The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime within the Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries organised a two-day meeting for forensic experts from Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The meeting, which was held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on 3-4 October 2012, aimed at reviewing the current situation with regard to drug analysis and forensics in Afghanistan and neighbouring states, enhancing information exchange between forensic experts in the region and beyond, including on analysis of drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors, defining technical assistance required to further enhance the forensic capacity in the region.

The agenda of the meeting also included an item on the status of implementation of the International Collaborative Exercise (ICE) - exercises allowing laboratories, from both developing and developed countries, to continuously monitor their performance in drug testing on a truly global scale, including analyses of drugs in seized materials and in biological specimens.

Participants of the meeting exchanged their experience, challenges and achievements in drug analysis. Reviewed new methods of drug analysis, emerging trends in drug trafficking (type of drugs, type of cutting agents, purity levels etc.). They have also discussed the issues of standardisation of drug testing, quality assurance as well as legal issues and regulations related to drug analysis.