21st November 2017

UNODC: Afghanistan should make drug control a national priority

The head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yuri Fedotov, said Wednesday that Afghanistan should make drug control a national priority, and the international community should actively support the country in this area.

"It is essential that the international community provide more assistance to Afghanistan, and Afghanistan, of course, has to show political will, but that is not enough. The drug problem in Afghanistan must be made a national issue," Fedotov told Sputnik. Many things like corruption and crime are related to drugs.”

Fedotov pointed out that when Afghan authorities interpret the current situation in the field of the drug control, they often refer to the difficult political and security situation in their country, "This may be the cause, as we feel it in our Office on Drugs and Crime, and we were compelled to reduce our activities in Afghanistan; in fact, the work of our experts in the provinces was terminated, where they were previously working in the field of alternative development projects, and the staff only remained in Kabul, but we were also forced to reduce them, as the threats and security attacks on our office became more systematic. "

At the same time, Fedotov said that in order to finally solve the drug problem in Afghanistan, there was a need to work inside the country, as in other countries, like in Thailand for example.

"Without resolving the problems of Afghanistan, it will not be possible to completely stop the supply of drugs from this country, taking into consideration the nature of the border in the region," the head of the UNODC said.

Earlier today, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) presented a report on the opium production in Afghanistan at the UN headquarters in Vienna. The report’s results indicate an unprecedented growth in opium poppy cultivation - 63 per cent to 1,000 hectares ; therefore, opium production in Afghanistan in 2017 could reach 9,000 tons of opium equivalent.

It was also reported that the report had been coordinated with the Ministry of Drug Control in Afghanistan.

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