24 September 2021 – The extraordinary virtual sessions of the subsidiary bodies of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs this week sparked discussions about challenges, best practices and lessons learned with regard to the regional impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world drug situation.
Practitioners and experts from Europe, Africa, Near and Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean exchanged views on the increasing links between drug trafficking and other forms of organized crime; proceeds of crime related to money laundering arising from drug trafficking; and the criminal misuse of information technologies for illicit drug-related activities, all with respect to COVID-19.
UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly underscored in her welcoming remarks that the “exchanges on the regional impacts of the pandemic will help the international community to better understand the new dynamics of illicit drug trafficking, to improve joint responses, and build resilience against future crises, in line with the statement adopted by the CND at its 64th session”.
The Chair of the Commission, Ambassador Dominika Krois, highlighted that the CND subsidiary bodies provided valuable input to the Commission, informing it about trends and concerns in the respective region.
Five online side events were held at the margins of the sessions, covering topics such as: cannabis cultivation survey in Nigeria; evidence- and human-rights based policing in Africa and Latin America during and after COVID-19; countering the linkages between organized crime, drug trafficking and other criminal activities during and beyond the pandemic; and research findings from interviews with drug traffickers.