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SCO to take further action against drug crimes: SCO Secretary General

(People's Daily Online)    16:10, November 13, 2018

Jointly launched by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and Paris Pact Initiative, a three-day expert working group was held in Beijing on Tuesday, in an effort to strengthen cross-border cooperation against drug crimes, as well as to explore SCO’s potential to curb drug trafficking worldwide.

Initiated in 2003, the Paris Pact Initiative is a broad international partnership aimed at combating the trade of Afghan opiates. To date, the organization has 58 partner countries and 23 organizations, with the SCO playing an important role under the framework, clamping down on drug crimes in Afghanistan and its member-states.

“Many countries are taking actions independently against drug crimes, but much more can be achieved if they can cooperate. To further promote cross-border cooperation is the reason that brings us here, and we need to explore the potential of regional organizations, such as SCO, to tackle drug issues,” said Mark Colhoun, Representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Country Office in Afghanistan.

According to statistics, from 2011 to 2017, the SCO member-states seized 181 tons of heroin, which accounted for 38 percent of all heroin seizures in Eurasia, while 1,667 tons of hashish were confiscated, 26 percent of all hashish seizures in Eurasia.

“Ever since it was established, SCO has been making great efforts to tackle drug crimes, as well as carrying out cooperation with other nations and organizations. This expert working group has attracted leaders from 18 countries and will serve as a new platform to exchange information on cross-border drug crimes,” said Rashid Alimov, Secretary-General of SCO.

According to Alimov, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization member-states are concerned about the growing problem of international drug threats that seriously challenge global security and sustainable economic development of states, requiring consolidation of efforts by the international community. Combatting illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs and their precursors is one of the most important SCO objectives.

Meanwhile, the organization has been making significant efforts to tackle drug crimes. Since 2011, cooperation focused on countering illicit drug trade is regular, while in 2017, the member states dealt with 411,000 drug crimes, including drug distribution, cultivation, and trafficking.

Echoing Alomov, Liu Yuejin, deputy director of China National Narcotic Control Commission, told People’s Daily Online that China and the SCO would carry out more international cooperation in the future, to tackle drug crimes in Afghanistan and neighboring countries.

“Cracking down on rampant drug trafficking in Afghanistan is a responsibility that should be shared by nations worldwide. According to statistics, around 15 to 20 percent of the heroin in China is actually from Afghanistan. Chinese authorities have been reiterating their firm stance on drug crimes, and we will take further actions to cooperate with the international community against drug crimes,” Liu added.

According to an agreement signed between China and Afghanistan in 2006, China has held ten training programs for Afghanistani police, helping the country train over 200 experts in the field. 

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(Web editor: Kou Jie, Hongyu)

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