Press Releases

    UNIS/NAR/931
    1 December 2005

    Countering Illicit Trafficking of Afghan Opiates

    Policy Makers from more than 20 Countries Expected to Propose New Joint Measures during the "Paris Pact" Meeting in Vienna

    VIENNA, 1 December (UN Information Service) -- Senior-level policy makers are meeting at the Vienna International Centre on Friday, 2 December, to discuss measures to stem the increasing levels of heroin trafficked from Afghanistan. The meeting of the "Paris Pact Consultative Group", which is being organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), aims at providing policy directions for proposed new border control and law enforcement measures in the most affected countries along the European, West and Central Asia trafficking routes.

    The Policy Meeting will be co-chaired by Jean-Pierre Vidon, Ambassador in charge of the Fight Against Organized Crime, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, France, and Giles Dickson, Head of Drug Section, Drugs and International Crime Department, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, United Kingdom.

    More than 55 countries and organizations sealed a pact in Paris at the Ministerial Conference on Drug Routes from Central Asia to Europe, hosted by the Government of France in May 2003. On that occasion, they agreed, inter alia, on the need for stronger and better-coordinated action in border control and law enforcement, and to limit the illicit trafficking of opiates from Afghanistan through Central Asian and European countries.

    As an immediate follow-up, with support from France, Italy, United Kingdom and the United States, UNODC launched the Paris Pact Initiative. Periodical consultations were held at the expert level between partners, in order to discuss, identify, and set in motion concrete measures to countering the increasing levels of heroin trafficked from Afghanistan. This year, counter-narcotics experts reviewed and analyzed border control and law enforcement activities in Pakistan, Iran and along the so-called "Balkan Route," and recommended a series of actions required to improve anti-trafficking measures at the national and sub-regional levels.

    As a result of this consultative process, European countries, the European Commission and the United States have expanded their bilateral and multilateral activities on counter-narcotics enforcement, in line with Paris Pact priorities.

    "In March this year, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, referring to the Paris Pact Initiative, encouraged UNODC to develop similar strategies in other regions for countries affected by the transit of illicit drugs through their territory" said Sumru Noyan, UNODC Deputy Executive Director.

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    For further information, contact:

    Bernard Frahi
    Chief, Partnership in Development Branch, UNODC
    Tel: + 43 1 26060 4730
    Email: bernard.frahi@unodc.org

    Kathleen Millar
    Deputy Spokesperson, UNODC
    Tel: + 43 1 26060 5629
    Email: kathleen.millar@unodc.org