THE Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, in partnership with the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s, UNODC, Regional Office for West and Central Africa opened its Project Steering and Coordination Committee, PSCC) on the 19th September 2019 in Abuja, Nigeria to ensure effective coordination of the Regional Action Plan.
Under the ECOWAS – EU – UNODC Project on “Support to ECOWAS Regional Action Plan on Illicit Drug Trafficking, related Organized Crime and Drug Abuse in West Africa”, the PSCC meeting will validate annual project work plans, discuss results obtained in the course of implementing the project, to agree on the revisions of the Financing Agreement and the Grant Agreement, among others.
Giving the keynote address, Siga Fatima Jagne, Commissioner Social Affairs and Gender, ECOWAS Commission, whom Mr. Mohammed Ibrahim, P.P.O. Disaster & Risk Reduction, Social Affairs and Gender represented, thanked the EU and UNDOC for their support.
“The support has indeed helped ECOWAS Member States as well as the Commission to be able to address some of the critical needs identified before the inception of the project’, She said.
Commissioner Jagne highlighted that the Project has strengthened the ECOWAS Drug Unit (EDU) with five technical staff who led the monitoring missions to assess the status of the implementation of the Drugs Action Plan in all 15 Member States and Mauritania.
While stressing the importance of the PSCC meeting as the project comes to end, Mr. Kurt Cornelis, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Nigeria and the ECOWAS, believes that the project has significantly supported ECOWAS in its ambition to eradicate “Illicit Drug Trafficking, related Organised Crime and Drug Abuse in West Africa”.
Also speaking at the opening, Mr. Oliver Stolpe, UNODC Representative at the PSCC Meeting, highlighted that UNODC’s technical support to ECOWAS Member States has led to notable paradigm shifts encouraging changes in mindset.
This, he said, can be seen in terms of advocacy for less punitive approach, which now comes from National Authorities of Most ECOWAs Member States instead of the United Nations System.
The EU has supported the implementation of the ECOWAS Regional Action Plan on Illicit Drug Trafficking, related Organized Crime and Drug Abuse in West Africa since 2015, while the UNODC provided technical support. The project will round-up in November 2019.
– Sept. 21, 2019 @ 15:55 GMT |