International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

25 June 2021

The World Customs Organization (WCO) joins the international community to mark the United Nations’ International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on 26 June 2021, under the theme Share Facts On Drugs, Save Lives’. This celebration aims to draw attention on 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.

“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”, stated WCO Secretary General, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya.  “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”, he added.

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 which are subject to drug restriction and prohibition laws. The Programme consists of several major components:

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 protect consumer health and safety, while dealing effectively with criminals involved in this illicit and dangerous trade.