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West Africa

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 210527, tabled on 14 October 2014

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make it his policy to adopt and promote the recommendations of the West Africa Commission on Drugs in its report, Not Just in Transit, Drugs, the State and Society in West Africa, published on 12 June 2014; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

21 October 2014

Drug trafficking in West Africa is a multi-million pound business, which damages the social fabric in both West Africa as a region of transit, and in destination countries such as Europe, the Middle East and North America. Tackling drug trafficking in West Africa will require international co-operation and long-term commitment, using a wide range of policy and law enforcement tools.

We have noted with interest the conclusions and recommendations of the report by the Kofi Annan Foundation’s West Africa Commission on Drugs, and the report has informed our thinking as we take forward our own activity on this issue. Priority areas for action in the region include bearing down on corruption, strengthening good governance, building regional ability to share information and conduct investigations, improving joint action on borders and cross-border traffic, and building criminal justice capacity. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will continue to work with the National Crime Agency and the Crown Prosecution Service to strengthen regional capacity in all these areas.

The UK is also working with G7 and other international partners to better coordinate serious and organised crime-related assistance in West Africa. A new G7+ Assistance Strategy Committee will meet for the first time in November to set collective assistance priorities for the next five years.