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Dubai Police, UNODC to confer on combating drugs trafficking
By Mariecar Jara-Puyod January 07, 2018
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DUBAI: Global experts on the fight against illicit trafficking of drugs and its related crimes such as international terrorism and political corruption will gather in Dubai on Feb.11-12 for the “13th Hemaya International Forum and Exhibition on Drugs Issues.” The conference will be held at Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre.

Under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, the theme of the conference, organised by the Dubai Police, in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), is “Foreseeing the Future of the Global Combat of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances—Predictions, Preparations and Prevention Strategies for 2030.”

The conference will cover about 32 topics, three of which are about and for the youth. The issues covered by these topics are: Trends of drug abuse among young people and the extent of their reflections on its preventive policies; 2030 world from the youth’s perspective, their vision about it and its influence on their perception of drugs and psychotropic substances; Challenges faced by the families and how to positively handle them.

According to the World Health Organisation, psychotropic or psychoactive substances refer to the psycho-medical/chemical drugs that may lead to the over-dependence, abuse and overuse of the patients or users, whose central nervous systems get seriously affected such that they experience motor and mental functioning disturbance, including misbehaviour, hallucination, depression and over-stimulation.

As of June 2013, 183 countries were signatories to the “1976 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances” that originated in 1971 as a consequence of the rising massive availability and use of drugs namely the amphetamine-types, stimulants, barbiturates, benzodiazepines and the psychedelics, that governments had expressed alarm on the possible effects on public health, peace and order.

Meanwhile, UNODC executive director Yury Fedotov wrote in the “World Drug Report 2017-The Drug Problem and Organised Crime, Illicit Financial Flows, Corruption and Terrorism”:

“The 2017 report comes at a time when the international community has acted decisively to achieve consensus on a way forward for joint action. The outcome document unanimously adopted at last year’s special session of the General Assembly on the world drug problem contains more than 100 recommendations for implementing balanced, comprehensive and integrated approaches to effectively addressing and countering the world drug problem.”

Fedotov also wrote about the extreme need to come together as the world is plagued by “the many harms inflicted by drugs to health, development, peace and security, in all regions of the world.”

The report indicated that over 190,000 “premature deaths,” majority attributable to the abuse and misuse of drugs and specifically opioids, could have been avoided.

An excerpt from the June 22, 2017 report of the UNODC datelined Vienna/New York/Geneva read, “In 2015 about a quarter of a billion people used drugs. Of these, 29.5 million people—or 0.6 per cent of the global adult population—were engaged in problematic use and suffered drug use disorders, including dependence.

“Opioids were the most harmful drug type and accounted for 70 per cent of the negative health impact associated with drug use disorders worldwide. Ranking second to opioids on the global scale are the amphetamines.”

The UNODC report cited that corruption is one of the significant contributors to the unceasing threats of the continuing transnational manufacture and sale of narcotics, making it a sophisticated and organised crime.

Fedotov wrote: “There remains an enormous need for capacity-building and technical assistance, and continuous funding to fall far short of political commitment.

“I ask all Governments to help us improve the evidence base for these reports. Areas such as the links between drugs, terrorism and insurgency clearly touch upon sensitive intelligence, and there are legitimate concerns about compromising sources, collection and operations.”

Moreover, as per the US Department of State-Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, the International Narcotics Control Strategy Report consisting of 297 pages, noted the following on the UAE: “The rate of illegal drug use in the UAE remains low by international standards though the use of new psychoactive substances such as the synthetic cannabinoid known as spice, pharmaceutical drugs and hashish continues to increase.”

Stating that the UAE has zero tolerance on illegal drugs and considers it a serious crime, the report also said that the country funds a UN Office, a semi-regional office, on Drugs and Crime.

From Jan. to Oct. 2016, the “UAE passed 216 drugs leads to the (US Drug Enforcement Administration) on drug couriers, majority of whom were arrested upon landing at their final destinations.” 

From the press conference held on Jan.4 at the Dubai Police Officers Club, the Dubai Police-Criminal Investigations Affairs assistant commandant, who is also Hemaya Higher Committee vice chairman, Maj.Gen. Ibrahim Khalil Al Mansoori said: “Today, government and private institutions across the region need to develop long-term proactive solutions, adopt new policies, develop a new framework and keep abreast with the latest developments, especially in overcoming the complex issues of drugs, in order to implement proper treatment mechanisms and make efforts to rehabilitate those affected by drug issues.”

He added, “The Dubai Police are keen to take all necessary action, discuss all matters related to the use of drugs and willing to cooperate with various bodies to combat drugs while also raise awareness about (their) dangers and develop solutions in order to eliminate this phenomenon completely.”
 

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