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    UNIS/NAR/1232
    9 March 2015

    Ministerial meeting on Triangular Initiative discusses action against illicit drugs

    Triangular Initiative produces 24 field operations, and seizures of 3,709 kilograms of illicit drugs and 530 litres of acetic anhydride since its formation

    VIENNA, 9 March (UN Information Service) - The Triangular Initiative (TI) of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), has made advances against opium from Afghanistan, participants noted today in a ministerial meeting held between Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan and UNODC.

    UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, said, "Our partners can be justifiably proud of the TI's operations, which reinforces the importance of regional cooperation in countering illicit drugs. These activities included, in 2014, the February seizure of 1,020 kilograms of Hashish and the early June seizure of 150 kilograms of opium."

    Anti-narcotics operations, in 2014, were conducted under the umbrella of the TI, but coordinated by the initiative's Joint Planning Cell, based in Tehran. Bringing together border liaison officers for the coordination of anti-drug operations, the Joint Planning Cell has produced a string of operations against opium traffickers.

    The Joint Planning Cell is also a major building block in UNODC's wider "networking the networks initiative", which has seen it forge close alliances with similar bodies along major trafficking routes. The networking initiative is designed to create greater effectiveness and efficiency in transnational operations against the criminals.

    Aside from these joint actions, the TI works on drug demand reduction by exchanging good practices; conducts anti-money laundering operations; and supports actions along the so-called Southern drug trafficking route. The TI is also a platform for the exchange of information on joint operations along the major maritime drug trafficking routes.

    Recent years have seen a dramatic growth in opium from Afghanistan. UNODC's 2014 Afghanistan Opium Survey shows that opium production in the country was estimated at 6,400 tons, an increase of 17 per cent over 2013.

    The TI meeting was attended by delegations from Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan, and the UNODC Executive Director. Participants included Haroon Sherzad Acting Minister of Counter-Narcotics, for Afghanistan, Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, Minister of Interior and Secretary General of the Drug Control Headquarters, for Iran, and Ghalib Ali Bandesha, Secretary Narcotics Control Division, for Pakistan.  

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    For further information, please contact:

    David Dadge
    Spokesperson, UNODC
    Telephone: (+43- 1) 26060-5629
    Mobile: (+43) 699-1459-5629
    Email: david.dadge[at]unvienna.org