By Dialogo June 28, 2012 The international anti-drug conference held in Peru on June 25 and 26 concluded with the signing of the Lima Declaration, in which delegations from 61 countries in attendance committed themselves to increasing their efforts through an integrated strategy against drug trafficking. The delegations “recognize the need to intensify efforts (…) on International Cooperation towards an Integrated and Balanced Strategy to Counter the World Drug Problem,” according to the text signed following two days of deliberations behind closed doors. The delegations insisted that the drug problem “must be addressed in a multilateral, regional and bilateral framework, through concrete, comprehensive and effective evidence-based measures, to significantly reduce both the demand for and the supply of illicit drugs, under the principle of common and shared responsibility.” In their debates, the participants acknowledged “some progress” at the local, regional, and international levels, but still expressed their concern about “negative global trends in illicit cultivation, production, manufacture, trafficking and distribution, and abuse of drugs.” The United States was represented at the meeting by Office of National Drug Control Policy director Gil Kerlikowske and top State Department anti-drug official William Brownfield. “We’re always reviewing our policies, and precisely at this conference, the delegates are expressing and contributing their ideas in order to be able to improve,” Kerlikowske said upon being asked whether his country was engaging in self-criticism in relation to the drug policy it promotes. The delegations agreed, in addition, on the “urgent need to respond to the serious challenges posed by the increasing links between drug trafficking, corruption and other forms of transnational organized crime, including trafficking in humans, trafficking in firearms, cybercrime and, in some cases, terrorism and money-laundering.” The 61 delegations also agreed to exchange information and best practices in the area of effective programs, recognizing that the cooperation that may be needed in this area should be strengthened. The meeting was organized by the National Commission for Development and Life without Drugs (Devida), a government agency, and the Peruvian Foreign Ministry.