UN high official says Tajikistan is key to deter drug trafficking from Afghanistan
DUSHANBE, TAJIKISTAN (BNO NEWS) — Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), on Wednesday said that Tajikistan is first line of defense to deter drug trafficking from Afghanistan.
“The flow of drugs from Afghanistan poses a serious threat to security and development throughout Central Asia,” said Fedotov. “We appreciate the difficulties Tajikistan faces in carrying out this dangerous and daunting task.”
It is estimated that approximately 15 percent of all Afghan opiates and 20 percent of heroin is trafficked through Tajikistan. Fedotov met on Tuesday with local officials to discuss an increased cooperation to tackle this issue.
The UNODC chief also discussed collaboration opportunities between his agency and Tajik authorities in border management, drug control, terrorism and corruption on local and regional levels.
UNODC and Tajikistan established relations during the late 1990s when the two entities joined efforts to set a national Drug Control Agency and to improve operational capacity of the Tajik Border Forces.
“Without the ability to improve border management, all other aspects which are being implemented to crack down on the drug trade – particularly when dealing with cross-border trafficking – would be futile,” Fedotov added.
The current relationship focuses in supporting law enforcement, capacity building, providing policy and legislation advice to government institutions and reducing the proliferation of narcotics. UNODC also encourages the Asian country to further engage in regional counter-narcotic initiatives such as the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre (CARICC).
Since the Drug Control Agency was formed eleven years ago, Tajikistan has dealt with 900 drug-related cases and seized around 10 tons of narcotics. The agency has also provided information and leads on numerous occasions that resulted in the securing of more drugs from the international market.
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