Thursday, December 02, 2010

Tajikistan: Tajikistan key to preventing drug trafficking from Afghanistan

UN - Tajikistan’s role in preventing the smuggling of drugs from neighbouring Afghanistan is crucial for better security in the Central Asia region, the head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said today, lauding the Government’s efforts against narcotics trafficking.

“The flow of drugs from Afghanistan poses a serious threat to security and development throughout Central Asia and beyond, and Tajikistan is the first line of defence,” said Executive Director Yury Fedotov, who has been visiting several countries in West and Central Asia.

“We appreciate the difficulties Tajikistan faces in carrying out this dangerous and daunting task,” he stated after a meeting with the President of Tajikistan, Emomalii Rahmon, in the capital, Dushanbe.

Mr. Fedotov’s discussions with various Government officials, including Foreign Affairs Minister Hamrohon Zarifi, focused on enhanced collaboration between UNODC and the Tajik authorities on border management, drug control, terrorism and corruption at the local and regional levels.

According to UNODC estimates, 15 per cent of all of Afghanistan’s opiates and 20 per cent of its heroin is trafficked through Tajikistan.

“We also encourage Tajikistan to become more deeply engaged in regional counter-narcotic initiatives, particularly the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre (CARICC) and support intelligence-led policing and Operation Tarcet,” Mr. Fedotov said, referring to the operation that targets precursor chemicals used to make drugs.

He pledged continued and enhanced cooperation with the Tajik Government to improve the safety of people in that country and the wider region.

“Security ultimately means the ability to ensure the safety of citizens … It is also based on people’s confidence that they can live without fear of becoming victims of criminals and drug dealers,” Mr. Fedotov said.

i On Global Trends will break for Christmas, Dec 11, 2010 and return Jan 4, 2011