On 4 September 2018, the UNESCO Khartoum office, Sudanese National Commission for Education, Science and Culture (NATCOM) and Anti-Drug Commission of the Khartoum State (KSAD) signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to combat drugs in the Khartoum / Omdurman / Bahri metropolis. The ceremony took place on the UNESCO’s premises in Khartoum, and was attended by representatives of media, NGOs, and others.
The Ceremony was led by Dr. Aiman Badri, the Programme Officer in UNESCO-Khartoum. In his welcoming speech, Dr. Pavel Kroupkine, the UNESCO Representative to Sudan, expressed his pleasure of cooperating with the Khartoum State in anti-drugs activities and underlined the importance of media in combating drugs. Dr. Wafaa Sidahmed from the NATCOM appreciated the initiative, and reminded about other areas of collaboration between the NATCOM and Khartoum State, such as water pollution, energy, homeless children, etc. Dr. Mayada Sewar Eldahab, the General Secretary of KSAD, expressed the needs for this collaboration in fighting drugs in Sudan. She underlined the importance of research for efficient combating this phenomenon, and appreciated the collaboration with UNESCO mentioning that the starting activities will be a scientific workshop and creating messages for radio broadcast. She highlighted the importance of involving communities in the anti-drug process and presented partnerships with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Alshoroog TV channel and MTN Company. She underlined the responsibility of the Khartoum State in protecting its inhabitants from the danger of the drugs, and thanked UNESCO for its enthusiasm.
After the opening speeches, the three parties signed the MoU in the presence of representatives of media (the Sudanese News Agency (SUNA), Blue Nile and Alshroog TV channels, Akhbar Alyoum, Alintibaha and Alayam newspapers), NGOs (Sudanese Journalists Union, Consumer Protection, African Agency for Combat the Doping in Sport, and Building without Borders), UN agencies (WHO, UNICEF, and UNWomen), universities (Alneelain and Ahfad), MTN Company, and others.
After the signature, the floor was opened for discussion, suggestions and questions. Dr. Hadia Ali, the Sudanese Journalists Union, expressed the Union readiness to join the efforts with the other collaborators aiming to combat drugs, and stressed on the ability of the media to contribute to the anti-drug fight a lot. Other NGOs and the MTN Company also echoed with their intention to collaborate with the Khartoum State.
After the discussion the MoU’s parties concluded the ceremony by commenting on the guests’ interventions and replying on their questions. Dr. Pavel Kroupkine, Dr. Wafaa Sidahmed and Dr. Mayada Sewar Eldahb in their second joint effort satisfied the public, ensuring the success of this collaboration.