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Shared duty in global cooperation to battle drug trafficking

By buseman, Jul 5, 2010 | |
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  1. buseman
    The drug war has been going on for more than 100 years ever since the United States-sponsored International Conference held in Shanghai in 1909.

    According to the 2010 report released by the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime, the global sown acreage of cocaine and opium poppy has dwindled drastically and the ratio of drug users in the United States dropped noticeably in 2009.

    However, Afghanistan now accounts for 93 percent of illicit global opiates production, and this central Asia nation is currently the biggest opium producer.

    What should be really vigilant is that the number of drug users aged 50 and over is increasing in developed countries in Europe, and cocaine abuse is a growing public health issue on the European continent and as a matter of course, the number of cocaine users in Europe has doubled, from some 2 million 1998 to 4.1 million in 2008.

    Meanwhile, drug cartels, or drug trafficking organizations have opened up new routes for drug trafficking, and large quantities of drugs have been seized in Central America and South America.

    According to a survey conducted by the UN Office on Drug and Crime, the annual fund for global drug trade has reached up to 300 billion US dollars a year.

    Globalization and the use of Internet to promote narcotics trade are two salient features of the drug-related problem today, noted the related statistics, and 90 percent of cocaine from Colombia, Peru and Bolivia has reportedly gone to the North America and Europe via Central America.

    Organized drug trade has not only resulted in a multiple increase in the number of drug users but also a series of social problems, and security situation in Central America has deteriorated.

    At least nine Mexican and Colombian drug cartels have been established in 11 West Africa regions, and Mexican cartels have dominated the cocaine-smuggling into the United States increasingly since the early 1990s.

    Latin America cocaine flights often go to Africa, en route to Europe. The West Africa region is appealing to drug traffickers from Latin America to enter into West Africa and then break that up into smaller shipments to… A long-term global cooperation mechanism can be institutionalized only with an active, in-depth global cooperation, according to the UN Office on Drug and Crime.

    A vital factor for joint moves is that all governments must go into action and implement varied international agreements assiduously and take a tough stand against the organized crime.

    The American countries, which suffer bitterly and most seriously from drug trafficking, have meted out telling blows in recent years. President Felipe Caldoran has deployed tens of thousands of troops and federal policemen to the areas where drug trade is most rampant and serious.

    Nicaragua and Honduras have taken resolute moves to destroy drug laboratories and processing plants. Infamy drug lord Christopher Coke was caught in the crossfire in late May.

    Moreover, Central America nations are expected to set up a counter-narcotic network to fight drugs trafficking with a fund of 900 million US dollars to be raised via the coordination of the UN Office on Drug and Crime, and Mexican President Felipe Calderon called for establishing and improving the combined information sharing system.

    In Asia, the Golden Triangle Area, where the borders of Laos, Myanmar and Thailand convene, has become an important area of joint efforts by the Association of Southeast Asia Nations, (or ASEAN), and the Chinese government to fight illicit drug problems.

    The "Golden Crescent" region of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran in central Asia has also become a major drug trafficking route.

    Against this backdrop, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) plans to set up an anti-narcotic drug cooperative mechanism and has decides to establish an "anti-narcotics belt" around Afghanistan.

    However, there are still great, immense challenges in the anti-narcotic international cooperation in this regard with relatively big disparities between the global anti-narcotics demands and substantial moves taken put into practice.

    The updating of some related laws and regulations is not timely with regard to the international cooperation, and some of them do not fit well with domestic codes.

    China began to cooperate with the United States in drug control in 1985 and, two years later, in 1987, the governments of the two nations signed the Sino-U.S. Memorandum of cooperation in Narcotic Drugs Control.

    Since then, China has reduced the cross-border trafficking of drugs to a significant proportion and practically contributed in containing drugs in the Golden Triangle area from flowing into the United States drug market.

    Furthermore, China and the European Union (EU) on January 30, 2009 signed agreement to strengthen customs cooperation in monitoring trade and preventing trafficking and the diversions of the substances from illicit trade into illicit traffic.

    China has thus beefed up its cooperation with global community in anti-narcotics cooperation.

    Consequently, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) spoke highly of the arduous, strenuous efforts the Chinese government had so far taken in preventing and battling against trafficking in synthetics, including ecstasy, and in attending to or treating drug users, and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime also appreciated China's role of vital importance the nation had been playing in its global drug control endeavor.

    Jiao Xiang and Niu Ruifei
    July 05, 2010
    http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90780/91343/7052956.html

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