UN, Singapore reaffirm commitment to fight drug offences

Mr Yury Fedotov, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, with Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo on Monday.
Mr Yury Fedotov, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, with Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo on Monday.PHOTO: MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS

The United Nations and Singapore have reaffirmed their commitment to combating drug-related offences and organised crime.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Singapore's Government could possibly look at working to increase the South-east Asian region's capacity in the areas of drug control, combating corruption, and exploring ways to counter terrorism and violent extremism.

UNODC's executive director Yury Fedotov mentioned this during a meeting on Monday with Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo, and Minister of State for Social and Family Development and Foreign Affairs Sam Tan.

Mr Fedotov and Mrs Teo said that the UNODC and Singapore have seen an uptick in relations, citing several collaborations on international and regional projects on drugs, anti-corruption, and correctional rehabilitation.

They also discussed the 62nd Commission on Narcotic Drugs to be held in Vienna next March.

Mr Fedotov also visited the Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association's Step-Up Centre on Monday, where he was given an insight into the Republic's approach to tackling the issue of drug abuse.

According to an overview of the local drug situation released by the Central Narcotics Bureau in February, Singapore still has a high number of drug abusers, with 3,089 arrested last year alone.

 

Though this is a slight drop from the 3,265 arrested in 2016, 40 per cent of the drug abusers arrested last year were new abusers.

Also, of the 1,249 new abusers arrested last year, about 64 per cent were under 30 years of age.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2018, with the headline 'UN, S'pore reaffirm commitment to fight drug offences'. Print Edition | Subscribe