Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan strengthen anti-drug trafficking initiative
25 November 2010 - The Afghan, Iranian and Pakistani Ministers for drug control have adopted measures to strengthen their cooperation in addressing drug trafficking at the annual meeting of the UNODC-facilitated Triangular Initiative in Islamabad, Pakistan, earlier today.
The Minister of Counter Narcotics of Afghanistan, Mr. Zarar Ahmad Moqbel Osmani, the Secretary-General of the Drug Control Headquarters of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Eng Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, and the Federal Minister for Narcotics Control of Pakistan, Mr. Arbab Muhammad Zahir, agreed to establish additional border offices to increase cooperation between law enforcement officials.
Further, the Ministers committed to expanding the work of the Joint Planning Cell in Tehran, which aims at sharing information on illicit drug trafficking. Agreement was also reached on organizing more joint patrolling operations in the border areas of the three countries. In addition, the Ministers agreed to enhance legal cooperation in drug-related matters.
Congratulating the Governments on the progress made at the annual meeting, Mr. Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of UNODC, said: "Your countries form the first line of defence against the massive flow of illicit drugs that threaten security throughout the region and beyond. Many of your law enforcement and border control agents, as well as ordinary citizens, have sacrificed their lives in the fight against drug trafficking. This is a terrible price to pay, and we mourn their loss."
Mr. Fedotov also praised the Governments' cooperation which has been demonstrated by simultaneous operations conducted in 2009 and 2010. Six operations have taken place, leading to significant drug seizures - almost 2,500 kilograms of opium, heroin and hashish - and the arrest of at least 74 drug traffickers.
UNODC launched the Triangular Initiative in 2007 to strengthen cooperation in law enforcement between the three countries most seriously affected by illicit opiates from Afghanistan, the origin of more than 90 per cent of the world's opium and heroin. The Initiative has helped to forge an unprecedented level of cooperation between the three countries on vital issues such as border security and regional cooperation to deal with drug trafficking.