UNODC praises Oman’s fight against drugs

SALALAH, July 1 – Oman’s efforts in combating illicit drugs gained praise from UN Regional Office on Drugs and Crime, as the agency called the challenge of drugs more pronounced in countries which are economically stable, having good trade network and fall geographically in the transit route between the countries of origin and countries of cultivation of such substances.
Hatem Fouad Ali, Head of the UN Regional Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), praised the efforts of the Sultanate’s leadership in the war on drugs. He cited setting up of the National Committee for Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and Directorate General of Combating Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (DGDSC), the most vibrant examples of the country’s commitment to fight the drug menace.
In an interview with the Observer, Hatem Ali called for more proactive role to combat the drug menace in the wake of technology development. The perpetrators of drugs, according to him, are also evolving to beat the government efforts. He was in Salalah to take part in a gathering of experts and policymakers to discuss how to combat illicit drugs on the occasion of International Day for Drug Control.
“I am happy to see Oman’s keenness to develop tools to tackle the problem and long term policies for the same. Oman is a stable country, it is one of the trade hubs of the regions and being geographically located on a certain transit route between the countries of origin and countries of cultivation of such substances, strong legal and policy tools are needed.”
Praising the establishment of National Committee for Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, Hatem Ali said it reflected the Sultanate’s commitment to fight the menace of drug as the committee gathers the stakeholders from the government to take on the challenge.
“Though it works under the Ministry of Health, the participation of the police, social affairs, youth affairs, the judiciary, prosecution, and all other stakeholders of the government, makes it very effective and productive.” Commenting on the UNODC’s role in the region, he said: “We are engaged in many programmes that aim at building the capacity of the law enforcement and criminal justice agencies and through the National Committee in Oman we are engaged in additional programmes of awareness and many other. The UN works on daily basis with the countries and throws light on emerging drug challenge and gives opportunity to the countries to use this high advocacy in launching more preventive and more public awareness campaigns.” He exhorted the members of the society to be vigilant and praised the Royal Oman Police, National Committee, MoH and all other stakeholders for their regular engagement with the society to address the issue.
He also hailed the establishment of a dedicated hospital in Oman for the rehabilitation of drug addicts. “I find positive vibes and very genuine sign on the level of commitment. I am quite satisfied with the steps put forward by the Sultanate in combating and preventing drug,” he said.