The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Executive Secretary, Stergomena Lawrence Tax said that the region is considered to be a favourable conduit for trafficking by drug dealers.
Tax said this in a statement while commemorating the International Day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking being observed across the world today.
According to Tax, the SADC recognises that, like the rest of Africa, drug and substance abuse and trafficking is a cause for great concern, because of the many challenges it presents to society, such as family disintegration and slowed economic growth, and is particularly concerned with the proliferation of drugs in schools, colleges and universities, which is affecting young people on whose shoulders the future of the region lies.
"Nonetheless, as we commemorate the day, we note with satisfaction, the steady progress that SADC continues to make in curbing drug vending and illicit trafficking in the region. We applaud the chiefs of police and the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Co-operation Organisation (SARPCCO) for the tireless efforts in the fight against drug trafficking and for cooperating with other Regions and International Organizations to prevent and combat transnational and cross-border crimes. As a result of these joint operations and efforts, large quantities of drugs were seized in the region, followed by arrests of drug traffickers," she added.
Tax reiterated the call on all stakeholders in the criminal justice, health and social services sectors to continue to work together to raise awareness about the major problems that arise from drug abuse and illicit trafficking.
"This multidisciplinary and integrated approach is required to sustainably address the challenges related to drug production, trafficking and use," she said
This year the day is being commemorated under the theme; 'Health for justice. Justice for health.'
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the theme, recognises that while justice and health seem very different, they are closely related when dealing with drug abuse and illicit trafficking. In other words, effective response to the world drug problem requires inclusive and accountable institutions of criminal justice, health and social services to work together to provide integrated solutions to the challenge.