ISLAMBAD - Pakistan will host a two-day high-level expert group meeting on the theme of “Preventing Drug Abuse in Educational Settings: Fostering Regional Cooperation and Partnership”, at the Foreign Ministry from today.

Senior officials from regional countries, including Afghanistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan will participate in the event. Representatives of Islamabad-based diplomatic missions will also attend the opening session, the foreign ministry said in a statement issued here on Sunday.

This meeting is being convened pursuant to a resolution on this theme presented by Pakistan in March 2018 at the Vienna based UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, later endorsed by UN General Assembly. The meeting would be followed by a one-day training session on the same theme.

The high-level meeting aims to promote exchange of experiences and good practices among regional countries on how to effectively counter the common challenge of drug abuse in schools, colleges and universities.

The training session is designed to strengthen the capacities of relevant national stakeholders, including law enforcement, education and health authorities to respond, based on a concerted approach, to drug abuse in educational settings. 

The two events are being organized through a joint initiative of Foreign Office, Ministry of Narcotics Control, Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, Ministry of Health Services Regulations and Coordination, Higher Education Commission and Anti-Narcotics Force of Pakistan. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, in particular the Office’s Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighboring Countries, and the EU have partnered in this endeavour.

Holding of these events underscores the importance and commitment Pakistan attaches to fostering regional cooperation and partnerships on issues of common interest.