Oct 22, 2013, 11:44 AM
Working For a Drug-free, Healthy, Prosperous ECOWAS Community
It is no longer a secret that drug trafficking through
The dangerous dimension is that this illicit trade has become more sophisticated and, if unchecked, could hasten
A huge number of the youth who are outside of the economic mainstream, and therefore with no opportunity to make a living for themselves, resort to drug abuse as an escape. The results are not only an exponential rise in violence, AIDS infections and other health risks, but also a serious threat to the economic progress, peace and stability in the region. It is in a realization of these potentially dangerous consequences, especially on its integration process, that ECOWAS had in the late 1990s developed a Regional Plan of Action, aimed at providing the necessary framework for national efforts and actions against the drug problem.
The Authority of Heads of State and Government, at its 21st
As a fillip to its anti-drug war efforts, ECOWAS in 2008 adopted a Regional Action Plan against Drug Abuse, Trafficking and Organized Crime, which aims at addressing the drug problem in an integrated manner. In collaboration with its partners in the UN system, regional and bi-lateral groups, ECOWAS is canvassing regional anti-drug interventions, such as support for the up-scaling of human resources in drug demand reduction and prevention activities, support for the conduct of national and regional training, mentoring and treatment interventions in Member States.
It is therefore heartening to the ECOWAS Commission that the 2011 World Drug Day is devoted to “Global action for healthy communities without drugs.” The Commission calls on all Member States to assume their responsibilities by putting in place effective mechanisms and providing adequate resources to complement the regional anti-drug initiatives and programmes. We cannot afford to remain indifferent to the sufferings of the youth, their families and the communities they live in.
The well-being and good health of our communities are central to the Commission’s goal of an ECOWAS of people. All hands must be on deck to provide drug abusers and others affected by the drug problem unfettered access to treatment and rehabilitation and the opportunity to rebuild their lives. Working together, the ECOWAS Commission, Member States, citizens and partners can make West