United Nations, June 27 (IANS): Fighting drug abuse, trafficking and other social evils must be parts of the battle against poverty, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has said.
"Our work to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and fight drugs must go hand-in-hand. In seeking to eradicate illicit crops, we must also work to wipe out poverty," Ban said in his message on the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
Ban said that significant health challenges, including spred of HIV, stem from drug abuse. One of the eight MDGs includes reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS.
The MDGs also target environmental sustainability, which is threatened by drug trade effects such as coca cultivation in the Andean Rainforest or chemical runoffs from cocaine labs, the UN chief said.
The secretary-general also called on member states to become parties to the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime, which includes three protocols against human trafficking, illicit manufacturing and trafficking of firearms, Xinhua reported.
In his message, Ban linked the booming trade of cocaine and other drugs to increased corruption and insecurity which threaten the sovereignty of States.
"That is why the United Nations is putting a stronger emphasis on enhancing justice and fighting crime in peace-building and peacekeeping operations," Ban added.