News from Africa

African Union Conference under the theme “Promoting Good Practices in Drug Policy Development and Implementation”

Fifth Session of African Union Conference of Ministers of Drug Control Kicks Off In Addis Ababa

Témoignages.re / 4 October 2012

The Fifth Session of the African Union (AU) Conference of Ministers of Drug Control opens on Thursday 11 October 2012 at the headquarters of the AU Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, under the theme “Promoting Good Practices in Drug Policy Development and Implementation”.

Organised by the Department of Social Affairs, the conference brings together Ministers and Experts responsible for Drug Control in AU Member States, the AU Commission and other AU Organs, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Specialised National Agencies, particularly those involved with policy formulation and research on drugs, and International Organisations.

The meeting is expected to discuss new trends and challenges in drug policy globally,

Review progress in implementation of the AU Plan of Action on Drug Control and Crime Prevention (2007 -2012) and roll out a new framework that seeks to tackle both supply and demand reduction aspects of drug control in corresponding measure.

Ahead of the conference, a working session of drug Experts took place on Monday, 08th to Wednesday 10th October 2012. Participants reviewed and agreed on a new AU Plan of Action on Drug Control (2013 -2018), an African common position on controlled substances and access to pain medicine reviewed as well as Continental minimum quality standards for drug use treatment.

The use of illicit drugs has a profound effect not only on those who suffer from addiction, but also family members, co-workers, communities and society as a whole. AU Member States continue to emphasise programmes to help prevent drug use and break the cycle of addiction. Member States are continuously working with international and local partners to achieve the goal of preventing illicit drug use - that includes getting tough on drug dealers who threaten the safety of our youth and communities. Three areas of equal focus are essential, namely: a.) improving access to treatment for those with drug dependencies, b.) improving treatment programmes, and c.) enhancing efforts to curtail production and distribution of illicit drugs. Balanced Action Plans addressing in equal measure, prevention, treatment and enforcement must continue in communities.

Journalists are invited to cover the opening ceremony of the Ministerial meeting on Thursday, 11 October 2012 (09:00 to 11:00) which will be preceded by a press briefing.

For more information please consult our website: www.africa-union.org.

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, October 4, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)

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