The United Nations has confirmed it will re-establish the presence of its Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Seychelles in April 2018, as part of the island nation’s increased cooperation with the UN body
The United Nations has confirmed it will re-establish the presence of its Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Seychelles in April 2018, as part of the island nation’s increased cooperation with the UN body.
The move was announced by the UNODC’s new Eastern Africa representative, Amado Philip de Andrés, following a meeting with Seychelles’ President Dany Faure on January 12, 2018.
The President and UNODC representative discussed cooperation in maritime security strategy, prison reform and a reduction in drug demand.
On maritime security, de Andrés said that the UNODC was considering the use of the Regional Fusion and Law Enforcement Centre for Safety and Security at Sea, based in Seychelles, for interregional exercises with European and Latin American countries.
New illegal substances are reaching Africa through illicit marine channels, with more than 250 tonnes of cocaine reaching West Africa from Latin America annually, according to the UNODC.
Maritime security is therefore seen as an important aspect of the security of the African population and the economic development of Seychelles.
A reduction in drug demand will also be a focus of the office, with an express to be deployed in February 2018 to assist the government in developing strategies that combine a health angle with a law enforcement angle, in line with Seychelles’ Sustainable Development Goals.
These strategies aim to position Seychelles as a leading contributor in the fight against narcotics.
Andres and Faure jointly recognised the importance of emphasising prison reform as part of the UNODC’s work, with progress expected in the next 18 months.
Andres praised Seychelles’ judiciary system during a meeting with the Chief Justice, comparing the system’s good practices to those of Europe and Asia, as well as those of other leading African countries.
The UNODC was established in 1997 as a department merging the UN Drug Control Programme and the Centre for International Crime Prevention.
It is a leading administration in the global fight against illicit drugs and international crime.
UNODC representative Andrés said: “The first good news that we had from the president is that we are going to re-establish our presence here as of the beginning of April.
“My UNODC officer will be the entry point for us to physically increase our cooperation and presence in Seychelles.”
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