Arab nations discuss countering spread of drugs

The heads of anti-narcotics agencies in the Middle East yesterday discussed setting up a project to counter the spread of drugs in the region.

Speaking at the opening of the 31st Arab Conference of the Heads of Drug Control Agencies in the Tunisian capital Tunis, Secretary-General of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers Mohammed Bin Ali Koman said: “This project will have a significant impact on reducing the spread of drugs and reducing the risks of this proliferation.”

“The conference is also discussing a draft for an Arab mechanism for early warning, to monitor developments in the field of drugs, combat traditional and innovative psychological materials, and subject the Tramadol drug to international control.”

Director of the Arab Office for Drug Control Hussein Mohammed Al-Shibli said in a statement: “The Arab countries are ready to face the scourge of drugs that has spread throughout the world, through mechanisms of cooperation and joint efforts, to put the drug crime in its real framework and face it.”

“All Arab countries are aware of the danger of drugs and therefore undertake a purely national effort to counter the attempt to reduce the supply and demand for drugs. They also make an effort to protect their borders through Arab-Arab coordination and regional Arab coordination in relation to this crime.”

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“The efforts were fruitful since there has been a drastic reduction in the prevalence and trafficking of drugs,” Al-Shibli said without giving exact figures.

In the same context, he said that “the conference will publish recommendations and figures on the spread of drugs in the Arab world at the conclusion of its work.”

Al-Shibli stressed that “what is new about the conference is the decision to have Arab coordination to confront any developments in smuggling methods, exchange the best experiences of some Arab countries in the face of drugs crime, which allows other countries to benefit from these experiences that led to a strategy of reducing the supply and demand.”

Representatives from the Ministries of Interior of the Arab States, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Naif Arab University for Security Sciences, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the International Criminal Police Organisation, the European Police Service will participate in the conference which concludes today.