Barbados calls for re-opening of UN regional anti-drugs office
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) should reverse its decision to close its bureau in Barbados, the country’s Foreign Minister told the General Assembly today, saying the Caribbean region needs more resources in its fight against the illegal drug trade.
Billie A. Miller told the Assembly’s annual high-level debate that her Government is not convinced that the decision to close the regional office, which served 29 States and territories, “translates into making our region safer from these very real threats.”
She said a study published earlier this year by UNODC and the World Bank on drugs, crime and development in the Caribbean and Central American region “clearly demonstrates the need for an enhanced international effort.”
The Foreign Minister stressed that Barbados and its neighbours in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) are neither major suppliers nor demand markets for illicit drugs.
But, “because of our geographical position and external factors largely beyond our control, we find ourselves affected by the illicit trafficking in drugs, small arms and light weapons, and their constant companion, transnational organized crime,” she said.
“As small countries with limited resources and severe vulnerabilities, we depend on international cooperation to counter these threats.”