Mr. Eduardo Diaz Uribe, Director of the Colombian Agency...
Mr. Eduardo Diaz Uribe, Director of the Colombian Agency for Illicit Crop Substitution at the High Commissioner for Post-conflict of the Presidency of the Republic of Colombia, leads a group of 22 representatives of the central government, local administrations as well as civil society from Colombia to visit the successful Alternative Development projects in Thailand as a capacity building activity. The Colombian representatives will take part in a field visit and a workshop in Chiang Rai and Nan provinces from 24 to 31 August 2017. It is the second field visit taking place within the framework of training courses for local Colombian partners in Thailand, organised jointly under the framework of GPDPD and REDD+, a forest protection program in Colombia by GIZ and the Thai Mae Fah Luang Foundation under Royal Patronage (MFLF). A first Colombian visit to Thailand within the GPDPD framework took place in October 2016.
On 24 August 2017, Mr. Diaz met the Secretary General of the Thai Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB), Mr. Sirinya Sidthichai and the Thai Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Virasakdi Futrakul. He was accompanied by representatives from GIZ Bangkok and MFLF, GPDPD’s implementing partner in Thailand.
Mr. Diaz conveyed his appreciation to the Thai government and GPDPD for organising this exchange. Mr. Diaz highly welcomed the opportunity to learn from the Thai experience in dealing with the illicit drug economy, which represents a crucial input for Colombia facing currently a dramatic increase in coca growing. ONCB presented the Thai drug monitoring centre, and the participants exchanged information on the current drug situation in Thailand as well as the Colombian crop substitution programme in the framework of the ongoing peace process. Thailand has successfully implemented Alternative Development (AD) projects for more than 30 years.
According to the Deputy Foreign Minister of Thailand, starting with the GIZ study visit, the two countries can build on their potential for cooperation in the field of Alternative Development and beyond.