CCSA on the World Stage
When the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse was established in 1988, its parliamentary mandate clearly spelled out a role for the new Centre on the international stage. CCSA's founding legislation (Bill C-143) describes a key purpose of the Centre as
|...promoting increased awareness among Canadians of the nature and extent of international alcohol and drug abuse efforts and supporting Canada's participation in those efforts.|
This responsibility was acknowledged by CCSA's Board of Directors at its first meeting on June 16, 1989, and is recorded in the minutes:
|The members of the Board agreed on the importance of developing a strong working relationship with the significant International Organizations both to receive information from the International Community that may be of benefit to Canada and to provide to the International Community the knowledge and experience developed within Canada.|
CCSA wasted no time in taking up this challenge and began participating in events and activities in the international substance abuse field, including
- close involvement in the United Nations 10 year review of progress in controlling the production and use of illicit drugs. Through its CEO Michel Perron, CCSA was instrumental in creating Beyond 2008, an international forum that brought together NGOs from around the world to speak with one voice, that of civil society, in setting new directions for global drug policy. Check out Michel Perron’s blog on these activities.
- participation in the November 2008 World Health Organization roundtable meeting, which brought together NGOs and professionals from around the globe to discuss how to reduce the harmful use of alcohol, and provided concrete examples from Canadian experience detailed in the report Towards a Culture of Moderation: Recommendations for a National Alcohol Strategy.
- co-sponsoring the first-ever North American meeting of the ICAA in October 1991.
- publishing CCSA’s first report in 1990, an Overview of Youth-Oriented Programmes in European Countries, which reflected CCSA’s commitment to international information sharing.
- helping to organize the Youth Section of the Berlin Institute of the International Council on Alcohol and Addictions (ICAA) in June 1990.