The West Africa Commission on Drugs has three basic objectives:
Mobilizing public awareness and political commitment
The Commission examines ways and means to enhance the political priority accorded to drug trafficking and its impact on West Africa. It campaigns to raise awareness of the drug trafficking problem and its ramifications, including for governance and public health. It also seeks to inform and advise political leaders and the general public on effective and humane ways to tackle dependency without resort to the incarceration or criminalization of users.
Developing evidence-based policy recommendations:
In order to fully understand the scale and impact of trafficking and growing drug consumption, and to be able to make evidence based policy recommendations, the Commission uses available data and analysis. These are compiled into a series of background papers to help shape the direction of the Commission’s work program. New research work would is only initiated if gaps are clearly apparent in the currently available information.
The Commission’s work focuses, inter alia, on the following themes as a basis for policy discussions and follow-up:
1. Drug Trafficking and its impact on Governance in West Africa
2. Drug Trafficking and threats to National Security in West Africa
3. Prevention and Treatment of Drug Dependency in West Africa
Developing local and regional capacities and ownership
1. The Commission seeks to establish the priority areas for action, and identify the appropriate ‘change agents’ within the region and the capacity support that will be needed to effect change;
2. The Commission facilitates the development of networks of relevant actors in the region, for example, by bringing together various research institutes, universities, individuals and think tanks to develop and undertake peer reviews for the Commission;
3. In all its actions, the Commission seeks to promote regional ownership, engage with existing initiatives and build on and support the valuable work of regional and other partners, including the AU, ECOWAS, UNODC, and the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA).