Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries

Islamic Republics of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan discuss ways for effectively combatting the trafficking of Afghan opiates under the UNODC-facilitated Triangular Initiative

Islamabad, 12 December 2018

The 13 th Triangular Initiative Senior Officials Meeting between the counter-narcotics authorities of the Islamic Republics of Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan was held on 11-12 December in Islamabad. The tripartite event was hosted by the Ministry of Narcotics Control, Government of Pakistan with the technical assistance from UNODC. It brought together regional counterparts to discuss ways and means for effectively combating the trafficking of Afghan opiates. The participating delegations brainstormed ways and means to improve the regional counter-narcotics cooperation, under the principle of common and shared responsibility.

In his opening remarks, UNODC Representative in Pakistan shared, 'We believe that strengthening of regional partnership against the massive flow of illicit drugs in the region, within the framework of this strategic collaborative process, can serve as a conduit for saving lives and improving their quality'.

Chair of the meeting Mr. Arif Nawaz Khan, Secretary Ministry of Narcotics Control, Government of Pakistan, expressed his satisfaction over the progress made under the Triangular Initiative through this senior officials meeting. 'It was really heartening for the Government of Pakistan to host the meeting between regional counter-narcotics agencies', he remarked.

Director General Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) headed the Pakistan delegation at the event, whereas the Afghanistan and Iran delegations were led by their respective Director Generals. The Representative UNODC Country Office Iran, and Head of UNODC Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighboring Countries were amongst the prominent UNODC delegates at the event.

Since its inception in 2007, the UNODC-facilitated Triangular Initiative forum has served as a cornerstone of the regional approach to drug control. It is supported by the Paris Pact Initiative, the UNODC Country Offices for Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan and the Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries, which encompass a range of programmes designed to reduce the poppy cultivation, trafficking, and consumption of drugs. Various regional cooperation mechanisms under the Triangular Initiative includes enhancement of the regional response through information-sharing; planning and conducting drug-interdiction operations; and establishment of Border Liaison Offices (BLOs). UNODC provides technical support to the forum and builds the capacity of regional counterparts in counter-narcotics.

The three sides agreed on simultaneous patrolling operations, intelligence-led drug interdiction operations and controlled delivery (CD) operations as well benefiting from the training academies of each other for similar set of skills through UNODC support. Three sides expressed commitments for revitalization of BLO's and posting of PLO's in near future. The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan agreed to host the next TI SOM and Ministerial Meeting in Kabul by June 2018.  

UNODC thanked the European Union and Government of Japan for funding this activity.