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Identifier
Created
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04BRUSSELS139
2004-01-14 06:47:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Brussels
Cable title:  

CENTRAL DUBLIN GROUP MEETING: JANUARY 2004

Tags:   EAID  EU  KCRM  PREL  SNAR  EUN  USEU  BRUSSELS 
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						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BRUSSELS 000139 

SIPDIS

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.

Technical Presentations


--------------------------





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).

Regional Reports


--------------------------





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.


Paris Pact


--------------------------





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.

Next Meeting


--------------------------





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.


Action Request


--------------------------





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.

FOSTER