UNODC Office in Turkmenistan Presents World Drug Report 2010 to National and Foreign Press

Ashgabat, 02 July 2010 - The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Turkmenistan has presented the World Drug Report 2010 for national and foreign press at a press conference at the UN House in Ashgabat. The report highlights the recent trends in illicit drug production and trade as well as threats of drugs to health and security. The presentation of the report was in tune with the national programme of events held in Turkmenistan to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

The UN Resident Coordinator in Turkmenistan, Mr. Lenni Montiel, opened the press conference by underlining the importance of the fight against drug abuse at the global and regional level, including Central Asian region. He invited journalists representing the News Service of Turkmenistan, Turkish "TRT" TV company and "Zaman" newspaper, as well as France Press, Associated Press, News Central Asia, RIA Novosti news agencies to take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about the work of the UNODC in Turkmenistan and ask questions from UNODC staff on any issues of interest.

Prior to presenting the World Drug Report 2010, the UNODC International Project Coordinator, Head of Office Mr. Ercan Saka briefed the journalists on the mandate and major UN Conventions guiding the work of the UNODC in the field as well as the ongoing projects of the UNODC in Turkmenistan such as "Strengthening the Farap Border Check Point", "Container Control Program", "Effective HIV prevention and care for vulnerable populations in Central Asia and Azerbaijan" and other.

Ercan Saka also commended Turkmenistan's strenuous anti-drug efforts as well as Turkmenistan's joining all UN drug, crime and terrorism related conventions. According to Ercan Saka, Turkmenistan's determination to root out the problem of drug abuse and illicit trade in drugs is evidenced by the amount of drugs seized on a regular basis by the law enforcement agencies of Turkmenistan, which are subsequently burned in public outside Ashgabat. One of the recent drug burnings took place in the place of Kasamly Julge where 674 kg and 133.89 grams of drugs were destroyed on 26 June 2010.

"Turkmenistan is a strategic partner of the international community in combating drug trafficking. The country is well positioned to promote peace and stability in the region. From our side, we stand ready to support any initiative of Turkmenistan in combating drugs and look forward to continuing the productive cooperation," Ercan Saka stressed.

Highlighting the major conclusions of the World Drug Report 2010, Ercan Saka said drug problem is now shifting into new drugs types and new markets and that two main problem drugs, namely opiates and cocaine keep declining. The world heroin production fell by 13% to 657 mt per year. Market delivery of heroin lowered to 430 mt, and significant amount of opium is stockpiled. Cannabis remains the mostly produced and used, and Afghanistan is leading in cannabis resin production. The World Drug Report 2010 also calls for serious attention to drug prevention and treatment and the need for close cooperation between law enforcement agencies.

For further information, please contact:

UNODC Program Office,
UN Building, 40 Galkynyh Str. ,
Ashgabat, 744013,
Tel: (993 12) 42 89 92, Fax: (993 12) 425987 and E-mail: