Engagement by Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane with the Southern African Development Community for the formation of a regional mechanism to fight illegal drug trafficking in the region

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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR ORAL REPLY

QUESTION NO: 24 (NO297E)

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO: 1-2013 OF 6 MARCH 2013

MR E H ELOFF (DA) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION:

Whether she intends to engage the Southern African Development Community towards the formation of a regional mechanism to fight illegal drug trafficking in the region?

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REPLY:

South Africa is currently engaged in the regional efforts to respond to the threat of illegal drug trafficking. In April 2011 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the SADC and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, which was elaborated into a five-year Regional Programme to Make the Region Safer from Drugs and Crime (2012-2016).  This programme was recommended by the SADC Ministerial Council of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation in July 2012 and endorsed by the SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government in August 2012.

Regional Programme framework document revolves around three primary thematic areas or pillars, namely:

i. Illicit Trafficking and Organized Crime;

ii. Criminal Justice and Integrity; and

iii. Health as it relates to drug demand reduction, and HIV prevention and care among drug users and in prisons.

The content of the Regional Programme framework document was based on the identification of needs and priorities from SADC Member States in relation to countering/combating illicit trafficking and organized crime; building and strengthening integrity and criminal justice responses; promoting mutual legal assistance as a mechanism for regional cooperation; and improving drug prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation, and HIV and AIDS prevention and care among injecting drug users and in prison settings.

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