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Diplomacy in Action

Multilateral Engagement: Afghanistan and Neighbors


Fact Sheet
Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
May 3, 2010

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“There are those who doubt whether true international cooperation is possible, given inevitable differences among nations… But make no mistake: We know where that road leads… When we fail to pursue peace, then it stays forever beyond our grasp. We know the path when we choose fear over hope. To denounce or shrug off a call for cooperation is an easy but also a cowardly thing to do. That’s how wars begin. That’s where human progress ends.” --President Barack H. Obama, Prague, April 5, 2009


United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

UNODC Country Office in Afghanistan
The United States strongly supports the role of the UN in helping the Afghan government and people as they rebuild their country. In support of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan’s mandate, UNODC’s Country Representative also serves as special advisor on counternarcotics to the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General. In 2009, UNODC coordinated a national programmatic budget of almost $25 million, with 150 national and 35 international staff located in Kabul and five key provinces. Since 2006, INL has contributed $8.53 million in voluntary contributions for Afghanistan counternarcotics-related projects alone.

UNODC also develops and publishes the annual UNODC Opium Cultivation Survey as an authoritative resource on illicit cultivation levels in Afghanistan. In 2009, with support from INL, UNODC also published a groundbreaking report studying the linkages between narcotics, corruption, and insurgency in Afghanistan and across the opiate trade route. These reports, among others, are available online at: http://www.unodc.org/afghanistan/en/index.html.

Paris Pact Initiative
UNODC has been a longstanding advocate for a regional approach to tackle the flow of Afghan heroin. Launched by UNODC and France in 2003, the Paris Pact Initiative brings together over 55 UN member states to examine trends in supply and consumption of Afghan heroin, promote regional cooperation, and coordinate technical assistance for supply, transit, and destination countries. Through the Paris Pact, UNODC convenes regular expert- and policy-level meetings each year to consolidate donor assistance and formulate policy recommendations.

Commission on Narcotic Drugs
Established in 1946 by the Economic and Social Council, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) is the central policy-making body of the United Nations on drug-related matters. The CND analyzes the global drug situation, oversees scheduling of substances under international control, and supervises UNODC’s global efforts to monitor implementation of the three international drug control conventions and provide technical and capacity-building assistance. The United States works through CND to define priorities for international assistance to Afghanistan and its neighbors, consolidate global support for the work of Afghanistan to combat the flow of narcotics funding to the insurgency, and affirm a regional response to the Afghan opiate trade.

A Diverse Toolbox for Regional Partnership

Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Center (CARICC)
CARICC is a regional law enforcement center located in Almaty, Kazakhstan that facilitates information exchange, trend analysis, and operational coordination in countering transnational crime, including the flow of Afghan opiates through Central Asia. Implemented by UNODC, CARICC member states include Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and the Russian Federation. The United States has provided $2.8 million in funding to date and holds observer status.

Operation TARCET
In 2009, UNODC launched Operation TARCET II, an anti-trafficking initiative to prevent the smuggling of precursor chemicals to Afghanistan for use in the illicit manufacture of heroin. Earlier TARCET operations in 2008 resulted in seizures in Pakistan, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan of over 19 tons of acetic anhydride, as well as over 27 tons of other illicit chemicals - an amount sufficient to produce over 9 tons of heroin with a retail value of over $600 million in European markets.

Colombo Plan
The Colombo Plan for Cooperative Economic and Social Development in Asia and the Pacific was established in 1951 to promote self-help and mutual-help in development among its member states. Through INL, the United States has contributed over $23 million in voluntary funds since 2005 to the Colombo Plan’s Drug Advisory Program, which provides extensive technical assistance to the Afghan Ministry of Counternarcotics’ provincial outreach, public information, and demand reduction programs.

NATO-Russia Council (NRC)
Since 2005, the United States and the Russian Federation have affirmed the importance of NATO cooperation with Russia to combat the shared threat of Afghan narcotics. The United States has provided $500,000 to date to support NRC counternarcotics training in Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan for almost 1,000 law enforcement personnel from Central Asia and Afghanistan.

Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
In response to Madrid Ministerial Decision 4/07, which calls for expanded OSCE engagement with Afghanistan, the OSCE has worked to enhance regional border security through training and technical assistance for customs and border officials in Afghanistan and its neighboring countries. Seven projects have received funding to date, and the United States supports ongoing efforts by the OSCE to combat the regional flow of precursor chemicals and opiates.

Dublin Group
The Dublin Group is an informal body set up in 1990 to coordinate international counternarcotics assistance. The Group’s membership includes EU Member States, EU Commission, EU Council Secretariat, Australia, Canada, Japan, Norway, the United States, and UNODC. Semi-annual plenary meetings of the Central Dublin Group review global donor assistance on counternarcotics, and work of the Mini-Dublin Groups, which facilitate donor cooperation, including in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

 



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