UNODC convenes national experts to re-design global drug information system

VIENNA, The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,UNODC, gathered around 100 drug statistics experts from 60 countries in Vienna to discuss the update of a key international drug-data collection tool, the Annual Report Questionnaire, ARQ, as well as priorities for related capacity building.

The meeting explored how to modernise the ARQ in view of the fast-changing nature of the drug problem. It considered issues such as the diversification of drugs and the implications for health, prevention and treatment, as well as new trafficking modes and increasing demand of the international community to better understand the links between drugs, corruption and illicit financial flows.

During the intense technical consultations experts provided critical suggestions for constructing an improved and streamlined questionnaire. Together with the identification of practical steps to support countries’ capacities to report on their drug situation, the meeting will help UNODC to finalise a solid proposal on a new ARQ and a list of priorities for capacity building to present to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, CND, for its consideration.

When celebrating the successful conclusion of the meeting, Angela Me, Chief of the Research and Trend Analysis Branch of UNODC, said that “experts provided important insights on how to improve evidence on drug-related matters. The mission of UNODC research is to provide the best possible evidence to support decision making, a goal that can be achieved only with the support and contribution of national experts on drug information systems. Meetings like this one helps us to build a strong community of national experts which can provide the impartial information the world is asking for.”

Source: Emirates News Agency