Islamic Republic of Iran


UNODC-OSCE expert meeting addresses financial flows linked to illicit Afghan opiates



UNODC and OSCE representatives at the Paris Pact Expert Working Group meeting, Hofburg, Vienna, 30 May 2022
(Credit OSCE/Micky Kroell)


The Paris Pact Expert Working Group meeting on “Detecting and blocking financial Flows linked to illicit traffic in opiates originating in Afghanistan”, hosted by the OSCE, was organized in Vienna on 30-31 May 2022. More than 130 experts and representatives from 33 partner countries and 11 international and regional partner organizations participate in the meeting in-person and through online platform.

Jointly with the Paris Pact Coordination Unit in Vienna, UNODC Iran facilitated in-person and online participation of 14 experts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Drug Control Headquarters and Financial Intelligence Unit of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Topics discussed during the meeting were, inter alia, the security situation in Afghanistan, opiate trafficking, money and service transfer services (Hawala), inter-agency and international co-operation. Participants also examined challenges and developments to counter money laundering and asset recovery initiatives. Moreover, they considered technical assistance needs and new capabilities, which can enhance the understanding and disruption of illicit financial flows.

“Working together, Paris Pact partners have delivered to the partnership through coordinated, prioritized operational recommendations on all four thematic Pillars of the Paris Pact, including on tackling financial flows linked to Afghan opiates” said Riku Lehtovuori, Paris Pact Initiative Coordinator at the UNODC. “Just recently, Paris Pact Initiative partners have launched the discussion of methamphetamine production and trafficking originating in Afghanistan, thus highlighting the added value of the Paris Pact as a unique platform promoting a comprehensive approach to addressing new and emerging threats” he concluded. The growing threat of amphetamine production and trafficking also became a topic for discussion by partners of the Paris Pact Initiative at its last Expert Working Group meeting on precursors conducted in October 2021 (Vienna) and resulted in priority recommendation #7 related to Pillar III: "Partners also duly take note with concern of the increased illicit manufacture of synthetic drugs, including methamphetamine in Afghanistan, and the related trafficking of precursors to the country. Therefore, partners are invited to further consider this trend in a complementary way to the opiates trafficking-related issues."

“The Afghan drug trade is linked with the insurgency, corruption, financing terrorism and illegal economies. As we know, drug traffickers rely on the services of financial professionals to manage their assets. No country or international organization can effectively address this threat singlehandedly. To tackle it we should work together to increase our collective capacities, build strategic partnerships and strengthen operational impact,” said Dennis Cosgrove, on behalf of the OSCE Transnational Threats Department (TNTD).

The Paris Pact Initiative is a broad international coalition made up today of 58 partner countries and 23 organizations, for combatting illicit traffic in opiates originating in Afghanistan.