PRESS RELEASE

Despite challenges, Afghanistan strengthens its effectiveness against narcotics, UNODC Chief informs Security Council

New York/Vienna, 17 September 2015 - Afghanistan's new government was working hard to confront opium production and trafficking, UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, told the UN Security Council today.

Illicit drugs, corruption and economic crime, Mr. Fedotov noted, supported instability and undermined peace-building and good governance. "In the face of these severe challenges, Afghanistan has strengthened the effectiveness of the country's institutions, and UNODC has endeavoured to support these steps," said Mr. Fedotov.

UNODC works closely with the Afghan government, and its UN partners, especially the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, against narcotics. The Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics and UNODC, in June, launched an Afghanistan Drug Reporting System offering detailed narcotics data. This system, Mr. Fedotov stressed, enabled the Ministry to take "a leadership and coordination role in national counter-narcotics efforts."

"I believe", said Mr. Fedotov, "it is important that we acknowledge the positive steps that have been taken, and we must endeavour to sustain and strengthen hard-won progress where it has been made."

Mr. Fedotov offered UNODC's full support for the new Afghan National Drug Control Action Plan, currently under preparation; but, he said, activities could not be limited to law enforcement. He welcomed the Ministry's decision to involve communities, civil society, media and development agencies in a national mobilization against narcotics.

UNODC also assisted the government in its fight against corruption. Mr. Fedotov acknowledged, however, that the overall situation remained difficult. Rises in Afghan opiate production have led, he said, to concerns over increased local consumption; the necessary expansion of evidence-based prevention and treatment services, including for HIV, were also a major challenge.

Afghanistan, last year, accounted for an estimated 85 per cent of global opium production and 77 per cent of global heroin production. Opium cultivation and processing is one of Afghanistan's leading economic activities. The gross value of the opiate economy was estimated in 2014 at 2.84 billion dollars.

Mr. Fedotov's briefing in the UN Security Council Chamber was given during a meeting that discussed the situation in Afghanistan and its implications for international peace and security.

Full speech of UNODC Executive Director at the UN Security Council

Video:  Briefing by Mr. Yury Fedotov, Excutive Director of UNODC, on the situation in Afghanistan at the Security Council 7526th meeting

For further information, please contact:

David Dadge
Spokesperson, UNODC
Telephone: (+43- 1) 26060-5629
Mobile: (+43) 699-1459-5629
Email: david.dadge[at]unvienna.org

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