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UNODC Executive Director launches strategic vision for Africa 2030

 

The Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Ghada Waly, launched the Office’s Strategic Vision for Africa 2030 at a high-level global event on Wednesday, 24 February.

Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences, the Strategic Vision for Africa aims to provide innovative ways to support Member States and stakeholders over the next 10 years to strengthen crime prevention, enhance the effectiveness of criminal justice systems, counter organized crime and corruption, promote balanced drug control and improve the rule of law.

“Our Strategic Vision represents a transformative approach to our work. It aims to adopt an integrated, people-centered, and human-rights-based approach to empower African societies against drugs and crime,” said Ms. Waly in her opening statement.

The event comprised 20 speakers including several African Ministers, UN Under-Secretaries-General, an African Union Commissioner, an African Development Bank Regional Director, ambassadors, government officials, and civil society organizations.

Mozambique’s Minister of Justice, Helena Mateus Kida, said: “UNODC’s Strategic Vision for Africa 2030 is an opportunity to put our continent at the forefront of the fight against crime, with a focus on the challenges and opportunities that emanate from the decade of action.”

READ  Covid-19: IOM supports health actors, builds  90 quarantine shelters in Nigeria

On the issue of environmental crime, the Minister of Environment of Nigeria, Sharon O. Ikeazor, stressed that the multi-faceted approach underlined in the UNODC Africa Strategic Vision would make significant impact on moving Nigeria away from the negative indices related to wildlife and forest crime.

Representing the African Union, the AU Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, Amira Elfadil, recognized that UNODC and the African Union had developed umbilical ties through partnerships and projects and welcomed this new vision and revitalized approach to the African continent in addressing the impact of drugs, crime, corruption and terrorism.

While UNODC aims to adopt an integrated and people-centred approach to empower African societies to thrive as they develop sustainable solutions to drug and crime challenges, it recognizes the challenges faced by the estimated 489 million people living below the poverty line. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a rise in violence against women, girls and children in general, and has disproportionately affected smuggled migrants and refugees, children and youth, prison populations and people who use drugs.

READ  Personal Documents of Migration, now translated in German

Access to healthcare for more than 400 million African people is either non-existent or severely restricted. With more than 95 percent of medicine and medical products in Africa imported, crime and corruption targeting medical products and health systems is an emerging threat.

Corruption and a lack of sufficient accountability and oversight mechanisms are threatening Africa’s sustainable development, human security, and governance. Africans are denied more than US$ 50 billion per year in public and private money that is illegally earned, transferred, or used, according to the Mbeki report on Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs). An estimated US$ 88.6 billion, equivalent to 3.7 percent of Africa’s GDP, leaves the continent yearly.

With less than 10 years remaining to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), UNODC’s Strategic Vision for Africa 2030 sets out a way forward that will enable partnerships to leverage Africa’s strengths and resources to address these challenges. UNODC’s mandates, technical expertise, and wide geographic reach offer a unique opportunity to support the Agenda 2030 and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 priorities for peace, security, rule of law, health, human rights, social cohesion, and economic growth.

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“By building resilience and promoting the rule of law, we can help African countries live up to their aspirations for sustainable development,” said Ms. Waly.

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IOM launches open South America portal

International Organisation of Migration (

Buenos Aires – IOM, the International Organization for Migration, this week launched the Open South America Portal, a web platform providing migrants and stakeholders in the region with access to reliable and timely information on human mobility restrictions and health and safety measures adopted by governments in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Open South America, available in SpanishEnglish and Portuguese, shares official information by country on the latest measures, including border restrictions, quarantine requirements and COVID-19 tests for migrants and travellers.

The portal also provides updated information on authorized entry points and key places for travellers and migrants, such as consulates, migrant care and health centres, airports, border crossings points and ports. This information can be explored through an interactive map.

The platform, funded by the IOM Development Fund, is also accessible to vulnerable migrants who may be stranded or are at risk of receiving misinformation on migration.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, South America has been one of the most impacted regions worldwide. According to the World Health Organization figures, as of 8 July 2021 there were 33,475,765 COVID-19 cumulative cases in the region, which represents 89 per cent of the total cases in Latin America, and 18 per cent of all infections recorded globally.

READ  Covid-19: IOM supports health actors, builds  90 quarantine shelters in Nigeria

Countries such as Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador all experienced severe outbreaks. For example, Brazil currently reports the third highest number of cumulative cases (18,855,015) and second highest death toll (526,892) globally.

“Open South America will facilitate orderly, regular and responsible migration in South America amid the uncertain times of COVID-19 and after the pandemic,” said Minister Ana Laura Cachaza, General Director of Consular Affairs of the Government of Argentina.

“Migrants’ access to up-to-date information through innovative online tools is essential considering the changing migration dynamic in the region due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for South America.

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29,000 Nigerians, Ghanaians, Somalians, other Africans migrated through the Mediterranean Sea to Europe in 2021 —IOM

The International Organisation for Migration has said that 29,000 individuals including Nigerians, Ghanaians, Somalians and other Africans have emigrated to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea this year.

About 13,000 were arrested by the coast guards and returned home while 761 migrants were said to have perished in the sea.

Disclosing this to journalists in Abuja on Friday, the Chief of Mission, IOM Nigeria, Mr Franz Celestin, said less than five per cent of migrants usually made it to Europe, adding that the vast majority stay in Africa.

He further said that a lot of migrants were trafficked within the Economic Community of West African States, adding that Mali was the number one destination point for trafficked Nigerian women.

Responding to questions on the number of people who have undertaken the perilous trip to Europe through the Mediterranean, the IOM Chief said, “A combination of unemployment and underemployment is pushing people to migrate.

READ  Personal Documents of Migration, now translated in German

“In this year, 29,000 migrants from Sub-Sahara Africa have migrated to Europe through the Mediterranean. About 13,000 were intercepted by the coastguard while 761 died.”

International Organisation of Migration (

Celestin stressed the importance of tackling human trafficking which he said grossed about $150 billion annually.

“Traffickers make a lot of money and they would continue to do it until a coordinated response is evolved to stop them. We are collaborating with Interpol in this respect; we are connected to the Interpol i/247 database. We connected the MIDAS to the Interpol database where we pass the information on traffickers to the Interpol,” he stated.

Celestin explained that the IOM has been involved in the biometric registration of children in the North-East, noting that the agency has registered no fewer than 17,053 children in 18 different internally displaced person camps between 2019 and May 2021 in Borno State.

The agency chief also disclosed that IOM was involved in the G7 Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Compact for North-East.

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FG condemns killing of Nigerian footballer in UK

Kelvin

The Federal government has condemned the alleged killing of a Nigerian Footballer, Kelvin Igweani, by the UK police.

Recall that Igweani, a Nigerian Footballer, was shot dead by officers, who attended a call out to a house, where a child was found with serious injuries.

Reacting, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), in Abuja on Wednesday described the incident as very unfortunate,and sad.

Dabiri-Erewa condoled with the family of the deceased and the Nigerian communities in the UK while praying that God grants rest to the soul of the departed.

“We call on the UK government for a thorough and proper investigation to be carried out on the incident,” the statement added.

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READ  A decade of death, destruction and displacement must not sap our solidarity with Syrians
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