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Qatar has affirmed that the drug problem takes on international and regional dimensions affecting all sectors and areas of life, stressing the importance of strengthening cooperation in the development, prevention and protection of Arab peoples from threats, including drug and addiction issues.

Minister of Social Development and Family HE Maryam bint Ali bin Nasser Al Misnad, chair of the 42nd session of the Council of Arab Ministers of Social Affairs, made the remarks during a meeting held at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the Arab League in Cairo, Egypt, on Saturday to sign the Regional Framework for Arab States (2023-2028) between the Arab League and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and launch the Arab Plan for Prevention and Reduction of the Dangers of Drugs to Arab Society under the title ‘Towards Effective Handling of the Issue from a Social Perspective’.

The minister said Qatar leads the global programme for the implementation of the Qatar-funded Doha Declaration, adding that Qatar, via its national centres such as the Behavioural Health care Center (Daam) works to prevent youth and those susceptible to addiction, as well as providing treatment and rehabilitation services and conducting survey research on the community.

She added that the ‘Naufar’ centre is the first in the world in terms of integrated health and psychological care systems with international standards concerned with drug addicts and those recovering from them, and those who suffer from the effects of dependence on narcotic substances.

She pointed out that drugs are a cross-border crime and scientific progress in means of communication and transportation led to its rapid spread between countries, with criminal gangs exploiting these advantages to devise new methods of selling and promotion.

Misnad added that UN reports link the high rates of drug prevalence with the increase in diseases and the spread of crime, while international estimates indicate a significant increase in drug abuse globally.

She pointed out that addressing the drug problem is a general multilateral responsibility for all countries, which calls for supporting political and diplomatic efforts with quick measures on the ground to keep pace with the rapid spread of drugs and their new promotion tools to protect children and youth in the educational, entertainment and electronic circles.

She added that the accumulation of political, economic and social challenges should not keep us away from our common goal, which is to fully achieve the objectives of the three drug agreements and the ministerial declarations for 2014, 2016 and 2019, considering drugs as a major cause leading to social diseases such as family rift, violence and divorce, in addition to their impact on the workforce and the level of their impact on economic production and development.

In a statement, the Arab League said that the signing of the ‘Regional Framework for Arab States (2023-2028)’ and the launch of the ‘Arab Plan for Prevention and Reduction of the Dangers of Drugs to Arab Society’ comes within the context of close cooperation between the League and the UNODC.

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