Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - Sunday, November 8th 2015 [ME NewsWire]
Major General Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi, Inspector General of the Ministry of Interior (MoI), opened the 50th session of the Subcommission on Illicit Drug Traffic and Related Matters in the Near and Middle East. The session was organized by the MoI in cooperation with the Subregional Office for the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries (GCC) of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). A number of concerned international organizations participated alongside the representatives for 23 states in the session that was held at the Yas Viceroy Hotel on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
The opening ceremony was attended by Colonel Abdul Rahman Al Owais, Deputy Director General of Anti-Narcotic Federal Directorate General at the Ministry of Interior; Judge Dr. Hatem Aly, UNODC's representative and head of the Subregional office for the GCC; and Flavius Roversi Secretary General of the Subcommission on Illicit Drug Traffic and Related Matters in the Near and Middle East. Also present were representatives of member and friendly states that participated in the event, representatives of international governmental and non-governmental organizations and institutions, and a number of UAE MoI officers.
In his opening speech, Major General Al Raisi welcomed the member and friendly states and international governmental and non-governmental organizations and institutions that participated in the event. He conveyed the warm greetings of Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, to the participants and expressed His Highness’ deepest wishes of success for them all.
“By convening here in the UAE, we are furthering the steps towards strengthening the participation in the meetings of the United Nations General Assembly,” he said; highlighting how these efforts additionally fall in line with the preparations that are underway for the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS) 2016 that is set to be held in New York. “By hosting this event, the UAE affirms its keenness to be an active partner that cooperates, coordinates, and communicates with other countries in order to counter drugs. This keenness emanates from the UAE’s firm belief that countering drugs is a collective effort – an effort that requires concerted work and capabilities to not only address this problem, but to eliminate it.”
He continued by saying that the meeting builds upon the interest of the UAE’s leadership in increasing the interaction and communication amongst the member states and concerned parties in the anti-drug fields across all local, regional and international levels. “This aims to leverage the current expertise in drug control operations and to highlight the most effective methods for addressing drug trafficking.”
“The UAE has, and will continue to, exert every effort in order to limit the scourge of drugs,” Major General Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi, the Inspector General of the Ministry of Interior, said. “This is a serious issue, as it tends to target the fuel of our society – the youth. The UAE will never show an ounce of complacency towards the issue of drugs, and our higher leadership are steadfast in their commitment to counter drugs and to follow-up with the latest developments in this field; as it is a poison that filters through the community, the economy, and overall security. As we endeavor to make the UAE one of the safest and most secure countries in the world, the UAE’s leaders are always keen to provide the human, technical and material resources necessary in order to aid our nation’s fight against drugs.”
In his concluding remarks, Major General Al Raisi expressed his hopes that the speakers and participants would contribute their constructive ideas in order to reach the serious solutions and practical recommendations that “will help us all in the fight against drugs.” Thanking the organizers and the participants, he wished them all the best of luck in their session.
Judge Dr. Hatem Aly, UNODC's representative and head of the Subregional Office for the GCC delivered a speech on behalf of HE Yury Fedotov Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the UNODC. In his speech, he thanked the UAE for hosting this important regional meeting and for its proper organization. He also thanked the participants in the 50th session of the Subcommission on Illicit Drug Traffic and Related Matters in the Near and Middle East, and conveyed to them the greetings of HE Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the UNODC, and his wishes of success for all.
He said that the 50th meeting comes at an important time, as it is the last of its kind before the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS) 2016. This special session is an important milestone in achieving the objectives as set forth in the Political Declaration and Plan of Action for the year 2009. This meeting additionally plays an instrumental role in the framework of preparations for the UNGASS 2016; through establishing the work and recommendations to be addressed to reach a regional perspective regarding the best ways to counter drug-related issues.
“We are facing major regional and international challenges, as illicit drugs are a true threat to public health, security, and to the wellbeing of nations and their peoples; especially youth and children.” Judge Dr. Aly added, “This confirms that the cooperation and coordination will play a key role in fighting illicit drugs in the Near and Middle East. This meeting will provide the perfect opportunity for the countries to analyze, cooperate, and coordinate on a regional level; especially in light of the threats that are posed by the possibilities of opiates coming from Afghanistan.”
He mentioned that the Subcommission’s meetings are an important platform to exchange knowledge, practical expertise, and strategic methods for fighting the trafficking of illicit drugs. “The recommendations from these meetings provide valuable guidelines that enable us to establish mutual and more effective responses based on practical expertise in the fight against the ill-effects of drugs. The international drug trade is a public problem that affects us all, hence international cooperation is imperative,” he said; reiterating the need for member states to follow a balanced approach in the fight against drugs that addresses both the aspects regarding the supply and demand in this global problem.
He pointed out that in 2009, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) approved a Political Declaration and established a Plan of Action regarding international cooperation in order to set a comprehensive and balanced strategy to fight the international drug problem. This move has emboldened the surveillance of international drug trafficking. He called upon all participating countries to consider this meeting as an opportunity to discuss the issue of illicit drugs in the region, to effectively promote the cooperation, and to leverage these sessions by discussing the most appropriate measures to approach the issue in the region.
He concluded his speech by expressing his hopes that the session achieves its goals, wishing success to all the participants.
Following the speech, the 50th meeting began. During the first session, the members elected Colonel Abdul Rahman Al Owais, Deputy Director General of Anti-Narcotic Federal Directorate General at the Ministry of Interior as Chairman of the Subcommission on Illicit Drug Traffic and the Related Matters in the Near and Middle East for its current session. The Chairman’s head team was also selected for the Subcommission, including two representatives and a rapporteur.
The Subcommission decided upon the agenda for the 50th session alongside other regulatory matters. Judge Dr. Hatim Aly gave a presentation regarding regional and sub-regional cooperation in the fields of training, law enforcement, exchange of information and expertise related to countering drug trafficking; as well as the challenges facing global cooperation and the subsequent procedures and measures to follow in order to overcome them.
Also during the meeting, Ian Monroe, UN Specialist, presented the statistics and trends of drug trafficking in the Near and Middle East and South, West and Mid-Asia.
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The Arabic-language text of this announcement is the official, authoritative version. Translations are provided as an accommodation only, and should be cross-referenced with the Arabic-language text, which is the only version of the text intended to have legal effect.
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