Seychelles drug use reduction is a priority, says UNODC
Alan Cole, speaking at the State House, Seychelles (Mervyn Marie, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - UNODC regional representatives say they are committed to help Seychelles in fight against drug use as well as piracy on the high seas, according to a press statement from the Office of the President in the Seychelles capital Victoria.
This follows a meeting today with Seychelles President James Michel at the State House, where he met with the new United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) regional representative for Eastern Africa Jose Vila Del Castillo and the regional coordinator for the UNODC Maritime Crime Programme Alan Cole, at the State House.
"President Michel said that his government is committed to establishing drug rehabilitation programmes where drug users can fight their addiction and learn new skills, which are currently being implemented by the health and home affairs ministries," reads the statement.
|From left to right: Shanaka Jayakekare (UNODC programme officer), Jose Vila Del Castillo (UNODC regional representative for Eastern Africa), President James Michel and Alan Cole (UNODC regional coordinator for the Maritime Crime Programme)- (Mervyn Marie, Seychelles News Agency) Photo license: CC-BY|
The UNODC also reiterated its pledge to work with Seychelles in 'the fight against drugs.'
"There is much else that the UNODC and Seychelles can do together and we are particularly going to work with Seychelles on the issue of intravenous drug use, particularly amongst the young, and try to see what we can do jointly, with the ministries here, to try and reduce drug use in Seychelles," said Cole.
Cole also praised the anti-piracy initiatives the UNODC and Seychelles have worked together to implement in the past four years.
"The accomplishment of the programme is establishing a unique prosecution model here, which involves international navies and the Seychelles Coast Guard, detaining suspected Somali pirates, transferring them here for trial..(..)... and we tranfser them back to Somalia to serve their prisons sentence, so the Seychelles taxpayers don't bear the burden for their continued incarceration," said Cole, according to the press statement.
Yesterday, the UNODC signed an agreement with the Seychelles to provide support worth about $300 thousand to pay for costs involved in prosecuting suspected Somali pirates being tried in the Indian Ocean island state.