This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BRUSSELS 000139
DEPARTMENT FOR INL/PC MAREN BROOKS AND EUR/SE SUZANNE YOUNTCHI; INL/AAE FOR LEON WEINTRAUB; USUNVIE FOR HOWARD SOLOMON
E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: EAID EU KCRM PREL SNAR EUN USEU BRUSSELS SUBJECT: CENTRAL DUBLIN GROUP MEETING: JANUARY 2004
REF: 03 BRUSSELS 03243
1. This cable contains an action request. See para. 8.
2. Summary. During its January 9 meeting, the members of the Central Dublin Group reviewed regional reports from the Baltic states (Norway), Central Europe (Netherlands), Northern Africa (Spain), Africa - apart from North Africa (France), the Caribbean (France), South America (Spain) and Central America/Mexico (U.S.). This was the first time the U.S. has served as regional chair for Central America and Mexico, having agreed to a temporary switch with Spain for South America. This was also the last time regional reports will be submitted for the Baltics and Central Europe as these countries will be joining the European Union on May 1. Two scientific presentations on the neurotixicity of cannabis were presented, one by Dr. Steven Childers of Wake Forest University. Members discussed the request by Turkey to join the Dublin Group, but took no action. Instead, they decided to develop criteria for the admission of new members, to be discussed at the next meeting of the Central Dublin Group in June. Raymond Yans of the Belgian MFA agreed to extend his tenure as Dublin Group Chair for another year. EU accession state members were present at the meeting as observers but will become full participating members at the next meeting. U.S. rep to the meeting was USEU/NAS Frank Kerber. End summary.
3. Dublin Group chair Raymond Yans opened the meeting with two technical presentations on the neurotoxicity of cannabis. The presentations were made by Dr. Steven Childers of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine and Dr. Thomas Lundqvist, associate professor and clinical psychologist at the Drug Addiction Treatment Center, Lund University Hospital, Sweden. Dr. Childers addressed the recent scientific findings on the actions of cannabinoids on the brain, and Dr. Lundqvist spoke about the practical behavioral and cognitive effects of short-term and long-term use. While no policy implications were drawn by the two experts, Dr. Childers opined that medicinal use of marijuana perhaps resulted in more negative effects than positive, and that direct administration of THC might be preferable to inhaling the drug (just as medicinal use of heroin as a painkiller is preferable to smoking opium).
4. The members reviewed regional reports from the Baltic states (Norway), Central Europe (Netherlands), Northern Africa (Spain), Africa - apart from North Africa (France), the Caribbean (France), South America (Spain) and Central America/Mexico (U.S.). (Reports will be pouched to INL/PC.) This was the first time the U.S. has served as regional chair for Central America and Mexico, having agreed to a temporary switch with Spain for South America. This was also the last time regional reports will be submitted for the Baltics and Central Europe as these countries will be joining the European Union on May 1. The U.S. report was well received and the recommendations contained in the report were adopted.
5. Bernard Frahi of the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Vienna presented a draft paper on the Paris Pact. The Paris Pact examines the opium route from Afghanistan to Western Europe. He asked that comments on the proposals contained in the paper be submitted quickly so that the final version could be distributed to Pact members. The Italian delegation distributed an EU paper on the Paris Pact and stressed that demand reduction analysis should be considered in the second round of technical "rooundtables". (The EU paper has been sent to USUNVIE and to INL/AAE). Frahi acknowledged the EU desire to include demand analysis be included in Paris Pact deliberations, but asked for "pragmatism" given that no additional funding is available for the Paris Pact initiative. USDEL seconded this position. Noting that UNODC projected 2004 roundtables to be held in Moscow, Tashkent, Albania, USDEL reminded the group that the Pact consultative meeting in Rome in November had considered the possibility of focusing the roundtables on the countries immediately surrounding Afghanistan rather than scattering its deliberations too widely. He also reminded the group of Iran's unexpected invitation for the Pact to meet in Teheran.
Turkey's Application for Membership
6. The chair noted that Turkey had approached all the members regarding its request to join the Central Dublin Group. He and the Commission deplored Turkey's past unwillingness to cooperate with a Mini-Dublin Group in Ankara - most recently in 1995. The Commission denied that it had offered membership in the Central Dublin Group to Turkey in 2001.The Japanese delegate noted that there were no agreed-upon criteria for the admission of new members and recommended that such criteria be developed. USDEL seconded this recommendation and noted the UNODC threshold for membership in "major donors" might perhaps be included among the criteria. The chair invited members to submit suggestions for membership criteria for consideration at the next meeting. Meanwhile, Italy may approach Turkey to assist with its Central Asia regional chair responsibilities. The issue of whether to try again to establish a mini-Dublin Group in Ankara will be taken up at the next meeting of the Central Dublin Group.
7. The next Central Dublin Group meeting will be held in Brussels either June 22-23 or July 6-7. It was agreed that one and half days were required for this meeting. Belgian MFA Raymond Yans agreed to extend his tenure as Dublin Group Chair for another year.
8. The U.S. report on Central America and Mexico contained several recommendations for each country in the report (Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Mexico). Mini-Dublin Group chairs are expected to submit an interim follow-up report at the following meeting which summarizes events that have occurred since the report was written and action taken on the recommendations. The interim report should be submitted no later than two weeks before the meeting, i.e., June 8.