Morocco’s Efforts to Combat Psychotropic Drugs Trafficking Highlighted in CND

16 March 2024
Morocco’s Efforts to Combat Psychotropic Drugs Trafficking Highlighted in CND

Morocco’s efforts in combating trafficking of psychotropic and psychoactive substances were highlighted at a high-level side-event held in Vienna on Friday, organized alongside the 67th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND).

The meeting, held under the theme “Protecting global health and safety: mounting a unified international response to synthetic drugs and their precursors” and organised by the United States of America in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), highlighted  Morocco’s “balanced and integrated” approach to addressing the harmful effects of illicit synthetic drugs and psychoactive substances.

The Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Morocco in Vienna, Azzeddine Farhane, noted Morocco’s significant challenges with trafficking in these substances, revealing that Moroccan authorities seized over 8 million tablets, including ecstasy and psychoactive substances, from 2019 to 2023, with a total of 3,736,888 tablets seized between 2015 and 2023.

In efforts to prevent and counter the illicit use of synthetic drugs, Farhane highlighted Morocco’s national strategy for preventing and managing addictive disorders, developed by the Ministry of Health.

This strategy focuses on promoting mental health, enhancing care provision and professional skills, reducing risks associated with drug injection, strengthening governance and partnerships in addiction management, and safeguarding the rights of individuals affected by addictive disorders, he explained.

Farhane also highlighted the efforts made by the Moroccan authorities to detect, seize and prevent trafficking in synthetic drugs and psychoactive substances, praising the “fruitful cooperation” between Morocco and its partners in the fight against drug trafficking.

“I would like to mention in particular the seizure of 490,000 synthetic opioid tablets in Tangiers in the course of 2021, thanks to information provided by the US Drug Enforcement Agency”, he told participants at the meeting, which was opened by the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, and the Executive Director of the UNODC, Ghada Waly.

Farhane underscored the significance of the side-event amidst an unprecedented rise in production, trafficking, and use of synthetic drugs and psychotropic substances globally, which he described as “great concern to the international community”.

“This unique moment gives us the opportunity to discuss and share best practices and experiences in our common daily fight against the harmful effects of synthetic drugs,” said Farhane, welcoming the launch of the Global Coalition to Combat Synthetic Drug Threats, last July.

As a member of this global coalition, Morocco is convinced that “together with the other members, we can meet the challenges posed by synthetic drugs, for the well-being of our populations and the prosperity of our societies,” noted the diplomat, describing the coalition as “a significant platform for sharing best practice and experience in managing the threats posed by synthetic drugs and other psychoactive substances.”

He said that the growing threats posed by synthetic drugs meant that we needed to coordinate our actions, build our capacities and put in place a work plan “to meet the new challenges posed by synthetic drugs as a global health problem.”

With this in mind, the diplomat stressed the need to create “synergy, momentum and complementarity” between the Coalition and the CND, as well as with other relevant UN bodies, and to strengthen regular exchanges and dialogue with the multilateral processes in Vienna, Geneva and New York.

In addition to Farhane, the only African ambassador to take part in this side-event, the meeting was attended by the President of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), Jallal Toufiq, ambassadors, permanent representatives, diplomats, UN experts, representatives of international organisations and government officials.

Created at the initiative of the United States, the Global Coalition to Combat Synthetic Drug Threats aims to bring together key international players, governments, intergovernmental organisations, specialised agencies, civil society and the private sector for concerted action to address the challenges posed by synthetic drugs on a global scale.

Source: map

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