Vienna (Austria), 11 March 2022 – Last month, UNODC supported the first Africa Civil Society Conference on Drugs and Crime, in which some 100 representatives from African civil society discussed effective strategies to tackle crime and drug-related issues and support the implementation of the UNODC Strategic Vision for Africa 2030. The Strategic Vision for Africa states that partnership with civil society is one of the key change enablers in addressing the world drug problem and crime in Africa.
UNODC Executive Director, Ghada Waly, said last year of the initiative: “The Strategic Vision recognizes that Africans are Africa’s most precious resource, and that we can do so much more to empower the continent’s youth, women, and civil society to leverage their potential for innovation and action towards safe and prosperous communities.”
In his concluding remarks to the conference, Slum Child Foundation founder George Ochieng Odalo stressed that civil society plays a key role in helping to implement the international joint commitments that address drugs and crime: “Once we change Africa, we change the world”.
The objective of the African Conference on Drugs and Crime was to elicit a civil society perspective on promoting evidence-based interventions to foster African development, tackle crime and drug-related issues and support the Strategic Vision. Accordingly, the conference produced an outcome document outlining follow-up actions designed to increase collaboration between civil society organisations and improve how international instruments are implemented. The document will be submitted to the 65th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) and to the 31st Session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ).
The conference brought together around 100 African civil society representatives from 21-23 February 2022 in a hybrid format. Participants had the opportunity to discuss crime and drug use prevention among youth in Africa, and issues related to organized crime, cybercrime and illicit trafficking. Represented were the Kenyan National Authority for the Campaign Against Drugs (NACADA) and the Alliance of NGOs on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, amongst other organizations.
The conference was organized by the Slum Child Foundation Kenya, the Alliance of NGOs on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs, and supported by UNODC.