We, representatives of government ministries and agencies, law enforcement agencies, civil society as well as drug policy experts who participated in the Multisectoral Consultation on Drug Policy Reform in the Mano River Region which was held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire from 25-26 October 2017 which had participants from all four countries from the Mano River Region namely, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone; and three additional countries from the ECOWAS region namely Benin, Ghana and Senegal; and a representative from the ECOWAS Commission (as observer) hereby make the following declaration with respect to drug policy reform in the Mano River Region;

Recalling the AU Plan of Action on Drug Control and the ECOWAS Regional Action Plan to Address Illicit Drug Trafficking, Organised Crime and Drug Abuse (2016 – 2020), and calling upon West Africa Member States to take the measures necessary to fully implement the actions set out therein, with the view to attaining, in timely manner their goals and targets.

Reaffirming the West Africa Common Position towards the 2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS 2016) calling for human rights and public health oriented drug policies with emphasis on harm reduction and acknowledging the commitment of West African countries to address the drug problem as stated in the outcome document of the UNGASS 2016; Recognising the impact of illicit drug trafficking, production and consumption on democracy, governance, peace and security and development in West Africa;

Understanding the urgent need to foster discussions among key government stakeholders including policy makers, law enforcement and criminal justice actors, civil society to strategise on a common approach to tackle the drug problem in the region;

For the full communiqué, see below.