The United Nations Office On Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs have committed to support the fight against the abuse and trafficking of illicit substances.
Speaking at the program commemorating the Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking held at the Monrovia City Hall recently, the UNODC Representative to Liberia, Ron Duane Flaming stated that the international community is determine to address and counter the world drug problem.
He indicated that the UNODC is resolved in its Ministerial Declaration that was adopted at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna in March.
Flaming added that effective, holistic approaches ate needed in order to continue the fight against narcotic drugs and other harmful substances in the world.
He stressed that integrated solutions are only possible when fair and humane institutions of criminal justice, health and social services work hand-in-hand.
“As a chronic health disorder, drug dependence needs to be prevented and treated in line with international standards and science. Health and justice cooperation is essential to closing the gaps, making sure responses include youth and women to fight discrimination and promote alternatives to imprisonment for people with drug use disorders,” Flaming stressed.
He noted that social inclusion and building resilience, as well as rehabilitation and reintegration which, according to him, are instrumental in helping prevent crime and violence.
Flaming emphasized that a better understanding of drug problems is also needed, recommending a need for research and analysis to inform policy and enable international cooperation around evidence-based solutions.
For his part, the Deputy Director of the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Section, Stephen Kissick pledged his institution’s support to the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency to foster the achievement of providing safety, security and the rule of law for all Liberians.
Kissick cited that the primary duty of every government is to protect its citizens from threats to life and safety; threats that include drug trafficking, abuse and addiction.
“Liberia can better protect its people from the danger of drugs by having an integrated strategy that includes well-trained and well-prepared civilian law enforcement services, an independent judiciary and a robust Health and Social services response,” he said.