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DUSHANBE, May 31 (Itar-Tass) —— UNODC Executive Director Yuri Fedotov will meet with Tajikistani President Emomali Rakhmon on Thursday, May 31, to discuss the drug situation in the country and international assistance to its security agencies in fighting the flow of narcotics from neighbouring Afghanistan.
Fedotov arrived in Dushanbe on May 30 on a four-day official visit.
“One of the purposes of Yuri Fedotov’s visit to Tajikistan is to attend a trilateral meeting of the heads of counter-narcotics agencies of Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan and a delegation of the UNODC and the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre,” Tajikistan’s Drug Control Agency told Itar-Tass.
The purpose of the discussion is to work out a common stance on the threatening drug expansion and the need for the three countries to join their efforts in the fight against the flow of narcotics on the so-called northern route.
The meeting will help strengthen strategic unity and improve cooperative planning among the countries in the region in order to build a strong barrier against the flow of narcotics from Afghanistan, the agency said.
A declaration will be signed and a press conference will be held.
Fedotov will have consultations with the foreign, interior and health ministers and the commander of Tajikistan’s border guard department, as well as Russian Ambassador in Dushanbe Yuri Popov.
Afghanistan supplies 90 percent of the world's opium, most of which goes through Iran and Pakistan. The three countries have been involved in the UNODC-sponsored Triangular Initiative to coordinate their efforts to combat trafficking since 2007. "Now is the time for a more result-oriented response to the challenge of drugs, which is based on concrete actions and shared responsibilities," Fedotov said when visiting Kabul last year.
“The Triangular Initiative is an important illustration of how we should promote shared responsibilities at local, regional and international levels. Shared responsibilities mean that the international community without any exception must be united against drugs and crime,” he added.
The ministerial declaration signed by Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan strengthens joint planning, enhances their analytical and operational capabilities and coordinates joint operations. The three countries have coordinated 12 joint drug control operations that led to the seizures of several tons of illicit drugs and the arrests of key drug dealers and traffickers.
“But much more needs to be done,” Fedotov said. “The joint planning cell must be the engine of the Triangular Initiative. Joint patrols should become routine, not exceptional events.”
Drugs pose a threat to the health and security of not only Afghanistan, but Iran and Pakistan as well, and many other countries.