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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 213 - Misuse of drugs [British-Irish Council] [11475/05].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 213 - Misuse of drugs [British-Irish Council] [11475/05]. (13 Apr 2005)

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213. Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if he will report on the work of the British-Irish Council on the misuse of drugs which is being led by the Government; the Irish representatives involved; and the progress made in developing a framework for future co-operation in the areas of demand reduction and supply reduction. [11475/05]

Minister of State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Mr. N. Ahern): As the Deputy may be aware, the British-Irish Council was established under the Strand Three Provisions of the Good Friday Agreement as a forum to promote the harmonious and mutually beneficial development of relationships among the peoples of these islands for its members to exchange information, discuss, consult and co-operate on matters of mutual interest within the competence of relevant member administrations.

At the first British-Irish Council Summit meeting in December 1999, it was agreed that the Irish Government would take responsibility for advancing work in regard to the problems of misuse of drugs. At the BIC Summit in Dublin on 30 November 2001, members agreed elements for a framework for future BIC co-operation in this regard focusing on the two key areas of demand reduction, incorporating prevention and treatment, and supply reduction, incorporating law enforcement. The drugs strategy unit of my Department has the lead in this regard, with input and representation from other Departments and agencies as appropriate. In this context, members have organised conferences and seminars on a range of topics including targeting the proceeds of drugs trafficking, the diversion of young people at risk of drug misuse, opportunities for training and employment to recovering drug misusers, drugs awareness campaigns, emerging trends and treatment modalities in drug misuse and business support for anti-drugs strategies.

Ministers have also met on three occasions to review work and agree future priorities. In the current year, a number of themed meetings are being held with members leading on a range of topics. To date, one such meeting has taken place on the topic of drug-related deaths which Wales hosted in Cardiff. Two more meetings are planned for the coming months on the topics of children of substance misusing parents in Scotland and formal and informal education work with young people in Guernsey. In addition, Ministers will meet in July to review this work and discuss future activities in this area. The Government remains committed to the work of the British-Irish Council as part of the institutional framework of the Good Friday Agreement. It provides a unique opportunity to work together, in a practical manner, to examine the complex issues of drug misuse and further enhance co-operation between members. Ireland is very pleased to continue to be the lead administration in this important work.

Vol. 600 No. 2
Wednesday, 13 April 2005
Item Type
Dail Debates
Publication Type
Irish-related, International
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
13 April 2005

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