TEHRAN, 8 May 2008 (UNODC) - A trilateral meeting between Ministers from the Islamic Republics of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan has concluded in Tehran with agreement on measures to strengthen border cooperation between the three countries in order to stem the flow of drugs from Afghanistan.
The meeting, which is part of the Triangular Initiative brokered by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), approved practical measures to improve trans-border cooperation to fight drugs and crime. It was agreed to establish three Border Liaison Offices (one on each of the three borders) to plan and mount joint operations. Modalities will be worked out (at an expert meeting in Kabul in June) to improve cross-border telecommunication exchange on counter-narcotics. The Parties agreed to intensify the interdiction of precursor chemicals under Operation TARCET for which UNODC is providing training and equipment. Iran will establish a permanent Secretariat for the Triangular Initiative and a regional center for intelligence exchange, through UNODC's assistance.
A key point of discussion was how to prevent abuse of the Afghanistan Transit Trade Agreement (ATTA) and TIR (international road transport) regulations. "We need to ensure that ways to facilitate trade are not exploited by smugglers of guns, chemicals, and weapons", said the Executive Director of UNODC, Antonio Maria Costa. Following up the Tehran meeting, experts will develop a common policy on the control of sea and land commercial trade (particularly containers) under TIR and ATTA.
Participants stressed the devastating impact of opium and heroin on their countries, and urged the international community, particularly Europeans, to reduce demand for drugs and support the Triangular Initiative.
During his visit in Iran, Mr. Costa met with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Dr. Ahmadi Moghaddam, Advisor to the President and Secretary General of the Drugs Control Headquarters of Iran, and Senior Ministers. He also exchanged views with representatives of the diplomatic corps in Iran.
For information, please contact:
Mr. Roberto Arbitrio
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime - I.R. of Iran
Tel. (+98-21) 8887 8377-81 Fax (+98-21) 8879 6700