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14 May 2002

African Ministers adopt New OAU Drug Control Action Plan for Africa

Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast, 14 May 2002 - The first ever OAU Ministerial Meeting on Drug Control in Africa resulted in the adoption of a new OAU Plan of Action for Drug Control 2002-2006. The Plan contains a set of drug control action priorities and assigns clear responsibilities for their implementation to OAU member states, regional and international organizations, and the civil society. It also contains a time-frame and target dates for implementation, and introduces the concept of open and participatory monitoring and review mechanisms, so as to enable all parties to assess progress and achievements of drug control action in Africa.

Until recently, drug control in Africa has received little attention and the full dimensions of drug trafficking, abuse and related problems still need to be assessed. However, international trafficking of literally all kinds of drugs is involving more and more countries; drug abuse problems are worse and relate closer to HIV-AIDS than assumed so far. Related organized crime, money laundering and corruption spread in key trade zones, tourism regions and urban areas. This evolving drug scenario, coupled with rapid urbanization, loss of traditional family and cultural ties for the youth, unemployment, growing poverty and about one third of the African population still affected by armed conflicts and post-conflict situations, poses a severe threat on the renewed development process and human security in Africa.

During last week's OAU meeting, ministers from more than 40 African countries, and delegates from several regional African communities, international organizations, NGOs, UN and other development agencies, joined forces with the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP), and stressed the need for stronger drug control action that addresses trafficking and abuse in the context of African development. Therefore, they adopted the new Action Plan which is based on the principle of integrating and mainstreaming drug control into African development initiatives, and to create the much needed synergies with larger development programmes, including those addressing HIV-AIDS, poverty alleviation or post-conflict rehabilitation in African countries. The plan contains action commitments in 7 priority areas, ranging from measures in drug control institution-building, policy and legal development, increased information, research, analysis and networking on drug control problems in Africa, to technical improvements in drug abuse prevention, rehabilitation and law enforcement measures.

UNDCP has supported OAU in the preparation and conduct of this meeting through financial assistance and has presented technical background papers, proposed strategic directions and defined action priorities, which now form parts of the new OAU Action Plan. In order to support this implementation of the plan, UNDCP has increased its programme portfolio for Africa considerably. UNDCP’s programme covers more than 30 projects that address the following areas:

  1. joint drug abuse and HIV-AIDS prevention by African experts and institutions,
  2. creation of technologies and lasting African capacities for information-gathering, analysis, and training and key drug-related issues, and
  3. provision of adequate frameworks, structures and logistics for a better control of improved trade infrastructures and international financial transactions in Africa.

As African parties start to implement their own components of the OAU Action Plan, UNDCP hopes to be able to mobilize additional resources for a further expansion of this African Programme.


For further information:
Ms. Dagmar Thomas, Programme Officer, OB/Africa, UNDCP Vienna: 01-26060/4237

INTERNATIONALES ZENTRUM WIEN POSTFACH 500, A-1400 WIEN, ?STERREICH TEL.: 26060/4666/4677 FAX: 26060-5899 Email: UNIS@unis.un.or.at