Drugs and the Media -  Regional Counter Narcotics Awareness Workshop for Journalists

A Counter Narcotics related advocacy and public awareness raising initiatives by UNODC in the region

23 September 2014, Bhurban - UNODC under its Regional Programme for Afghanistan and its Neighbouring Countries has organized a two day workshop on "Drugs and the Media, The Regional Counter Narcotics Awareness Workshop for Journalists" on 23 - 24 September 2014 in Bhurban, Pakistan.

UNODC is a global leader in the fight against illicit drugs and transnational organized crime and operates in all regions of the world through an extensive network of field offices such as the ones in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is the UN Office with the exclusive mandate to counter illicit drug trafficking, and crime prevention worldwide.
Speaking at the opening of two days counter narcotics awareness workshop for journalist, UNODC Representative Cesar Guedes said "in today's world, media has become an important part of our lives, some would agree that it is a basic need because of the significant role it plays in strengthening society. I considered it a mirror of modern society".
This regional workshop for journalists will build on previous Counter Narcotics related advocacy and public awareness raising initiatives by UNODC in the region. The overall aim is to publicize the efforts of the respective governments of the region, promote public awareness through the media which is a comprehensive tool for public awareness, and to promote counter narcotics regional cooperation which will complement the specialized support provided by the UNODC Regional Programme for Promoting Counter Narcotics Efforts in Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries.

Countering the harms of illicit drugs is the shared responsibility of all levels of society. As illicit drugs harms all levels society - governments, civil society, the media and journalists. The media has been identified as an important tool for public awareness in today's world and journalists can play an important role in raising public awareness of counter-narcotics issues. Ways of doing this include publicizing the threat of drugs to individuals, families, communities, governments and society in general. Responsibility for counter narcotics action should not be merely limited to law enforcement agencies.

Talking to the journalists from the region, Secretary Narcotics Control Division Muhammad Akbar Khan Hoti said "Journalists have a very important task, they collect reports and communicate news items in numerous forms. Diverse aspects of life are equally important to report on, especially when we talk about the curse of illicit drugs in our societies".
This regional workshop has brought journalists from eight countries of the region, namely Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan for discussions, information sharing, the building of networks and agreement on future joint working in the area of counter narcotics awareness raising.