International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

On December 7, 1987, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 26th as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking to increase awareness about the impact of illicit drugs. This day, also known as World Drug Day, is observed each year by people and communities all over the world, including in Liberia, to raise awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs represent to society.

Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said that: “Governments have a responsibility to counteract both drug trafficking and drug abuse, but communities can also make a major contribution. Families, schools, civil society and religious organizations can do their part to rid their communities of drugs.”

The theme of World Drug Day 2020 is “Better Knowledge for Better Care.” The problem of drug abuse and addiction, which can result from genetic predisposition, mental health, and environmental issues, is compounded by misinformation of many kinds. This year’s theme seeks to improve understanding of the world drug problem and foster greater international cooperation for countering its impact on health, governance, and security.

The United States and the international community were saddened by the passing of Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA) Director General Marcus Soko. Director General Soko was a dedicated public servant and indispensable in Liberian efforts to counter the trafficking of drugs. Director General Soko made a significant impact on the LDEA. He led efforts to prosecute multiple drug trafficking cases in which criminals received the maximum penalty and increased professionalism and accountability within the LDEA during his tenure. He will be missed.

The LDEA and its Liberian security partners have made tremendous strides to reduce illicit drug trafficking in Liberia. The LDEA continues to seize and destroy illicit drugs that enter Liberia through its borders and international ports, reducing

the negative impact of these drugs on the lives of Liberians. We encourage the LDEA and Liberian security institutions to continue to work together to combat illicit drug trafficking.

The primary duty of every government is to protect its citizens from threats, which include drug abuse and illicit trafficking. But it is also the responsibility of ordinary citizens to support efforts to educate Liberian youth about the dangers of drug abuse.

The United States is pleased to provide support for this year’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking commemoration. International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) of the United States Embassy in Monrovia will continue to work closely with the LDEA and other law enforcement agencies and the Ministry of Justice. Together, we can reduce drug abuse and illicit trafficking.