Ghana to host West Africa Commission on Drugs meeting
Ghana is to host the second conference of the West Africa Commission on Drugs (WACD) from April 29-30 at the Kofi Annan International Peace-Keeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in Accra.
The WACD Accra meeting will be attended by Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria who is also the WACD Chairman, a KAIPTC statement copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Tuesday said.
It said Ex-President Obasanjo would address the Ghanaian and international media on Tuesday, April 30, to share and discuss the progress of the WACD operations in the sub-region.
WACD comprises a group of distinguished West Africans from the worlds of politics, civil society, health, security and the judiciary.
With the support of leading experts, the Commission seeks to analyse the problems of trafficking and dependency in order to deliver an authoritative report and comprehensive policy recommendations by the end of 2013.
In preparing its report and recommendations the Commission is undertaking wide-ranging consultations with governments, regional organizations, international institutions and concerned citizens of the region.
Meanwhile WACD has outlined series of engagement with officials in charge of National Security, Justice and Health sectors of Ghana from April 25-26 to serve as prelude to the Accra conference.
The engagement, which also involves civil society actors and other stakeholders, will contribute to the WACD’s understanding of country specific strategy on drugs.
According to WACD, the dialogue with Ghanaian officials formed part of a broader sub-regional programme aimed at collating views to form the basis for an authoritative report expected to be released next year.
The WACD delegation will be led by Justice Bankole Thompson of Sierra Leone.
The statement said the WACD delegation will also visit a drug treatment facility in Ghana.
WACD is therefore a major new initiative to help tackle the growing threat from illegal drug trafficking in West Africa.
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, illegal drug trafficking is linked to criminal activity and terrorist activities in the region and is fueling increased local consumption of illegal drugs.
Mr Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations and Nobel Prize laureate, launched the WACD in Accra in January 2013 in response to the surge in drug trafficking and consumption in West Africa and their impact on security, governance and public health.
The WACD was established by the Kofi Annan Foundation in consultation with international and regional partners, national governments and civil society organizations.
WACD aims to develop evidence based policy recommendations for political and civil society leaders on how to address drug trafficking and mobilize public awareness and political commitment around the issue.
It also seeks to promote local and regional capacities to deal with drug trafficking to ensure that its findings and recommendations are widely discussed and acted on.
WACD will engage in a follow-up advocacy campaign with governments, regional and international bodies, civil society and the media.