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Essay On Drug Abuse And Illicit Trafficking In Africa

Monday, or 26 June, is observed as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The General Assembly decided to observe this day, in 1987, as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse.

According to a report by The News,each year the United Nations Office of Drug and Crime (UNODC) selects a theme to mark the day. This year it is 'Listen First.' This is an initiative to increase support for prevention of drug use that is based on science and is thus an effective investment in the well-being of children and youth, their families and their communities.

Last year, at the UN General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS), the international community took steps to mobilise a multifaceted, collective response to the full range of issues related to drug abuse and illicit trafficking. Governments came together to chart a new path forward that is more effective and humane, and leaves no one behind, said a statement released by UNODC.

Representational image. Reuters

UNGASS was a ground-breaking moment that provided a detailed and forward-looking blueprint for action. "Together, we must honour the unanimous commitments made to reduce drug abuse, illicit trafficking and the harm that drugs cause, and to ensure that our approach promotes equality, human rights, sustainable development, and greater peace and security," UN Secretary General Antonio Guteress said in a statement released by UNODC.

Guterres, marked the occasion with another statement released on the UNRIC website. "I recently established a task force to develop a UN system-wide strategy to coordinate and strengthen our responses to illicit drugs and organized crime by building them into all UN peacekeeping, peace building, security, development and disarmament activities. In this way, the United Nations can integrate the fight against drug trafficking and other forms of organised crime into the global security and development agenda."

Drug trafficking has grown in prominence globally in the last decade. "Around 1,90,000 people die due to illicit drugs every year. But the damage visited upon lives and communities does not stop there. Drug use damages health in the form of debilitating HIV, hepatitis and tuberculosis, while drug trafficking nourishes money laundering, and deadly terrorism. Corruption, the great enabler of organized crime, exists throughout the drug supply chain," UNODC executive director Yury Fedotov was quoted saying in a UNODC report.

According to the United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC), the $61 billion Afghan opiates trade is funding insurgency, international terrorism and wider destabilisation. In West Africa, the $85 billion global cocaine trade is exacerbating addiction and money-laundering while fuelling political instability and threats to security. Every $1 billion of pure cocaine trafficked through West Africa earns more than ten times as much when sold on the streets in Europe.

The problem just seems to grow exponentially year after year as more people get into this vicious cycle than those who leave.

A survey conducted by the government along with AIIMS said that till 2001 India had an estimated 7.21 crore drug addicts. A report in The Indian Express in 2016 said that under the The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 2012, the department is obligated to conduct surveys on drug use and abuse every five years. However, no data exists since August 2001.

Several countries have tightened up their operations against drugs on this day. The Myanmar government on Monday vowed to step up drug prevention and services, calling on people to listen to the concern and need of youth and support their development and health by reducing drug abuse said a Global Timesreport.

Minister of Home Affairs Kyaw Swe made the remarks in his message on the occasion of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. To reduce drug abuse rate, he said, students are directly and indirectly should be educated at an early age on the subject of drug prevention.

UNODC, on this day, remains committed to peacefully and effectively addressing the challenge of illicit drugs based on the international drug control conventions, and their key principle of protecting the health and welfare of humankind.


Published Date: Jun 26, 2017 13:36 PM | Updated Date: Jun 26, 2017 13:58 PM

Tags :#Africa#Heroin#India#International Day Against Drug Abuse And Illicit Trafficking#Myanmar#Russia#Shareworthy#United Nations#UNODC#UNRIC#World

International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking History

The International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking serves to draw awareness to the need for action and cooperation in order to achieve a drug-free world.  Illicit drugs and their trafficking pose a large health threat to humanity. Drug problems and dependencies put a great deal of pressure on health care systems and constitute a threat to the safety and well-being of humans all around the globe. Long-term drug abuse has been linked to poor general health, contraction of diseases through needle sharing, trouble with the law, poor self-hygiene and alienation from loved ones, psychological illnesses and death from overdose.

In December 1987, the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking was designated by the United Nations. It is celebrated annually on June 26, a symbolic day that commemorates the dismantling of the opium trade in Guangdong. The day also serves as an opportunity for Member Nations to reaffirm their support for UN Conventions that attempt to control the world's drug supply.

International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking Facts & Quotes

  • The theme for 2015 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking was Lets Develop - Our Lives - Our Communities - Our Identities - Without Drugs.
  • The UN estimates that in 2007, the value of the illegal drug trade is 322 billion dollars per year.
  • Approximately 51 billion dollars is spent on the war on drugs in the US every year.
  • 40% of all violent crimes occur under the influence of alcohol.
  • – Patrick J. Kennedy, American democratic politician and former US representative for Rhode Island.

International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking Top Events and Things to Do

  • Donate to one of the many addiction and substance abuse recovery charities and safe injection sites in your neighborhood. All proceeds are used to help treat addicts who are looking to recover from drug addiction and return to society and safe needle programs help reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS and other diseases.
  • Watch a movie on the perils of the war on drugs on society, government and the citizens involved. Some suggestions are: Dallas Buyers Club (2013), Sicario (2015), Requiem for a Dream (2000), Christiane F (1981) and Blow (2001).
  • Attend the World Drug Report 2016, which is organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, by watching the webcast online.
  • Spread awareness by using the hashtags #InternationalDayAgainstDrugAbuseandIllicitTrafficking, #saynotodrugs and #warondrugs on social media.
  • Read a book on the dangers of drug use and the problems with the war on drugs. Some suggestions are: Smoke and Mirrors, Chasing the Scream, and Drug Wars.

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