ISLAMABAD - 25 November 2010 -(UNODC)- The Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Mr. Yury Fedotov, held talks with Mr. Asif Zardari, President of Pakistan, who highlighted the Government's increased cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking and other forms of transnational organized crime. Mr. Fedotov expressed his appreciation of Pakistan's successes against organized crime, including significant drug seizures.
They discussed the UNODC's new expanded programme of support that the Office has developed in close collaboration with the Government. The Country Programme 2010-2014 will significantly increase international support in four areas: illicit trafficking and border management; criminal justice; drug demand reduction and HIV/AIDS programmes; and recovery assistance to law enforcement infrastructure affected by the recent catastrophic floods.
Mr. Fedotov praised the Government for its role in supporting regional initiatives to combat drug trafficking. Earlier today, Pakistan hosted the annual Ministerial Meeting of the Triangular Initiative, which brought together the Ministers for drug control of Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Pakistan.
The Minister of Counter Narcotics of Afghanistan, Mr. Zarar Ahmad Moqbel Osmani, the Secretary-General of the Drug Control Headquarters of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Eng Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, and the Federal Minister for Narcotics Control of Pakistan, Mr. Arbab Muhammad Zahir, agreed to establish additional border offices to increase cooperation between law enforcement officials.
Congratulating the Governments on the progress made at the annual meeting, Mr. Fedotov, said: "Your countries form the first line of defence against the massive flow of illicit drugs that threaten security throughout the region and beyond. Many of your law enforcement and border control agents, as well as ordinary citizens, have sacrificed their lives in the fight against drug trafficking. This is a terrible price to pay, and we mourn their loss."
At the meeting, the Ministers committed to expanding the work of the Joint Planning Cell in Tehran, which aims at sharing information and organizing joint operations aimed at seizing illicit drugs. Mr. Fedotov praised the Governments' cooperation which has been demonstrated by simultaneous operations conducted in 2009 and 2010. Six operations have taken place, leading to significant drug seizures - almost 2,500 kilograms of opium, heroin and hashish - and the arrest of at least 74 drug traffickers.
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