At the ongoing 67th Session of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna, Ghana’s Minister for the Interior, Hon. Henry Quartey assured that Ghana remains committed to the common and shared responsibility of addressing and countering the drug problem which has become a global issue.

According to him, Ghana acknowledges the challenges with the implementation of international drug policies, particularly in this era of health and humanitarian crises. He was optimistic that with commitment and hard work, Ghana could achieve its desired goals.

He explained that in demonstrating Ghana’s commitments to the 2019 Ministerial Declaration aimed at actively promoting a society free of drug abuse to help ensure that all people can live in health, dignity and peace, Ghana has since taken bold steps in reforming the country’s drug policies by enacting the Narcotics Control Commission Act, 2020 (Act 1019).

Hon. Henry Quartey stated that the provisions in the Narcotics Control Commission Act, 2020 (Act 1019) largely address the challenges identified in the “stocktaking” part of the Ministerial Declaration.

Further to the passage of Act 1019, he said, Ghana, in 2021, rolled out the “Guidelines for The Sale, Supply, and Use of Controlled Substances”, which is aimed at ensuring the availability of controlled substances for scientific and research purposes, while preventing diversion for illicit use.

The Hon. Minister pledged Ghana’s continuous advocacy for increased access to and availability of controlled medicines while preventing diversion and non-medical use.

He added that Ghana aims to establish a Substance Use Disorder Rehabilitation Fund to support the treatment and rehabilitation of persons with substance use disorders and a National Harm Reduction Regulation to reduce the adverse health, social and economic consequences of the use of licit and illicit drugs.

The Commission on Narcotic Drugs meets every year to discuss the global state of drug control and to adopt resolutions to guide the way forward.

This year, the sessions are being held to review progress on addressing the world drug problem amid a surge in drug use disorders and record supply levels of cocaine and synthetic drugs as the Commission marks the mid-point to achieving the commitments set out in the Ministerial Declaration adopted by the Commission in 2019.