UN, INTERPOL to work on drugs, weapons in West Africa
A top United Nations official and the Secretary General of International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), Ronald Noble, have agreed to work jointly against transnational crimes in West Africa.
The UN Secretary-General Special Representative for West Africa, Said Djinnit and Noble discussed cross-border issues such as organised crime, including illicit drug trafficking and proliferation of weapons in West Africa, and the Sahel Region as well as piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
Meeting at the INTERPOL headquarters in Lyon, France on Monday, the two officials stressed the importance of joining efforts to efficiently address the increasing complexity of transnational organized crime which seriously threatens the stability of the sub-region and is an impediment to its development.
They also highlighted the key role of INTERPOL’s expertise in information sharing through high-tech infrastructure to enable national police services to work together.
In this regard, they reviewed the latest achievements and challenges of the West Africa Coast Initiative (WACI) aimed at combating illicit trafficking and organized crime in the sub-region.
This joint UN/INTERPOL project was launched in 2009 to support the Regional Action Plan of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to address the growing problem of illicit drug trafficking, organized crime and drug abuse in West Africa.
The two officials reiterated their commitment to strengthen their collaboration in support to ECOWAS efforts to make West Africa a safer place, according to a press statement issued after the Lyon meeting.