International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

25 June 2011

International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

Brussels, 25 June 2011

Press Release

In the lead up to the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on Sunday 26 June 2011, the World Customs Organization calls on its 177 Members all over the world to demonstrate once again that the Customs community as a whole is mobilized to combat this scourge in solidarity with other organizations forming part of the United Nations System. .

By resolution 42/112 of 7 December 1987, the United Nations General Assembly decided to observe 26 June as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse.

Marking this day with the slogan "Together against drugs" provides an opportunity for the WCO to recall the significant role of Customs, which is responsible for more than half of all drug seizures worldwide.

“The fight against drugs concerns everyone," said WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya. "It is our duty to prevent illicit trafficking in narcotics, thereby reducing the vulnerability of those most exposed to this threat,” he added.

"Governments have a responsibility to counteract both drug trafficking and drug abuse," said United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon. "...but communities can also make a major contribution," he added.

In assessing the seizures made by Customs administrations, 2010 can be considered a good year, with over 21,000 reports recorded in the CEN (WCO Central Enforcement Network), covering in total 764 tonnes of drugs of all categories. The breakdown by type is as follows:

· Seizures of cannabis in all forms (resin, herbal and oil) totalled 640 tonnes.

· A little over 76 tonnes of cocaine were intercepted in 2010, compared to over 65 tonnes in 2009, equating to an increase of some 15%.

· Over 33 tonnes of opiate products were intercepted.

· The overall quantity of amphetamines and methamphetamines (psychotropic substances) seized remained stable: 16 tonnes in 2010, the same as in 2009.

As part of its drug enforcement programme, the WCO works closely with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and actively supports initiatives aimed at raising public awareness of the drugs problem.

The WCO 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.

This is in keeping with the recent Sessions of the WCO Council which focused on securing the global supply chain and stopping illicit trade among other topical issues.

More information
International Anti-Drugs Day - click here to download the poster