICAD was established by the OAS General Assembly in 1986 as the West’s policy forum on all aspects of the drug problem. Its core objective is to strengthen the human and institutional capacities of its member states to reduce the production, trafficking and use of illegal drugs, and to address the health, social and criminal consequences of the illegal drug trade.
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