International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

26 June 2012

International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

Brussels, 26 June 2012

Press Release

As the world celebrates the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, the World Customs Organization (WCO) calls on its 177 Members to demonstrate once again that the Customs community 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, and it is our duty to prevent illicit trafficking in narcotics, thereby reducing the vulnerability of those most exposed to this threat,” said WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya.

“Working together, we can alleviate the suffering of millions and break the hold of drugs and crime on countries, communities and families”, said United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon.

In assessing the seizures made by Customs administrations, 2011 can be considered a good year, with over 47,000 reports recorded in the WCO Central Enforcement Network (CEN), covering in total 1,795 tonnes of drugs of all categories. The breakdown by type is as follows:

· Seizures of cannabis in all forms (resin, herbal and oil) totalled 1,614 tonnes.

· Over 73 tonnes of cocaine were intercepted.

· More than 89 tonnes of opiate products were intercepted (heroin, opium morphine and poppy straw).

· The overall quantity of amphetamines and methamphetamines (psychotropic substances) was over 19 tonnes.

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.

More information
Download the WCO 2012 poster here.