On 23 June, the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime launched their World Drug Report 2011 at UN Headquarters. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon spoke at the event as did the Executive Director of UNODC, Yury Fedotov. The newly reappointed Secretary General showed strong support for UNODC’s work around the globe. He commented on the new publication, noting that it outlines the seriousness of the threat posed by illegal drugs. The Secretary General made the connection between drug trafficking and terrorism and insurgency.
The Secretary General was not the only one recognizing the connection between terrorism and drug trafficking. Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan, cited this connection as one of the main threats to stability in Afghanistan and the region, making this issue not only one for Afghan farmers, he said, but for the entire region and world. This international problem requires regional and international cooperation to find a solution, according to Tanin.
The Afghan opium poppy struggle was one of the key issues both in the report and at the launch’s discussion. Ambassador Tanin recognized on behalf of his Government the narcotics trade is an “international problem” and it is “our joint duty to do everything possible to curtail the production, trafficking, and consumption of narcotics.” “My government,” he concluded, “is strongly committed to this goal.”
Ambassador Tanin also attended a Group of Friends’ working lunch in support of UNODC’s efforts in the fight against drugs and crime hosted by the Austrian Permanent Representative, Ambassador Thomas Mayr-Harting.s