Plenary opening session by Ghana

Common and shared responsibility is the core principle of international law. There is widespread recognition that drugs and organised crime retard the development goals. We have put together legislation in the 1990s on drugs control and enforcement. Since then, criminal networking has developed fast. Ghana remains committed to the principles of the UN on drug use and trafficking.

For many years, analysis of the global supply of drugs has showed a rise in drugs, especially for cocaine and heroin. The war on drug trafficking is now sophisticated and uses technological advancements.

We are all familiar about the effects of drugs among people. It is worrying that use is concentrated among youth. Social media makes it even easier for young people to access drugs.

The trend is worrying. We continue to intercept large amounts of drugs coming in Ghana from all parts of the world. Since now: cocaine, cannabis and heroin. But now, ATS is taking centre stage. West Africa is relatively new to this phenomenon. ATS and stimulants are now on top of the agenda. We are looking into how this new trend can be curbed. We are also focusing on precursors.

We do not work in isolation. We have set up an interagency approach to drugs in Ghana, including working in collaboration with the UNODC, the EU, the USA, the UK, Brazil, etc.

Ghana continues to meet progress. In 212, drug prevention was extended to more schools and communities, with radio, TV and multimedia outreach across the country. We also produced a documentary on the dangers of drugs.

The 22nd meeting in June 2012 led to the adoption of a Declaration leading to a resolution on improved cooperation among West African States for combatting drug trafficking, as well as for the rehabilitation of people victims of drug abuse.

It is hoped that regional bodies such as ECOAS and the African Union become more involved in combatting drug trafficking.

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