West Africa No Mere Transit Route for Drug Traffickers, but Also Growing Destination, Secretary-General Says in Message to Regional Conference

22 May 2014
SG/SM/15870-AFR/2894

West Africa No Mere Transit Route for Drug Traffickers, but Also Growing Destination, Secretary-General Says in Message to Regional Conference

22 May 2014
Secretary-General
SG/SM/15870 AFR/2894
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

West Africa No Mere Transit Route for Drug Traffickers, but Also Growing

 

Destination, Secretary-General Says in Message to Regional Conference

Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message, as delivered by Said Djinnit, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa, to the High-level West Africa Coast Initiative (WACI) Donor Conference, in New York today:

I am pleased to convey my warm greetings to this Conference in support of the West Africa Coast Initiative to stem illicit trafficking and transnational crime in the region.

Drug trafficking and transnational organized crime threaten security, undermine respect for the rule of law and human rights, and jeopardize peace, stability and development.

In a growing number of countries, organized criminal networks also fuel the activities of terrorist and extremist groups.  Corruption, porous borders and a lack of resources and cooperation only compound the problem.

Today, West Africa is not just a transit route for drug traffickers, it is also a growing destination.  Rising consumption aggravates an already challenging public health environment and threatens socioeconomic development.

The United Nations supports the efforts of ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) and its member States through the Regional Action Plan.  I commend the WACI countries’ engagement and the international donor partners’ support.  I urge you to continue building on your work in the spirit of shared responsibility.  Thank you for your commitment.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.