It has been acknowledged that Counter Narcotics (CN) cannot be limited to the efforts of law enforcement bodies alone as there is a need for greater involvement of the public. Therefore, other segments of the society such as the community elders, religious scholars, academics, civil society, people's representatives, media and development agencies must come onboard.
Minister of Counter-Narcotics Salamat Azimi and UNODC Regional Representative Andrey Avetisyan launch National Mobilization Against Narcotics
His Excellency President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani emphasized the necessity of the National Mobilization (NM) against narcotics during his first meeting with H.E Salamat Azimi, the Minister of Counter Narcotics of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in a meeting with Mr. Andrey Avetisyan, UNODC Regional Representative for Afghanistan and Its Neighbouring Countries discussed the concept of National Mobilization Against Narcotics as important process in fight against illicit drugs. Hence, it is in response to the call from the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan that UNODC in consultation with MCN's Minister to conduct NM events at five targeted zones of Afghanistan in close coordination with provincial directorates of counter narcotics.
On 16 th August an event conducted by MCN with participation of line ministers including Ministers of Counter Narcotics, Rural Rehabilitation and Development, Agriculture Irrigation and Livestock and Hajj and Pilgrimage in order to involve media in counter narcotics and national mobilization against narcotics. The NM has also reached to Afghanistan's first lady Ms. Lura Ghani who announced National Mobilization against Narcotics and call upon all clusters to mobilize against illicit drugs.
Participants discuss National Mobilization during seminar in Kandahar, Afghanistan
The seminars on NM against narcotics were conducted in five zones of Afghanistan. The seminar were conducted in Kandahar, Herat, Balkh, Nangarhar and Badakhshan provinces in the first week of August 2015 with the aim of raising awareness and galvanize public against narcotics. The seminars were jointly organised by MCN and UNODC provincial offices where over 500 people participated including governors, religious scholars, tribal elders, the Provincial Development Councils (PDC) and other high ranking officials. The participants highly supported the process and showed readiness to actively participate in the process.
Participants discuss National Mobilization during seminar in Herat, Afghanistan
With over one million people now suffering from illicit drug use in Afghanistan, speakers' messages focused on the "National Mobilization against Narcotics" initiative. The speakers highlighted the negative impact of drugs on security, development and democracy. Speakers also called upon national and international stakeholders to join efforts and focus on curbing narcotics and assist MCN in decreasing the cultivation, trafficking and abuse of illicit drugs.
The local media both printed and broadcasted media covered the events and the messages of NM were delivered to millions of Afghans across the country.
The NM is now in the word of media when counter narcotics is being addressed by the relevant government officials and independent experts.