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29.06.2005 General News

Ghana to host Interpol conference

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Accra, June 29 GNA - Ghana is to host the 18th Interpol African Regional Conference (IARC) and the seventh Meeting of the Heads of African National Drug Services (HANDS) scheduled for July 13 to July 15 2005 in Accra.

The three-day conference would attract Police Chiefs from 53 independent African countries that are members of the International Police Organization (Interpol) as well as a high-powered delegation from the Interpol General Secretariat in France.

Papa Owusu Ankomah, Minister of the Interior, announced this on Wednesday at a press briefing to launch and unveil the conference Logo in Accra.

The conference that would be attended by more than 300 delegates would serve as a forum for the exchange of ideas, strategising and reviewing of activities in the fight against trans-national organized crimes like terrorism, drug trafficking, illicit trafficking in small arms, human trafficking and armed robberies.

Some observers from the Regional and International organizations that would take part in the meeting include the African Union (AU), Arab Interior Ministers Council (AIMC), East African Community Secretariat (EACS), World Customs Organisation (WCO) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

The rest are the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC), Safer Africa, an international nongovernmental organisation (NGO), United States, Australia, Canada and Japan. Paapa Owusu-Ankomah said the Government considered crime prevention, crime fighting and public safety as some of its major priority concerns.

He said the hosting of the two events in Ghana was timely because of recent public anxiety over crime and safety in the country, adding that no effective socio-economic development could take place in an unsafe environment.

Paapa Owusu-Ankomah appealed to the Media to support the law enforcement agencies in reducing the incidence of crime and the fear associated with it.

"We need your support in identifying potential crime problems in our communities, encouraging public support in terms of international logistics and also spreading the message about the menace of crime and its negative impact on society," he said.

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