Morocco called for constant mobilization against the global drug issue, particularly in a context marked by rapid and profound changes, adding to the complexity of the challenges posed by the fight against this scourge.
This call was made by Morocco’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) International Organizations in Vienna, Ambassador Azzeddine Farhane, during the inter-sessional meeting of the United Nations (UN) Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), devoted to thematic discussions on the progress of the implementation of all the international commitments to tackling the international drug problem, as outlined by the 2019 Ministerial Declaration.
Farhane stressed that the current drug situation calls for the strengthening of the international consensus and an unwavering determination to effectively address the drug and promote a society free of drug addiction, to allow all people to live in an atmosphere of security, peace, health, dignity, and prosperity, thanks to innovative approaches and strategies.
In an intervention on behalf of the Kingdom at a session devoted to “Challenge 1 on the Expansion of Drug Use and Drug Markets”, the Moroccan diplomat praised the launch, last July, of the Global Coalition against Synthetic Drug Threats, recalling that Morocco had submitted three key recommendations on that occasion, including the establishment of an effective early warning system to identify new emerging synthetic substances to facilitate the rapid exchange of information and intelligence between member countries; the strengthening of prevention, treatment, and awareness-raising measures; and the promotion of international cooperation, by conducting joint operations and strengthening capacities and partnerships.
The Moroccan Ambassador also proposed that the thematic debate at the next Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) session, scheduled to take place in March 2024, should focus on the threats associated with synthetic drugs.
According to Ambassador Farhane, this proposal is an opportunity to create synergies between the Global Coalition and the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) and contribute to the mid-term review in 2024 on the progress achieved in implementing all international drug policy commitments as part of the follow-up to the 2019 Ministerial Declaration.
The Moroccan diplomat also reiterated the Kingdom’s full commitment to the implementation of all drug policy pledges, as well as its substantial and constructive contribution to the debates of the high-level segment of the 67th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), as part of the 2024 mid-term review, which will “be an opportunity to give new impetus to a concerted effort to effectively address the root causes and signs of the world’s drug problem.”
In another statement on behalf of Morocco at a session devoted to “Challenge 3 on the Links between Drug Trafficking and other Crimes”, the Moroccan diplomat praised all international efforts undertaken by States Parties, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), regional organizations, and NGOs to identify the risks of the growing link between drug trafficking and other forms of organized crime and how it negatively impacts development, stability, and security.
“We believe that the CND, the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, and other relevant international organizations must address this rapidly evolving challenge,” noted Farhane.
The diplomat suggested the holding of a joint high-level meeting as part of the proceedings of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) or the CND to address this issue in depth, and subsequently strengthen synergies, complementarity, and dynamics between the two UN Commissions, especially since the proven links between drug trafficking and other forms of crime remain underexplored.
Morocco also encouraged all member states to effectively implement operational measures to address this challenge, adopting integrated and multidisciplinary approaches, including encouraging and supporting the collection of reliable data, research, intelligence, and the exchange of analysis, all while taking advantage of existing sub-regional, regional, and international cooperation mechanisms to fight against all forms of drug-related crime and dismantle organized criminal organizations.
The diplomat also emphasized the proven links between instability and drug trafficking linked to organized crime, shedding light on the persistent scourge of drug trafficking in the Sahel region, “which is undergoing a volatile security situation”.
Farhane further stressed that according to reports by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Sahel region is becoming one of the main transit routes for narcotics in the world, noting that numerous studies and research have exposed the major economic benefits that separatist groups, terrorist networks, and rebel groups gain from criminal activities, particularly drug and arms trafficking, “which, thus, enables them to develop and expand their criminal and terrorist activities”.
“This alarming situation challenges us more than ever and obliges us to firmly consider the challenges linked to the drug trafficking phenomenon and its impact on development, security, and peace,” concluded the Moroccan ambassador.
Organized between October 23 and 25, the CND’s intersessional meeting brought together several ambassadors and experts from the UNODC and the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), including its President Professor Jalal Toufiq.