The fight against illicit drug trafficking is high on Government's agenda to protect the youth and the population at large. To this regard, the European Drug Addiction Prevention Project will be implemented in January 2019 on a pilot basis in forty-eight secondary schools in Mauritius and eight in Rodrigues.
The Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, made this announcement today at the opening of a three-day Trans-regional Operational Workshop on Heroin Trafficking into East and Southern Africa, at Le Voila Hotel, Bagatelle.
The Minister Mentor, Minister of Defence, and Minister for Rodrigues, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, and several other Ministers and personalities were present at the event organised by the European Union under the EU Act Programme.
In his address, Prime Minister Jugnauth highlighted that the European Drug Addiction Prevention Project has been adapted to the country with expertise of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to sensitise the youth on the evils associated with the intake of drugs and prevent them from consuming same. The project, he underlined, is fundamental as drugs has infiltrated school premises and the situation is becoming alarming.
Mauritius, he stated, has experienced serious drug use and trafficking problems since the 1980s and has been target of drug trafficking network given its strategic geographical location as a major sea port and a tourist destination. A number of legislations, he recalled, have been put in place to curb drug trafficking, money laundering and financial crimes.
As regards to the workshop which is being attended by representatives from around 50 countries, Prime Minister Jugnauth emphasised that the presence of members from the different countries is evidence of the determination of the countries to fight drug trafficking as well as their strong commitment to cooperate in this global fight.
Furthermore, he commended the European Union for the EU Action against Drugs and Organised Crime project which assists countries in the region on the serious issue of drug trafficking. EU has been instrumental in the implementation of the regional Maritime Security Regional Project to the tune of 42.5 million Euros to finance coordinated actions in the Eastern and Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region, he added.
Mr Jugnauth also pointed out that Japan has agreed to fund Mauritius for a project amounting to 2.2 million USD which aims at sharing of criminal and drug intelligence with neighbouring countries. The project will be implemented by the the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
In face of the complexity of drug trafficking, there is need to enlist support of successful experts at regional and international level in the global fight against drugs trafficking as well as the associated problems of trans-national organised crimes and money laundering, highlighted the Prime Minister. We should, he added, thus join forces to devise and adopt best practices through the transfer of knowledge, sharing of practices and experience to improving drug policies and combat organised fight against drug trafficking.