Intervention by H.E Ayoob M. Erfani, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the Advance Briefing for the World Drug Report 2014
13 June 2014
Thank you Mr. Chairperson,
Firstly, my delegation is pleased to see you dear Mr Lemahieu, chairing today’s session.
Let me thank you for convening today’s briefing on this year’s World Drug Report. I would like to thank the UNODC for the yet again excellent effort in preparing another detailed overview of the drug situation in the world. I thank Angela for the comprehensive presentation.
We believe that, the annual world drug reports help to enhance knowledge about global trends in drug demand and supply, which is key to successful drug-related policy formulation and its implementation at national, regional and international levels.
As this year’s report indicates, while considerable progress has been achieved in different parts of the world in addressing various aspects of the menace of narcotics, challenges still persist at all national, regional and international levels in countering this threat. Clearly, intensified and more integrated efforts with a comprehensive approach, based on the principle of shared responsibility are required.
As a prime victim of the world drug problem, Afghanistan is committed to continue its efforts to create a strong legal foundation and policy environment for countering the menace of narcotics. The revision of our National Drug Control Strategy; the planned revision of the Law on Counter Narcotics as well as the recent finalization of the Counter Narcotics Regional Strategy are examples of our recent efforts to this end. We have also been able to develop our policies in key areas of alternative livelihood, law enforcement, demand reduction, regional and international cooperation as well as public awareness. Such efforts have led to considerable operational achievements in the past two years.
As was reported by H.E. Mobarez Rashidi, Minister of Counter Narcotics of Afghanistan during the CND High-Level Segment in March this year, the Government of Afghanistan has been able to seize close to 14% of the total drug produced and managed to arrest more than 3000 drug traffickers, including 500 mid-level and 6 high profile traffickers in the past two years.
While the market value of opium has remained stable, our economy has grown steadily. 60% of GDP was made up of illicit economy in 2003, which stands now at only 14%.
However, in order to more effectively address the recent increase in cultivation and production of poppy in Afghanistan, more intensified regional efforts in countering the trafficking of precursors into Afghanistan, effective demand reduction measures and target-aimed alternative livelihood programs are needed along with the eradication efforts in the country.
There is also need for intensified efforts in the area of demand reduction at all national, regional and international levels. In Afghanistan, we have been able to increase our addiction treatment capacity from 1% to almost 6%, however, given the increasing number of addicts in the country especially among vulnerable groups, we need greater international support to further increase this capacity. Afghanistan was able to create a network of over 100 facilities across the country offering treatment.
We look forward to the official release of this year’s Word Drug Report and also to improved coordination and consultation between relevant national authorities and our UNODC colleagues in the collection and sharing of data in the preparation of future annual world drug reports. Afghanistan is making every efforts to do its part and strongly committed to close cooperation towards eradication of illicit drugs.