Canada, Nicaragua, and the United States raised the need to avoid the duplication of efforts when undertaking the study on health systems capacity proposed by the delegation of Guatemala.
The representative of Canada, Brett Maitland, supported the Guatemalan proposal, but also called attention to other data collection mechanisms countries already in existence in the countries for reporting to United Nations agencies as well as the Organization of American States (OAS).
Luis Alvarado, the delegate of Nicaragua, signaled his agreement with the Guatemalan proposal, but also warned that the task should avoid overlapping with or duplicating other reporting.
The delegate of the United States, Dr. Nils Daulaire also agreed with the observations of Canada and Nicaragua. He also stressed the need to strengthen support to health care systems and added that efforts to provide appropriate health care to those affected by the problem need to be balanced with those for combatting drug trafficking.
The Ambassador from Guatemala, José Rodrigo Vielmann de León, clarified that the proposal complements others on this topic, but that these do not address specifically the issue of strengthening health systems capacity. He added that while the Declaration of Antigua, approved at the OAS General Assembly this past June, does not sidestep the drug trafficking issue, the time has come to introduce different approaches. He said the current proposal represents a political opportunity to enable the strengthening of health systems so that they may offer a more effective response to the drug problem.