Qatar Stresses Importance of Strengthening Cooperation

Qatar Stresses Importance of Strengthening Cooperation By Mohamed Suhaib - March 27, 2023
HE Minister of Social Development and Family Maryam bint Ali bin Nasser Al Misnad with a number of meeting participants

HE Minister of Social Development and Family Maryam bint Ali bin Nasser Al Misnad with a number of meeting participants

The State of Qatar affirmed that the drug problem takes on international and regional dimensions affecting all sectors and areas of life, stressing the importance of strengthening cooperation in the field of development, prevention, and protection of Arab peoples from threats, including drug and addiction issues.

This came in a speech delivered by HE Minister of Social Development and Family Maryam bint Ali bin Nasser Al Misnad, Chair of the 42nd session of the Council of Arab Ministers of Social Affairs, during a meeting held Saturday at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the Arab League in Cairo, Egypt to sign the Regional Framework for Arab States (2023 2028) between the Arab League and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and launch the Arab Plan for Prevention and Reduction of the Dangers of Drugs to Arab Society under the title "Towards Effective Handling of the Issue from a Social Perspective." Her Excellency said the State of Qatar leads the global program for the implementation of the Qatar-funded Doha Declaration, adding that Qatar, via its national centers such as the Behavioral Health care Center (Daam) works to prevent youth and those susceptible to addiction, as well as providing treatment and rehabilitation services and conducting survey research on the community.

She also noted that the "Naufar" center is the first in the world in terms of integrated health and psychological care systems with international standards concerned with drug addicts and those recovering from them, and those who suffer from the effects of dependence on narcotic substances, pointing out that drugs are a cross-border crime and due to scientific progress in means of communication and transportation, which led to its rapid spread between countries, with criminal gangs exploiting these advantages to devise new methods of selling and promotion.

HE Al Misnad added that UN reports link the high rates of drug prevalence with the increase in diseases and the spread of crime, while international estimates indicate a significant increase in drug abuse globally. She pointed out that addressing the drug problem is a general multilateral responsibility borne by all countries, which calls for supporting political and diplomatic efforts with quick measures on the ground to keep pace with the rapid spread of drugs and their new promotion tools to protect children and youth in the educational, entertainment and electronic circles, and reaching drug-free societies.

She added that the accumulation of political, economic, and social challenges should not keep us away from our common goal, which is to fully achieve the objectives of the three drug agreements and the ministerial declarations for 2014, 2016, and 2019, considering drugs as a major cause leading to social diseases such as family rift, violence, and divorce, in addition to their impact on the workforce and the level of its impact on economic production and development.

In a statement, the Arab League said that the signing of the 'Regional Framework for Arab States (2023 2028)' and the launch of the 'Arab Plan for Prevention and Reduction of the Dangers of Drugs to Arab Society' comes within the context of close cooperation between the League and the UNODC.

The Arab League stated that the Regional Framework for the Arab States 2023-2028 acts as the overarching strategic framework for cooperation between UNODC and Arab League. It frames how UNODC will strengthen, prioritize, customize, and deliver support to the Arab region in an effective response to some of the most pressing challenges faced by these countries and in connection with UNODC's mandates and specialties. 

The Arab League added that the Regional Framework articulates six focus areas for guiding UNODC-implemented programming at the regional and national levels and they are: a balanced approach to drug control, strengthening the response to organized crime, combating trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, action against corruption and financial crime, preventing and countering terrorism and violence, and strengthening crime/violence prevention and criminal justice. The Arab League pointed out that the Arab Plan for Prevention and Reduction of the Dangers of Drugs to Arab Society, which was launched during the meeting under the title "Towards Effective Response to Drugs Issue," constitutes a regional social framework for combating drugs in Arab countries.

This important plan represents a regional social framework for combating drugs in the Arab States by highlighting the social dimension of drug demand reduction in the context of its negative impact on social development in specific and sustainable development in general. This is also at the heart of efforts to achieve the Arab Declaration adopted by the Arab League in 2016 to implement the Sustainable Development Agenda 2023. The Arab League added that the present document provides an indicative vision for guiding Arab action toward a comprehensive and integrated response based on scientific evidence and consistent with the Arab specificity of this phenomenon. The Plan aims to build national strategies and action plans that meet national requirements and includes a number of initiatives, projects and activities that achieve their objectives in complementarity with Arab efforts to combat the supply of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances through comprehensive actions that include proactiveness and social resolution.

The Arab League indicated that the Arab Plan's dimensions showcase the methods of how to address this phenomenon from a social perspective and in line with Arab countries' regulations and conditions to implement effective interventions including related multidimensional social and development consequences and to strengthen Arab efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Arab League noted that the important dimensions of the Plan include community prevention, rehabilitation and social integration, addressing drug-related harm and its consequences, as well as the dimensions and themes in support of the Plan's areas of action, namely international cooperation, scientific research and innovation, coordination mechanisms, governance, implementation, measurement and impact assessment. (QNA)

By Mohamed Suhaib - March 27, 2023

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