The Rome Consensus 2.0 Summit and the 10th Anniversary of the Red Cross & Red Crescent Partnership on Substance Abuse “Breaking barriers, building bridges” Rome, 2-5 of May 2023

On the eve of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Traffic, which will be celebrated on June 26, let us share the results of the coolest event that took place from 02 to 05 May 2023 in Rome, Italy, organized by the Villa Maraini Foundation, the Italian Red Cross. This meeting was dedicated to the topic of Rome Consensus 2.0. Summit and 10th Anniversary of the Red Cross & Red Crescent Partnership on Substance Abuse.

The following topics were considered:

1 – day – 02 May 2023:

For everyone, a tour of Villa Maraini was organized and familiarized with the activities of mobile teams that provide assistance to drug users in places where they accumulate.

2 – day – May 03, 2023:

The Sala Solferino Hall hosted the official opening of the meeting. Welcome speeches were delivered by Dr. Massimo Barra, Chair of the RCRC Partnership on Substance Abuse, co-Chair of the Rome Consensus 2.0, and Richard Ohrstrom, CEO of C4 Recovery Foundation, co-Chair of the Rome Consensus 2.0. They noted the importance of common further actions in this direction. After their speech, representatives of various organizations that work in this area noted the importance of such meetings. One of the representatives of such an organization was the President of ERNA, Mr. Mauro Patti, who noted the importance of such meetings to discuss joint efforts in the communities.

On the same day, The Red Cross and Red Crescent Partnership on Substance Abuse was discussed, the main mission of which is to support National Societies in their action within the framework of Substance Abuse, through building the capacity of staff and volunteers, technical support for National Societies, advocacy and partnerships with various organizations.

On the same day, the Skill Workshop took place: the continuum of care was held, where the Villa Maraini model and field experience was discussed, which includes 30 years of experience in the outreach program, opioid Substitution Therapy, and therapeutic approach in medium and high threshold services.

In the following, the significance of Harm Reduction and How do we improve the access to treatment for PWUDs were discussed, where several NGOs shared their experience.

Afternoon time was devoted to parallel sessions within:

  • The Overdose intervention by non-medical staff on the street;
  • The Medical center and the role of medical staff;
  • Psychosocial support and the role of family;
  • Stigma: addressing cultural and legal barriers;
  • The intake of PWUDs;
  • Chemsex;
  • HIV & HCV quick testing: meet, test, and treat.

On such interesting topics, the second day of meetings of the Summit on the Rome Consensus 2.0 ended.

Day 3, May 04, 2023:

On the third day, the plenary sessions continued, with a speech by the Minister of the Interior, Matteo Piantedosi, who noted the importance of the work of the Villa Maraina Foundation, and its contribution to Substance Abuse.

Further discussions continued within the framework of Skills Workshop: Alternatives to Incarceration, Policing, and Drugs: The Call for a new global policy and Practice. Discussed what is deflection? Why is it a game-changer? The UK deflection experience. Treatment partnering with police and Treatment and Criminal Justice System.

The topic also touched upon the experience of the Italian Anti-drug legislation 1991-2018 and the very important topic of the human rights perspective.

On the third day of the meeting, a very important topic for the participants took place, they discussed the future of the ROME CONSENSUS 2.0 and in parallel, the National Societies discussed the future, achievements, and problems of the RCRC PARTNERSHIP ON SUBSTANCE ABUSE.

The moderator of this parallel session, Mr. Lasha Goguadze, noted that the National Societies need to understand what we want and how we want. The general discussions came up with the idea of identifying the main players in each country and raising awareness among National Societies, but National Societies should take a proactive stance. Also discussed what we want from this Partnership.

The day ended with a speech by the newly elected President of the Italian Red Cross, Rosario Valastro, who praised the efforts of the participants in this meeting.

Day 4, May 5, 2023:

On the last day of the meeting, plenary discussions of the final commitments and comments took place and the Declaration on the Future of the Rome Consensus 2.0 was adopted, Rome, 5 May 2023, which will subsequently be circulated to partners and at the end of this important meeting, following this four-day meeting in Rome, Italy, a press conference was held.

On behalf of the ERNA secretariat, we would like to thank all the organizers of this meeting and if you need details, please contact the ERNA secretariat at the following email address:


Breaking News Updates