OAS Talks Wrap up Amid Push for Softer Drug Strategy

Created: 2013-06-07 11:45 EST

Category: World

Foreign ministers from across the Americas concluded regional talks for the Organization of American States 43rd General Assembly in Guatemala on Friday. They created a new draft against racism and intolerance, but without making any changes to the region's controversial drugs strategy.

The Dominican Republic's ambassador to the OAS urged members to continue working toward decriminalization goals that were discussed at the 2012 Summit of the Americas in Colombia.

The meeting in La Antigua came just weeks after the 35-nation OAS published a report calling for decriminalization of drug use and for greater coordination between nations in tackling the issue.

The calls for decriminalization come after a decade-long Washington-backed war on drugs has decreased production in Colombia, only to see it increase in Bolivia and Peru.

Among those pushing for dialogue on an alternative drugs war strategy and possible legalization are Washington allies Colombia and Guatemala.

However, the foreign ministers were unable to make any concrete progress to change the region's drug policy.

Instead, OAS officials drafted two documents titled The Inter-American Convention Against Racism, Racial Discrimination and Related Forms of Intolerance.

Member states can now sign and ratify the two documents which protect against discrimination and looks to safeguard equality across the Americas.