UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has expressed concern about the serious threats posed by drug trafficking and related transnational organized crime to international peace and stability in West Africa and the Sahel region.
“The strong nexus of drugs trafficking with terrorism fuels and finances conflicts and asymmetric warfare,” Ambassador Masood Khan told the UN Security Council.
Speaking in a debate on combating drug trafficking in the Sahel and West Africa, the Pakistani envoy emphasized the need to enhance interregional cooperation and coordination in order to develop inclusive and effective strategies to combat transnational organized crime, including drug and arms trafficking, and activities of terrorist groups.
Masood Khan said West Africa and Sahel was vulnerable to drug trafficking, consumption and production. Drug consumption had increased and the region had become a major producer of synthetic drugs.
“In short, drug trafficking poses a direct threat to peace and security in West Africa and the Sahel”, he said, noting counter-measures must be based on a comprehensive approach that gave due weight to development.
National actions must be supported by regional and international cooperation, the Pakistani envoy said. Regional countries must strengthen judicial systems, security sectors and police institutions. Steps must also be taken to fight impunity and corruption.
He urged harmonizing legal and judicial responses to drug trafficking. “Thankfully we are not starting from scratch”, he said, citing the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel.