The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on September 19, 2016 on the sidelines of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly signed a letter of cooperation.
Both confirmed their commitment for an effective and integrated implementation of the UNODC Regional Programme and the ECOWAS Action Plan on the Fight against Illicit Drug Trafficking, related Organized Crime, Corruption and Terrorism, as well as Drug Abuse in West Africa.
This cooperation between ECOWAS and UNODC has come when the development, peace and stability of West Africa is being threatened by transnational organized crime, illicit drug trafficking, terrorism, corruption, the laundering of criminal assets and terrorism financing, weakness in the criminal justice system, as well as HIV/AIDS and drug abuse.
These constantly evolving threats if left unchecked will ultimately compromise social, economic and human development in the region.
The UNODC developed its new Regional Programme for West Africa, while ECOWAS elaborated its Regional Action Plan to Address Illicit Drug Trafficking, Organized Crime and Drug Abuse in West Africa, both covering 2016 – 2020 implementation period.
This followed the evaluation of the results of the UNODC Regional Programme and the ECOWAS Plan for West Africa 2008-2014, and considering emerging threats and trends.
These two strategic documents aim to mobilize joint efforts to successfully face current and future threats in West Africa.
They are aligned and strategically complementary with the purpose of supporting a framework of national, regional and inter-regional collective actions to strengthen the capacities of States in areas of governance, security and health promotion, linking national, regional and inter-regional actors.
The letter of cooperation was signed by His Excellency, Marcel de Souza, President of the ECOWAS Commission and Mr. Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of UNODC on behalf of the two Institutions.
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