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UN office warns of drug supply surge in report
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09:31, June 27, 2008

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The World Drug Report 2008 was released in Vienna on Thursday, indicating the progress of drug control in the world and warning of recent drug supply surge.

When launching the report, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Antonio Maria Costa said that the drug control in recent years had made "impressive achievements."

However, a surge in opium and coca cultivation and the risk of higher drug use in some countries threaten to undermine recent progress in drug control, he noted.

He emphasized the necessity of being more proactive, saying that "recent major increases in drug supply from Afghanistan and Colombia," where was controlled by insurgents, would possibly drive addition rates up, due to the lower prices and higher purity of doses.

The illegal cultivation and production of drugs had been out of control in some regions. During 2007, the global planting area of poppy reached 235,700 hectares, surging 17 percent higher than in 2006, according to the report.

The report also confirmed a systemic shift in major drug trafficking routes, which has targeted West Africa. "Drug money corrupts governments, and even turns into terrorist financing," Costa warned.

He therefore called for "technical assistance, better drug prevention and treatment, and more cooperative law enforcement," saying only through this way, could the threats be pre-empted.

Costa added that the international community should provide financial and technical assistance for developing countries.

UNODC was established in 1997 and is a global leader in the fight against illicit drugs and international crime. It operates in all regions of the world through en extensive network of field offices. The main office of UNODC locates in Vienna.


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