UNITED NATIONS — UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday called for greater international efforts to confront illicit drugs as an integral element in building a safe and sustainable future.
“Drug abuse and illicit trafficking have calamitous consequences for the world’s efforts to deliver greater prosperity and equality for all,” Ban said in his message marking the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
The UN chief pointed out that illicit drugs spawn criminal violence and weaken a state’s essential institutions. “Countries emerging from conflict or escaping economic decline can be overwhelmed when illicit drugs pour across their borders,” he said.
Ban also expressed the UN’s strong commitment to helping them repel illicit drugs and prevent spill-over from becoming takeover.
“I urge the international community to strengthen its efforts to confront illicit drugs as an integral element in building a safe and sustainable future,” he said.
According to UN figures, there are up to 200,000 preventable deaths each year from overdoses of drugs.
Commemorated each year on June 26, the international day was created in 1987 to strengthen action and cooperation against drug abuse worldwide.