Delegation of the Drug Policy Network South East Europe visited Macedonia on 21 to 22 December 2016. It was one of the final visits in the region in this year in an attempt to understand the situation and meet with a variety of stakeholders in drug policy in the country.
The delegation of the Network included Chairperson Tijana Žegura and Executive Director Milutin Milošević. We were accompanied by Thanasis Apostolou, DPNSEE founding Chairman and Director of Diogenis who presented the drug law reform initiatives.
DPNSEE member organisation HOPS was host for the visit. This very active and widely involved in social issues organisation presented their work, including the drop-in centre. The staff, both in the office and the drop-in, showed the variety of projects and support services.
The Methadone centre in the Karpoš municipality serves users in modern and fully equipped new premises. We had an informative and very open exchange with Dr Darko Kostovski.
Irena Cvetkovik of the NGO Coalition for health and sexual rights of marginalised community informed us about their activities, including their struggle to ensure fair and human treatment of police, especially the special Skopje brigade. The Coalition expressed their will to become DPNSEE member organisation!
Meeting with Dragi Celevski from the Office of the Ombudsman gave a quality insight into the work of this institution which for almost 20 years cares about respecting human rights in the country.
City of Skopje has an array of activities in supporting people affected by drugs which were presented during the meeting with Eleonora Nikolovska, the Coordinator of Office for Health, Social and Child protection.
An exchange with our good and lasting partner Dr Liljana Ignjatova, the National drug coordinator, completed the picture of the efforts taken in the country.
Finally, the delegation had an informative exchange with Hristijan Jankuloski, Chairman and Ana Filipovska, secretary of the Country Coordination Mechanism for Global Fund projects.
Even thought shortages in the proposed budget for 2017 and expected closing of the Global Fund projects are threatening future, we hope that lively and active CSO scene will fin their way in providing support to affected.