2 December 2009


Donors Meet to Reduce Vulnerability of West Africa to Drugs and Crime

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is convening a donor roundtable in Vienna on 3 December to increase support for the ECOWAS Regional Action Plan on illicit drug trafficking and organized crime (2008-2011).

The Plan, agreed to one year ago at a Ministerial meeting in Praia, Cape Verde, is designed to reduce to vulnerability of West Africa to drugs and crime. Over the past five years, West Africa has emerged as a hub for cocaine trafficking from the Andean countries to Europe. A discovery of precursor chemicals in Guinea (Conakry) this summer also suggests that the region is in danger of becoming a producer of synthetic drugs. Drug addiction is also rising.

Members of the press are invited to a Press Conference at 17:30 on Thursday 3 December in Room 01 L5480 (first floor) of the Austria Centre.

The panellists will include Mohamed Ibn Chambas, President of the ECOWAS Commission, Ambassador Said Djinnit, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for West Africa, and Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

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Please register for the press briefing by writing to press@unvienna.org
by 17:00 hours on Wednesday 2 December.

For further information, please contact:

Walter Kemp
Spokesman and Speechwriter, UNODC
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-5629
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-5629
Email: walter.kemp@unodc.org