In their closing statement in Abu Dhabi, participants at the 50th session of the Subcommission on Illicit Drug Traffic and Related Matters in the Near and Middle East emphasized that international cooperation and coordination is essential in order to effectively confront the drug problem. As such, the Subcommission has adopted an action plan for joint international cooperation.

The United Arab Emirates hosted the meetings of the Subcommission in Abu Dhabi, which were organized by the Ministry of Interior (MoI) in cooperation with the Subregional Office for the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries (GCC) of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The meetings recommended that the UN General Assembly hold a special session in early 2016 in order to address the global drug problem. Within the framework of the international agreements, this special session shall also review which aspects of the statement and action plan adopted in the Abu Dhabi session have been implemented, alongside the achievements and challenges faced when tackling the global drug problem.

The participants welcomed the results of the Abu Dhabi session, asserting that the each nation has the right to its own sovereignty and regional safety; and must be respected and protected against foreign intervention. The participants also stressed the principles of common and shared responsibility in countering the global drug problem.

They also called for acknowledging each nation’s governmental regulations and regional approaches for countering drugs with respect to the religious and cultural particularities of each region. In order to ensure an effective method to address and respond to the drug problem, participants discussed the importance of encouraging governments to oppose any form of drug legalization or tolerance, of committing to the three major international drug control treaties, and of acquiring the knowledge regarding the intricate methods and aspects of the drug problem.

Participants also necessitated that the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), alongside its field offices, maintain its leading role by providing assistance for capacity building, technology, and coordination in countering the global drug problem on national, regional, and most particularly, non-regional levels.

Additionally, they stressed the importance of prioritizing the Near and Middle East in order to address the problems that are afflicting the region; which include illicit drug production, trafficking, and the abuse of opiates, cocaine, amphetamine stimulants, and new psychotropic substances among others.

The statement also recommended encouraging law enforcement through regional information centers such as the GCC Criminal Information Center to Combat Drugs (GCC-CICCD), Turkish International Academy against Drugs and Organized Crime (TADOC), and Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre for Combating Illicit Trafficking of Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and their Precursors (CARICC). These bodies shall cooperate and coordinate their efforts within the network linking initiative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Participants also called on governments to monitor the use of drugs for medical purposes, and to limit their use for intended purposes only. Such substances should be provided only under the supervision of health authorities, and governments should work to prevent the abuse of these substances. They also encouraged governments to foster national coordination among law enforcement and drug countering agencies, as well as financial intelligences agencies. These steps will further advance the exchange of international legal expertise regarding money laundering and illegal cash flow of illicit drug trade.

It is worth mentioning that the Subcommission on Illicit Drug Traffic and Related Matters in the Near and Middle East continued its meetings on the final day by discussing a number of topics. These topics included measures for countering money laundering and illegal cash flow, as well as an action plan for international cooperation. These measures aim to create an integrated and balanced strategy for countering the global drug problem.

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