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ECOWAS, UNDOC move against illicit Drug Trafficking and Drug Abuse in the Region

Abuja, 8th December 2016. The Economic Community of West African States in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime is strengthening its efforts towards the eradication of illicit drug trafficking, related organized crime and drug abuse in the region through an European Union funded project: “Support to ECOWAS Regional Action Plan on Illicit Drug Trafficking, related organised Crime and drug abuse in West Africa.”

During the 2nd joint Project Steering and Coordination Committee (PSCC) meeting which held on 8th December 2016 in Abuja to validate the project’s logical framework, Monitoring and Evaluation System and the 2017 workplan, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Social Affairs and Gender, Dr. Fatimata Dia Sow, represented by the Director for Gender, Youth, Sport, CSO, Employment and Drug Control, Dr. Sintiki Ugbe, highlighted the achievement of the project so far. In particular, the Commissioner indicated that ECOWAS has strengthened its Drug Unit with recruitment of requisite professional staff and has also finalized its 2016-2020 Drug Action Plan which addresses illicit drug trafficking and drug abuse in the region.pic-6

The Action Plan which has been adopted by the ECOWAS Ministers of Justice and Interior will be presented to the Council of Ministers for their endorsement and subsequently forwarded to the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government for adoption.

The Commissioner stated that focal points for the West African Epidemiological Network on Drug Use (WENDU) have been nominated in collaboration with UNDOC from all Member States and Mauritania.

‘These focal points will collect and collate epidemiology data at the regional and national level on drug treatment demand indicators and aggregate data on drug supply’, She said. pic-10

Furthermore, the Commissioner informed the PSCC that the ECOWAS Drug Unit in conjunction with the Directorate of Communications will launch a web portal to enable the dissemination of expert advice and good practices to community citizens on drug related issues.

Also, speaking, Mr.Pierre Lapaque, UNDOC regional representative for West and Central Africa, stated that the joint partnership has made remarkable impacts through capacity building programmes for law enforcement officers through e-learning by establishing computer based training centres in various Member States.pic-5

The grant project ‘Support to ECOWAS Regional Action Plan on Illicit Drug Trafficking, related organized Crime and Drug Abuse in West Africa’ aims to improve ECOWAS advocacy, monitoring and coordination capacity, harmonize information on drug abuse and promote best practices on drug prevention and treatment.

The ECOWAS-UNDOC partnership will also improve the institutional legal frameworks amongst Member States by increasing law enforcement agencies knowledge and capacity for enhanced cooperation amongst within the region.pic-9

The Project is being funded by the European Union under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF), and implemented by the ECOWAS Commission and UNDOC.

The joint Project Steering Coordination Committee meeting is held twice a year in order to validate annual work plans, discuss and endorse results obtained in the course of implementation as well as challenges encountered.

In attendance of the meeting were the ECOWAS Project coordinator, Mr. Daniel Amankwaah, the UNDOC project coordinator, Mr. Cheikh Toure, representatives from the E.U and staff of the ECOWAS Commission.


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