UNODC, ECOWAS and partners to address challenges, responses to transnational organized crime and illicit drugs in West Africa

New York, 16 September 2016  - Journalists are invited to cover the Joint Launch of the UNODC Regional Programme for West Africa and ECOWAS Plan of Action to Address Illicit Drug Trafficking, Organized Crime and Drug Abuse in West Africa, 2016-2020, on 19 September 2016, 1:15-2:30 p.m., at Conference Room 11 in New York UN Headquarters.

UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, ECOWAS Commission President, Marcel A. de Souza, and Head of UNOWAS SRSG Mohammed Ibn Chambas, will address challenges and responses to transnational organized crime and health consequences of drugs in West Africa.

Transnational organized crime in all its forms, illicit trafficking, terrorism, corruption, the laundering of criminal assets and terrorism financing, as well as weaknesses in the criminal justice system, HIV and drug abuse are increasing threats to development, peace and stability in West Africa. These constantly evolving threats, gradually erode the foundations of the State, by challenging the progress towards good governance and the implementation of the Rule of Law, ultimately compromising economic and human development in the sub-region.

The global nature of these challenges and their undeniable national and interregional ramifications, require our full attention. Regional and international cooperation should be at the core of the responses to be provided to successfully face the transnational threats that affect the whole of West Africa and impact the world at large.

The new UNODC Regional Programme and the ECOWAS Regional Action Plan to Address Illicit Drug Trafficking, Organized Crimes and Drug Abuse in West Africa, both covering the period 2016-2020, aim at mobilising joint efforts in order to successfully face current and future threats in West Africa. The pillars of the two documents are aligned and strategically complementary with the purpose of supporting a framework of national, regional and inter-regional collective action, to strengthen the capacities of States in the areas of governance,  security and health promotion, linking national, regional and international actors.

While the primary responsibility for addressing the challenges that threaten peace and security in the region pertains to Governments, the role and the strong will of ECOWAS and the United Nations is to support Member States in addressing the scourges that often extend beyond West Africa.

For more information, please contact:

Yu Ping CHAN (Ms.)
UNODC New York
E: chan7[at]
T: +1-917-367-3704

For media accreditation, please visit:,
Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit, United Nations - S-250 New York, NY 10017
Tel: +1-212-963-1504, Fax: +1-212-963-4642, email: malu[at]