Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
October 25, 2012

On October 29, 2012, the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and the Woodrow Wilson Center will co-host a panel discussion on international efforts to combat drug trafficking in West Africa.

Transnational organized crime, including drug trafficking, is a major threat to security and governance throughout West Africa. Since the 1990s, the global drug trade has expanded rapidly in West Africa as international traffickers began to refine techniques and develop networks to operate in Africa. Now these traffickers are moving a range of products and people through the region, undermining good governance and threatening stability. Narcotics trafficking fuels increases in violence and corruption as criminal networks attempting co-opt and marginalize government officials and security forces responsible for fighting these crimes.

“Combating Narcotics Trafficking in West Africa” will discuss West Africa’s approach to the global drug trade and the steps the international community is taking to address the challenges posed to the region by narcotics trafficking and associated transnational organized crime.

Participants include:

  • Dr. Adrienne Diop, Commissioner for Human Development and Gender for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
  • William R. Brownfield, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
  • Alexandre Garcia, Head of Transnational Threats Division, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and
  • Ambassador Said Djinnit, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA)

The panel discussion will occur at 10:00 a.m. at the Woodrow Wilson Center in the 6th Floor Flom Auditorium. The program is available via webcast at

To receive updates on the panel discussion, follow the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs on Twitter @INLbureau and FaceBook at

PRN: 2012/1707