African Civil Society Organizations increase their knowledge on the 2019 Ministerial Declaration
31 July 2019 - 25 Civil Society Organizations' (CSOs) representatives from 12 African countries were engaged in an interactive workshop on 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 and participated in the African Union's (AU) 3 rd Specialized Technical Committee on Health, Population and Drug Control (STC-HPDC-3) meeting held from 29 July until 2 August 2019.
The Conference which featured two days of expert sessions and presentations of reports of the progress made by the 2 nd STC also included a two-day ministerial segment during which the revised African Union's Plan of Action on Drug Control and Crime Prevention (2019-2023) was adopted.
During the workshop, a draft civil society common position paper was discussed and agreed. The common position paper captures civil society commitments and actions from the 2019 Ministerial Declaration and other high-level documents, and how African CSOs can forge a plan of action in line with the revised Plan of Action, the African Union Agenda 2063, and other regional treaties and conventions.
In her opening remarks, the UNODC Regional Representative for Middle East and North Africa, Ms. Cristina Albertin stressed the importance of civil society in addressing the drug issue and said that "we are happy to see the support of the African Union to civil society and we are proud of the evolving partnership between civil society and UNODC".
The main result of the workshop was a set of key challenges and opportunities produced by the participants. Areas of support in order to successfully carry out activities related to the Declaration were also identified.
Over 100 participants attended the conference including 25 CSO representatives from 12 different countries in Africa. The capacity building workshop was organized together with the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs (VNGOC) and supported by the STC-HPDC-3 Secretariat.
Some of the main outcomes of the workshop included:
Draft civil society common position paper which will be submitted to the AU.