For information only - not an official document
3 October 2016
Statement of the INCB President, Mr. Werner Sipp, in advance of the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan
VIENNA, 3 October (UN Information Service) - On behalf of the International Narcotics Control Board, and on the eve of the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan, I would like to emphasize the Board's grave concern about the deteriorating drug control situation in Afghanistan and stress the importance of a sustained level of support by the international community. The present situation has serious implications for the future of the country and for the health, security and prosperity of the people of Afghanistan, as well as ramifications for the drug control situation worldwide.
The International Narcotics Control Board has been continuing its consultations with the Government of Afghanistan under article 14 of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, since 2000. The Board invoked this article in view of the critical drug control situation in the country. The Board has repeatedly brought this situation to the attention of the Parties to the Convention, the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and the Commission on Narcotic Drugs with a view to facilitating cooperative action at the international level and with the Government of Afghanistan to remedy the situation.
I witnessed first-hand during my recent mission to Afghanistan in May 2016 the critical and further deteriorating situation in the country. At the same time there is an apparent declining interest of donor governments to continue providing further assistance to Afghanistan, especially relating to drug control.
In view of the gravity of the situation, the Board brought this issue to the attention of the United Nations Economic and Social Council in July, calling upon the international community, in particular Afghanistan's development partners, to continue to support the Government of Afghanistan in its drug control and development efforts.
The Brussels Conference on Afghanistan provides a critical opportunity for the international community, and in particular the international development partners of Afghanistan, to reaffirm their commitment to supporting the Government of Afghanistan, and to actively re-engage in development efforts. I trust that the Conference participants will acknowledge the importance of drug control as a cross-cutting issue that should be put at the top of the development agenda for the country. Indeed, if the pervasive problem of illicit drug cultivation and production, drug trafficking and drug abuse is not systematically and comprehensively addressed by the Government of Afghanistan with the support of its development partners, the broader development efforts focusing on governance and corruption, security and terrorism, and economic and social development, are unlikely to be effective. The international community has a vital stake in contributing actively to improving the drug control situation in Afghanistan, particularly because of the impact that the situation in Afghanistan has on the global drug control situation.
I welcome the expressed commitment of the Government of Afghanistan to improving the drug control situation and look forward to seeing tangible progress in due course. The Board stands ready to further its cooperation with the Government of Afghanistan, and all concerned partners, towards further implementing its obligations under the international drug control treaties.
The Brussels Conference on Afghanistan will take place on 4 to 5 October 2016 and is co-hosted by the European Union and the Government of Afghanistan.
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