The National Rehabilitation Centre, represented by Director General His Excellency Dr Hamad Al Ghaferi, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the US Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). For the United States, the MoU was signed by Mr. Steven Bondy, Charge d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in the UAE.
During the signing ceremony, Al Ghaferi stated that this MOU supports leadership directives to enhance cooperation with international parties to identify approaches and unify efforts to decrease the economic and social burden of drug addiction. This also falls under the umbrella of implementing the NRC’s objectives, strategies, and vision to enhance cooperation and partnerships in all spheres to serve society and immunize it against the blight of substance abuse.
HE Dr Al Ghaferi added that this MoU supports the NRC’s plans to develop into a regional coordination centre, collaborating with the U.S. Department of State’s INL Bureau to reduce substance demand. This collaboration is considered a recognition of the centre’s role in combating drug addiction, as well as its sustainable endeavors to protect youth and all segments of society from substance dependency. In addition to its awareness campaigns and educational and cultural programmes, the NRC has established a specialized training centre with the International Centre for Credentialing and Education of Addiction Professionals’ Global Treatment Programme, developed by the Colombo Plan and US Department of State’s INL Bureau.
The MoU emphasizes both parties’ desire to enhance mechanisms for disseminating the INL Bureau’s drug prevention, treatment, and recovery programmes. This objective shall be attained through collaboration with other international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the African Union (AU), the Organization of American States (OAS), International Society of Addiction Medicine (ISAM) and the Colombo Plan. The NRC shall focus its attention on the Arab world’s concerns, establishing training programmes and overseeing their delivery to support the prevention, awareness, and treatment of substance abuse. The MoU establishes a mutual understanding of governance-related risks, institutions, security, and capacity-building of drug treatment and prevention professionals, including the creation of a network of prevention and treatment experts through the International Society of Substance Use Professionals (ISSUP).