WCO commits to fight against drug abuse and illicit trafficking

Courtesy of Australian Border Force (2019 WCO Photo Competition)

The World Customs Organisation (WCO) says it would continue to join forces with its member customs administrations and the international community in the fight against the illicit drug trade.

The WCO Secretary-General Dr. Kunio Mikuriya stated this in a statement to mark the United Nations’ International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking last week.

According to Mikuriya, “It looks like there is a threat of upsurge in illegal drug trafficking, which benefited, during the pandemic, not only from general anxiety over health, safety and employment but also from the E-Commerce exponential growth following the measures on movement restrictions.  “The WCO will continue to join hands with its Member Customs administrations and the international community, and make every effort to thwart illegal drug trade whatever patterns it adopts.”

The theme of the event was ‘Share Facts on Drugs, Save Lives’. This celebration was aimed to draw attention to how important it is to combat misinformation and to promote facts sharing on drugs to achieve the goal of a world free of drug abuse, from health risks and solutions to evidence-based prevention, treatment, and care. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented public awareness on health, protective measures for staying healthy, and most importantly, on protecting each other, leading towards a growing sense of global community and solidarity and the need to ensure health care for all.

International coordination and cooperation are pivotal to tackle the threat imposed by drug trafficking. The challenge faced by Customs and its partner agencies is very serious, this is why the WCO has set up a Drugs and Precursors Programme, which aims at countering global illegal trade covering the cultivation, manufacturing, distribution and sale of substances that are subject to drug restriction and prohibition laws.

The WCO reaffirms today its commitment to fight against organized crime in order to make the world a better place for all and for future generations and is counting on the active participation of its Members to combat illicit drug trafficking as part of Customs’ commitment to protecting consumer health and safety while dealing effectively with criminals involved in this illicit and dangerous trade.

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