Obasanjo, Annan to Meet Ghanaian President on Drug Challenges

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The Chairman of the West Africa Commission on Drugs, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and the Chairman of the Kofi Annan Foundation, Mr. Kofi Annan, are to meet with the Ghanaian President and Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Mr. John Mahama, to discuss regional responses to the growing drugs threat in West Africa.

In June, the West Africa Commission on Drugs concluded that drug trafficking, consumption and production in West Africa undermines institutions, threatens public health and damages development efforts.
It called on West African governments to reform drug laws and policies and decriminalise low-level and non-violent drug offences.

“ECOWAS is uniquely placed to urge West African governments to collaborate and make common cause against the threat posed by drugs,” Obasanjo said.

“Only a concerted regional response has a realistic chance of curbing the pernicious effects of this well-organized trade.

“We must look pragmatically at what works and what does not when it comes to dealing with drugs”, Kofi Annan said.
“The report which chairman Obasanjo of the West Africa Commission on Drugs will today present to President Mahama, makes a frank assessment of the situation and puts forward concrete policy recommendations which I hope will be heeded across the region and beyond.”

The West Africa Commission on Drugs (WACD) was created in January 2013 to make face to the ever-growing threats posed by drugs in West Africa.

Annan, in consultation with international and regional partners, national governments and civil society organisations convened the commission, which last June, presented its landmark report entitled: “Not Just in Transit: Drugs, Society and the State in West Africa.”

The report is the culmination of one and a half years of engagement by the commission with national, regional and international parties including the African Union (AU), the ECOWAS and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

It is informed by a series of background papers, drafted by leading experts from Africa and beyond.

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