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Greater Efforts Needed To Combat Afghan Drug Trade

Security Council urges greater efforts to combat Afghanistan's illicit drug trade

11 June 2008 - The Security Council, concerned at the "high level of opium cultivation, production and trafficking" in Afghanistan, today called on States to bolster cooperation to counter this illicit practice which is thwarting the country's security and development.

According to a study released in February by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), this year's opium cultivation levels in Afghanistan remain shockingly high, and will be broadly similar to or slightly lower than last year's record harvest of 192,000 hectares. Afghanistan is currently the world's largest producer of opium and heroin.

The measures the Council called for today in a unanimously adopted resolution on the issue include "strengthening the monitoring of the international trade in chemical precursors... and to prevent attempts to divert the substances from licit international trade for illicit use in Afghanistan."

The 15-member body also urged exporting States to ensure the notification of all exports of relevant chemical precursors, upon request from importing States.

In addition, it expressed its continued support for the country's efforts to reduce drug production and trafficking, including the Afghan National Drug Control Strategy, and called for additional international support for the priorities set out in the strategy.

The Council's action comes on the eve of an international conference in support of Afghanistan set to begin tomorrow in Paris, which will include the participation of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, his Special Representative Kai Eide and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

The Council "encourages the participants to the conference to make concrete proposals on the ways to address the problem of diversion of chemical precursors for illicit use," the resolution added.

ENDS

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