Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Mr.Gennady Kuzmin, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, at the Security Council on Peace and security in Africa

We thank the Côte d’Ivoire presidency for taking the initiative to convene this briefing of the Council on the very topical issue of combating drug trafficking in West Africa.

We also thank Mr. Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), for his participation in the meeting and for his informative and detailed briefing.

We are firmly convinced that effectively countering the threat of drugs in the West African States is possible only on a basis of coordinated efforts by the entire international community, with the United Nations playing a leading role.

In that regard, we confirm our unwavering support to the sanctions regime targeting people and organizations linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and Al-Qaida who finance terrorist activity through proceeds from illegal drug trafficking. The continuing mutual ties between criminal activity, including drug-related activity, and international terrorism, particularly where material support for it is concerned, are very alarming.

The high indicators for pharmaceutical opioids for non-medical consumption, synthetic drugs and heroin addiction are particularly worrying. A number of States in the region continue to be transit hubs for opiates from Afghanistan and cocaine from Latin America. We are hoping for a comprehensive review of all of those issues in Vienna in March 2019 during the scheduled review of the implementation of the Political Declaration on the Prevention of Drug Abuse, Illicit Drug Trafficking and Organized Crimes in West Africa and the 2009 Regional Response Action Plan.

Among the priorities within the framework of measures to deal adequately with the drug issue is the quest for effective alternatives to this kind of criminal business. In particular, the promotion of programmes reconfigured to take local realities into account and designed to create additional job opportunities in the region would be of major help in that regard, and the involvement of the business community, as well as the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, could make a significant contribution to that.

We believe it is vital to continue giving special attention to preventing and suppressing the radicalization of young people, while focusing on raising their employment and education levels, including through policies aimed at implementing specialized projects under the auspices of the United Nations and UNESCO. We also think it makes sense to continue improving and strengthening border security, the exchange of information and the training of lawenforcement personnel.

We have been pleased with UNODC’s success in extending expert assistance to African States on ensuring security and stability. We support UNODC’s work in that regard, and its cooperation with the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States and other regional bodies.

Needless to say, it is also important to develop anti-drug cooperation among the countries concerned themselves, in bilateral, regional, subregional and multilateral formats, based on the principle of shared and joint responsibility.

For our part, we have consistently taken measures to assist African States in training personnel, particularly in the areas of health care and law enforcement. We are committed to continuing a constructive dialogue and effective cooperation in the fight against drugs.