World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Afghanistan's Drug Economy Is Fuelling Terrorism


Afghanistan's Drug Economy Is Fuelling Terrorism

Surging opium production in Afghanistan is contributing to instability and even terror campaigns in the war-ravaged country, the United Nations' most senior anti-drugs official said today on the eve of an international conference on the issue.

"The fight against terrorism will be more effective if drug trafficking is interrupted," said Antonio Maria Costa, the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), citing "mounting evidence of drug money being used to finance criminal activities, including terrorism."

The UN reports that opium production has continued to grow in Afghanistan - by far the world's biggest poppy producer - despite several positive anti-drug steps by authorities recently.

A survey released by UNODC in October showed that Afghanistan's estimated opium production rose 6 per cent last year from 3,400 tons to 3,600 tons. Opium is now cultivated in 28 of the country's 32 provinces, up from 18 provinces in 1999.

A more recent survey of Afghan farmers' intentions for 2004 has revealed that the area under opium poppy cultivation could increase further this year. Already about 1.7 million Afghans, or 7 per cent of the population, are thought to be involved in the industry.

"If we don't start translating counter-narcotics commitment into lower levels of production, we run the risk of [an] opium economy undermining all that has been achieved in creating a democratic new Afghanistan," Mr. Costa warned.

In addition to addressing the International Conference on Counter-Narcotics in Afghanistan, being held in Kabul on Sunday and Monday, Mr. Costa will hold direct talks with leading Afghan officials.

In today's remarks, he hailed several government measures, including Afghanistan's new anti-drug laws and the adoption of the National Drug Control Strategy, which aims to completely eliminate opium production within 10 years.

Mr. Costa also urged international security forces operating in Afghanistan to interdict narco-trafficking chains and clandestine laboratories.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news