UNODC is cosponsor of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS - UNAIDS
Launch of the Drug Control Master Plan in Maldives
Contributed by Mr. Kunal Kishore, Drug Demand Reduction Officer
The Government of Maldives launched its first ever Drug Control Master Plan on 22 March 2008.
H.E President of Maldives, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom,who was thechief guest of the event, launched the
'Drug Control Master Plan' along with
Minister of Gender and Family Ms. Aishath Mohamed Didi, UNODC Representative for South Asia Mr. Gary Lewis and Mr. Ameen Ibrahimfrom the National Narcotics Control Bureau (NNCB).
The four year Master Plan, aims to tackle all dimensions of the problem of drug abuse in Maldives by guiding ongoing interventions/initiatives and facilitating coordination of efforts at all levels of programming in the Maldivian context. It also sets out ways to address the issue of both supply and demand, in a multifaceted approach involving government ministries, NGOs, community based organizations, media, international/ UN agencies and law enforcement agencies.
personally oversee the implementation of the Master Plan, in collaboration with the concerned Government agencies.
UNODC provided with technical expertise and inputs during the development of the Master Plan. It is being considered a milestone in Maldives - in terms of a joint response from the government and the United Nations.
Speaking at the launch,
President Gayoom highlighted the importance of successfully implementing the Master Plan and emphasized the need to build partnerships among government agencies, civil societyorganizations, corporate sector and members of the general public in dealing with the pressing social problem of drugs. He also mentioned that he would
President Gayoomalso commented, "Drug abuse is today among the biggest problems facing the country. While narcotic drugs have not been fully eradicated from any country, it is not an excuse for inaction. We must redouble our efforts to fight against this menace, and success hinges on multi-agency and multi-sector cooperation. Each and every one of us bears a share of the responsibility in rooting out drugs from our society."
He further emphasized the need for stricter enforcement of existing laws in punishing drugs traffickers, smugglers and dealers. "Those that fall prey to drug addiction must be treated and rehabilitated with urgency," he said.
Mr. Lewis,during his address, stressedupon the need to support and complement the efforts of NNCB to coordinate actions on ground. He also shared the recent success of the NNCB in mobilising communities' across Maldives.
Minister Didiwhile talking on the Master Plan complemented
UNODC for its support and called for joint action from line ministries in the government. Both Mr. Lewis and Minister Didi emphasised on the need for coordinated efforts and joint responses.
Mr. Ameen Ibrahimin his concluding remarks thanked the President and UNODC for the support provided. He emphasized on the commitment of his organization to do the needful in making the Master Plan a success.