29 January 2015
Drug Trafficking: a matter of shared responsibility requiring international cooperation
Speakers at the regional conference ‘Drug-Free Society’ in Islamabad stressed that drug trafficking and abuse required ‘concerted effort and mutual cooperation’. Speakers from 18 states gathered to discuss the issue which affects 243 million people globally at this years’ conference organised by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
The conference focused on improving counter-trafficking measures, continued capacity building of anti-narcotics mechanisms and modes of drug enforcement, media campaigns and improving treatments for addicts. Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) Director General Major General Khawar Hanif noted that the figures of people affected ‘clearly indicate that the damage caused by drugs to people in terms of life, peace and stability is high, universal, and threatening national security’. The Director General applauded the efforts of the Afghan government and Baleeghur Rehman (Ministry of Interior and Narcotics Control) also praised Pakistan’s efforts and achievements, noting their continued commitment to fighting the problem alongside the international community.
However, Saira Afzal Tarar (Minister of State for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination) highlighted that Pakistan remained vulnerable to drug trafficking and emphasised the role of shared responsibility for the treatment of drug addicts. UNODC Country Representative Cesar Guedes affirmed this reiterating that drug-trafficking is a ‘matter of shared responsibility’ in which UNODC would continue to play an active role to promote international cooperation.