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National Statement of Ghana to the Plenary

As you may be aware in December last year we had fresh elections in Ghana and now have a new president. My president gives you warm felicitations. The Ghana delegation associates itself with the Africa group. Let me express my sincere gratitude to unodc for their unflinching support to Ghana in fight against illicit trafficking and abuse that has become the cancer in our society. Our gratitude is extended to the cooperation of the international community. The global illicit drugs problem is a long and complicated one. Illicit drugs are clandestinely produced and trafficked across the world. The problem is insurmountable. The menace of drug trafficking has caught many countries in the cross –fire. The issue of drug addiction and drug trafficking globally has become more complicated. Social, medical and legal forces all take part in the resolution. Ghana is therefore committed to the conviction that international cooperation will go along way to minimise if not eradicate the menace. In combating crime no nation can claim to be self sufficient. We as developing countries can only make the head way to control delivery. The sure way out is for national law enforcement agencies to cooperate at the international levels so that criminal organisations cannot operate across borders. Ghana is a signatory to all four main conventions against drugs and Ghana has international obligations the infringement of which would result in sanction. We have domestic law to meet our obligations. Ghana has benefitted and continues to benefit to the fight against illicit drugs and work with the UK, USA, Germany, France, Canada, Egypt, EU, just to mention a few – we are grateful to all these countries. Madame chair, having shared responsibilities with other international communities. We now wish to present the following observations and concerns, the level and extent of shared responsibilities cannot be classified as reciprocal. In fact it seems lop sided. It is one way traffic from developed countries to developing countries. Expensive equipment is sent to developing countries, which we cannot maintain. We are in the parasitic rp;e. I suggest you consider funding maintenance work or training of local users of equipment / implementers of programmes. Information exchange, responsibilities here are more reciprocal. Here, there are hindrances. This takes a considerable period of time and resources. International partners should consider the needs and resources of local countries when requesting information exchange. Madame chair in the field of implementation of conventions, these responsibilities should be shared among cooperating nations. Most nations provide or protect specific interests. For instance, while the issue of cannabis is treated with all the seriousness of drug crime in many African countries. In some countries, i understand possession or use is not criminalised. It would be helpful if the international laws could be in a form that can be ratified and implemented straight into domestic law without further law being required. Apart from legislative bottle necks, information exchange can also serve as obstacles. In international cooperation, most nations receive foreign training to improve the capacity of their organisations to combat the drug menace. There are problems of shared responsibility. The government support unodc to decentralise its activity. We need the support and cooperation of all.

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