The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is holding an Inter-ministerial Drug coordinating Committee Meeting (IMDCC) to examine renewal commitment by Member States in the aftermath of a decade of the political declaration on the prevention of drug abuse, illicit drug trafficking and organized crimes in West Africa.
Billed for the 12th of April 2019 in Abuja, Nigeria, the exercise will be preceded by a 3-Day meeting of experts made up of ECOWAS officials, representatives of development partners and relevant institutions.
The meeting which is being held in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the European Union (EU), is coming on the backdrop of a recent report which alerted on the growing complexity of the drug problem as something that requires research, investment and innovation seeing that most of the current instruments for monitoring drug issues at the national and international levels were not designed to capture the new complexity of the global drug market.
The report also stressed that poverty and lack of opportunities for social and economic advancement can lead young people to become involved in the drug supply chain as well as in the cultivation, manufacturing and production of and trafficking in drugs.
Illicit trafficking of drugs and other related trans-national organized crimes constitute the greatest threat to peace and security in the Sahel and the rest of West Africa.
The meetings will feature a validation of Country Reports of the Monitoring Missions under the EU funded Project among others.
The Missions were meant to assess the status of implementation of the ECOWAS Drug Action Plan and identify areas of challenges of drug control in ECOWAS Member States and Mauritania.
On their part, the experts are expected to validate country reports of the Monitoring missions prior to any form of publication based on same. Also to be validated is the regional report of the West African Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (WENDU).
After the adoption of a text of recommitment on addressing drug abuse and transnational organized crimes, the endorsed documents will thereafter be submitted to the ECOWAS Authority of heads of state and government for adoption.