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

 

Gordon Campbell: On How Obama’s Supreme Court Choice Says Everything (Bad) About His Presidency

Nothing has epitomised the presidency of Barack Obama quite like his Supreme Court nominees. Time and again, Republican presidents will blithely nominate right wing ideological extremists (Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas) who only sometimes misfire and turn out to be liberals in disguise (David Souter). Yet Obama has consistently skipped over the judicially qualified liberals and gone for a succession of centrists... More>>

ALSO:

Turkey: UN Secretary-General On The Terrorist Bombing In Ankara

The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack in Ankara earlier today. According to the latest reports, the explosion in the Kizilay district killed and wounded dozens of people. More>>

ALSO:

Five Years On: Fukushima And New Zealand

Science Media Centre: It was the worst nuclear event since Chernobyl. In the wake of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, a crippled Japanese nuclear powerplant went into meltdown, and the world watched as emergency workers scrambled to shut down and contain the reactors. More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF: 1 In 3 Syrian Children Has Grown Up Knowing Only Crisis

An estimated 3.7 million Syrian children – 1 in 3 of all Syrian children - have been born since the conflict began five years ago, their lives shaped by violence, fear and displacement, according to a UNICEF report. This figure includes more than 151,000 children born as refugees since 2011. More>>

ALSO:

Franklin Lamb: Syria’s Truce Bodes Well For Salvaging Our Cultural Heritage

The tentative cessation of hostilities in Syria, which came into effect on 2/28/2016, brokered by Washington and Moscow, is only in its second week... It is well documented that there have been daily incidents of artillery shelling, airstrikes and clashes. Yet, for the nearly 12 million displaced civilians, half of Syria’s population, it’s a much welcomed respite. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Rubio’s Last Stand (And Sleater-Kinney)

Well, it certainly was entertaining to watch Rubio succeed in getting under Donald Trump’s skin the other day, in the last debate before tomorrow’s Super Tuesday multi-state sweepstakes... The real killer for Rubio was that the most recent poll from Florida which shows him losing his home state to Trump by a huge margin in the primary due on March 15. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news