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Kofi Annan Launches West African Panel on Illegal Drug Trafficking

Former UN chief Kofi Annan, who mediated Kofi Annan, a former U.N. secretary-general, today launched a major new initiative to help tackle the growing threat from illegal drug trafficking in West Africa.

The West Africa Commission on the Impact of Drugs on Governance, Security and Development (WACD) was launched at the Kofi Annan Peacekeeping Center in Accra, Ghana.

According to officials, WACD was formed in response to what they say is the “dramatic surge in drug trafficking through West Africa” over the past decade.

The commission was established by the Kofi Annan Foundation, in consultation with international and regional partners, national governments and civil society organizations. It comprises a group of distinguished West Africans, including two former heads of state.

General Olusegun Obasanjo, former president of Nigeria, will serve as its chair, the Kofi Annan Foundation announced in a statement.

The commission said it aims to develop evidence-based policy recommendations for political and civil society leaders on how to address drug trafficking; mobilize public awareness and political commitment around the issue; and promote local and regional capacities to deal with it.

In his statement, Annan said, “The massive surge in drug trafficking in West Africa over the last decade presents a serious and growing threat to the region’s stability and development. Left unchecked, illegal drug trafficking could compromise the encouraging progress that West African nations have made in strengthening democracy and promoting human and economic development.”

The commission is expected to publish a comprehensive report later this year, according to the foundation.

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