Ambassador of Japan in Iran Sees First-hand the Impact of the Japanese Contribution to Regional Peace and Security
H.E. Ambassador Haneda with one of the Japan-donated, UNODC-trained drug-detecting dogs
Proceeds from drugs and transnational organized crime both fuel and finance conflict and violence, at the same time undermining peace, security and stability in the region. It is estimated that proceeds from transnational organized crime exceed USD 870 Billion a year, of which USD 320 Billion is derived from drug trafficking.
The Government of Japan has contributed USD 650,000 to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Country Programme of Technical Cooperation on Drugs and Crime in the Islamic Republic of Iran for 2011-2014. The financial aid will contribute to regional peace and security through increasing the interdiction capacities of the Iranian drug control agencies and promoting regional cooperation against drug trafficking under the Triangular Initiative forum among Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan.
The generous Japanese contribution to the UNODC Country Programme in Iran is a fine example of a Member State's commitment to the "principle of shared responsibility". Since 2011, Japanese funding has helped to improve the operational capacities of Iranian drug-detecting dogs units, training Anti-Narcotics Police on advanced analytical profiling, and promoting regional cooperation on counter-narcotics through different initiatives such as the Triangular Initiative. Thanking the Government of Japan, UNODC Iran Representative, Leik Boonwaat, said: "This is an excellent gesture by the Government of Japan that will assist the implementation of the drug and border control programme in a more efficient and effective manner towards improving peace, security and stability in the region".
On 1 June 2014, the Ambassador of Japan in Iran, His Excellency Ambassador Koji Haneda, took part in a visit jointly organized by UNODC Iran and the Drug Control Headquarters of Iran to Khorasan Razavi province, which lies on the country's Eastern borders with Afghanistan. The visit brought together 16 representatives, including 7 ambassadors, from 13 countries members of the Mini-Dublin Group (MDG), with the aim of familiarizing them the challenges that Iran faces due to drugs, as well as the drug control measures taken including drug demand reduction activities in the city of Mashhad, the capital of the province.
Iran has a 936-km border with Afghanistan, the lead producer and cultivator of opium globally. 302 km of these common borders are shared by Iran's Khorasan Razavi with Afghanistan's Farah and Herat provinces. The province's Tayabad /Dogharoun Customs is the largest official land border crossing with Afghanistan for export-import of goods and equipment. It cross-checks 500-700 containers per day, as well as the entry and exit of thousands of Afghans, which signifies the importance of this province in the efforts exerted to counter the flow of illicit drugs from Afghanistan.
The visit allowed H.E. the Ambassador of Japan to see first-hand the impact of the Japanese contribution to regional peace and security. At Dogharoun Customs, the MDG delegation had the opportunity to observe the work of the drug-detecting dogs donated by Japan and trained by UNODC. And at the "17th Shahrivar" check-point on the road from Dogharoun Customs to Tayabad city, the delegation observed the use of the fiber scopes donated by Japan in inspecting cavities and hard to access areas in suspicious vehicles where narcotics or other contraband substances could be hidden.
Dr. Ali Reza Jazini, the Deputy Secretary General of the Iranian Drug Control Headquarters, told foreign diplomats as they visited Iran's border with Afghanistan that in 2013, the Iranian Government confiscated 573 tons of various kinds of narcotics from drug smugglers, showing a 14 percent increase compared to 2012.
H.E. Ambassador Haneda checking the work of the Japan-donated, UNODC-procured fiberscope