GIS - 18 March, 2019: One of Government’s main challenges in Mauritius is the establishment of a well-structured psycho-social support for drug users. Our ultimate aim is the rehabilitation and social reintegration of drug users through the development and implementation of a health-based and a person-centred approach alongside repressive actions to support those in need with social and economic measures.
The Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth made this statement, on Friday 15 March 2019, at the 62nd Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna, Austria.
This world-wide escalation of the drug phenomenon has not left Mauritius unscathed, said the Prime Minister while adding that the past 15 years have witnessed a surge in the number of new psychoactive substances. Presently, the consumption of synthetic drugs has reached alarming levels and has impacted on public health, affecting mostly the youth and adolescents, he underscored.
Prime Minister Jugnauth recalled that a Commission of Inquiry on Drugs and an Anti-Drug and Smuggling Unit were set up in the mid-eighties to combat drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking. He further pointed out that in September 2015, his Government established a new Commission of Inquiry on Drug Trafficking to inquire into the extent of the illicit drug consumption, its economic and social consequences and the availability of new types of drugs, including synthetic drugs. The Commission has made several recommendations and some of them have already been implemented while others are being analysed by a high level committee, he added.
Moreover, the Prime Minister dwelt on the National Drug Control Master Plan 2019, developed with the assistance of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which expresses Government’s firm commitment to implement the appropriate drug controlled strategies. He also underlined the setting up of a High Level Drugs and HIV Council, under his chair, to propose, formulate, review and validate national policies on Drugs and HIV. With regards to the National Action Plan for HIV and AIDS 2017-2021, Mr Jugnauth said, that it will be implemented with the help of all stakeholders, including the civil society as a partner.
Speaking about the Mauritius Police Force, he indicated that it has constantly been provided with equipment and training to counter illicit drug flows. Officers of the Anti-Drug and Smuggling Unit have attended courses sponsored by friendly countries and workshops organised by agencies such as the Southern African Region Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation, UNODC, African Union, Southern African Development Community and Interpol, he said.
The Prime Minister also underlined that regional and international cooperation is essential to act against drug-related crimes. Mauritian authorities benefitted from the help of South African and Mozambican law-enforcement agencies in 2017, he said. Similarly, the Mauritian and Malagasy authorities are working in close collaboration to dismantle the drug network between our two countries, he added.
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