A delegation from Afghanistan, led by the Deputy Minister for Counter-Narcotics in Afghanistan, Mr. Mohd Hashem Aurtaq, participated in the 63rd session of the Commission for Narcotic Drugs, CND, on the 2nd of March, in Vienna. The delegation was also comprised of H.E. Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel.
During the general debate section of the CND conference, Deputy Minister Aurtaq delivered a statement on the progress Afghanistan has already made as well as the challenges it still faces with regards to counter-narcotics efforts. He particularly emphasized the link between insecurity in Afghanistan and poppy cultivation. The Deputy Minister expressed his appreciation of the current work of Afghan Counter-Narcotics Authorities, who have, in recent years, managed to significantly decrease the amount of land hectors used for poppy cultivation. In this way, three more provinces in Afghanistan have become opium-free. The Deputy Minister further expressed his optimism that the operations, arrests and lab seizures by the Afghan Counter-Narcotics Authorities will continue to increase in future years.
In reiterating the commitment of Afghanistan to the work of the Commission of Counter Narcotics, the Deputy Minister called for further multifaceted, comprehensive and concerted actions by all Member States at the national, regional and international levels. In the same vein, Deputy Minister Aurtaq called for the continued support of the international community to Afghanistan’s tireless efforts in completely eradicating its national drug problem.
Through her attendance, Ambassador Ebrahimkhel conveyed her appreciation for the work of the Commission and her wish for a successful 63rd session. Her participation, moreover, points to the determination of Afghanistan to take on an active role throughout the week-long conference.