Abuja (Nigeria), 22 November - The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Nigerian government organized a workshop in Abuja on 13 and 14 November on the implementation of all international drug policy commitments, following-up to the 2019 Ministerial Declaration.
The workshop greatly benefited from the participation of Vivian Okeke, Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations Vienna, who acted as facilitator for the negotiations of the 2019 Ministerial Declaration.
The workshop was another step in the close and long-lasting cooperation between Nigeria and UNODC, recently confirmed through the European Union funded and UNODC implemented project 'Response to drugs and related organised crime in Nigeria' that has supported the National Drug Use Survey 2018.
The presence of numerous high-ranking officials during the workshop emphasised Nigeria's strong commitment to the implementation of all international drug policy commitments. Mustapha Lawal Sulaiman, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria underlined Nigeria's commitment to a comprehensive, holistic approach to the world drug problem that in particular took into account social causes and consequences of drug use.
Lawal Moshood Oluku, Director Food & Drugs Services Department, representing the Federal Minister of Health of Nigeria, Colonel Muhammed Mustapha Abdallah, Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency of Nigeria and Oliver Stolpe, UNODC Country Representative in Nigeria, also addressed the participants during the workshop.
The 2019 Ministerial Declaration on "Strengthening Our Actions at the National, Regional and International Levels to Accelerate the Implementation of Our Joint Commitments to Address and Counter the World Drug Problem", adopted by consensus at the 62 nd session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in March, was introduced by Ms. Okeke.
In the 2019 Ministerial Declaration, while acknowledging that tangible progress had been achieved in the implementation of joint commitments over the past decade, Member States noted with concern the persistent and emerging challenges posed by the world drug problem. They committed to addressing these through accelerating the implementation of the joint commitments, promoting balanced, integrated, comprehensive, multidisciplinary and scientific evidence-based responses at all levels.
To foster the implementation at the national level, Member States committed to strengthening cooperation and coordination among national authorities, particularly in the health, education, social, justice and law enforcement sectors, and between governmental agencies and other relevant stakeholders.
Building on this commitment the two days implementation workshop gathered all relevant national authorities involved in developing, implementing or monitoring national drug policy, providing a forum for exchange and enhancing inter-agency cooperation, working towards the implementation of the joint commitments at the national level.
The over 40 participants in the workshop represented relevant national authorities and entities dealing with drug-related matters, including from the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, the Federal Ministries of Budget and National Planning, Education, Foreign Affairs, Health, Youth and Sports, Women Affairs and Social Development and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, the National Directorate of Employment, and the Nigerian Customs Service.
Based on substantive information on the provisions of the relevant policy documents and a close analysis of the recommendations made, the participants jointly assessed action taken so far and identified gaps and future needs for technical assistance. The training participants developed the expertise needed to advance the practical implementation of the international commitments as highlighted in the 2019 Ministerial Declaration.
The event was organized by the UNODC Secretariat to the Governing Bodies and the Nigerian government, with support of the UNODC Country Office Nigeria and funded by Germany.
2019 Ministerial Declaration on "Strengthening Our Actions at the National, Regional and International Levels to Accelerate the Implementation of Our Joint Commitments to Address and Counter the World Drug Problem"