UNODC jointly with the Government of Turkmenistan holds a Press-Conference dedicated to the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Ashgabat

25 June 2021 – UNODC Programme Office in Turkmenistan conducted a Press-Conference dedicated to the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in the UN House in Ashgabat. The World Drug Day is marked on 26 June every year and is aimed at strengthening action and cooperation in achieving a shared goal of a drug-free world.

Over 40 participants from the relevant ministries and agencies of Turkmenistan, donor countries and international partners as well as representatives from national and international mass media gathered at the Press-Conference to share facts and practical solutions to address the current world drug problem and present new 2021 World Drug Report. The theme of this year’s International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, “Share Facts On Drugs. Save Lives”, aims at combating misinformation and promotes sharing the facts on drugs - from health risks and solutions to tackle the world drug problem, to evidence-based prevention, treatment, and care.

During opening of the event, Ms. Christine Weigand, UN Resident Coordinator ad interim in Turkmenistan underlines that the productive cooperation between the Government of Turkmenistan and the UN system under the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework for 2021-2025, which brings together 19 UN agencies and provides an excellent platform for further scale-up of the UN’s engagement in support to the sustainable development of Turkmenistan in 2021 and beyond.

Welcoming the participants at the Press Conference Ms. Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia stressed that illicit drug challenges have become increasingly complex, and the COVID-19 crisis and economic downturn threaten to worsen their impacts, especially for the people who can least afford it. Globally, around 275 million people have used drugs in the past year, a 22 per cent increase in the past decade. The number of people using drugs is projected to rise by 11 per cent by 2030 because of demographic changes alone. Low-income countries account for the lion’s share of this rise.

Briefing on drug-related situation and measures undertaken by the Government of Turkmenistan to tackle the drug problem, Mr. Geldimyrat Haldurdyyev, Head of Law and International Relations Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Turkmenistan, stated that Turkmenistan continues to direct its efforts to combat this terrible evil by carrying out appropriate preventive measures by the law enforcement agencies of Turkmenistan, improving the national legal framework, enhancing capacity of law enforcement officials of Turkmenistan and their technical support, as well as continuing the development of regional and international cooperation.

Within the frameworks of the Press-Conference a new World Drug Report 2021 full of key statistics and factual data obtained through official sources, as well as using a science-based approach and research was presented. Following speakers’ presentations, a Q&A Session took place with the representatives of national and international mass media.


For further information, please contact:

Shakhnoza Zafari

Communication and External Relations Officer

UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia (Tashkent)

Email: shakhnoza.zafari[at]