International Conference Against Drugs Opens in Uzbekistan

With the purpose of developing a program of joint effective actions to combat illicit drug trafficking in the Silk route states, today under the auspices of WCO a 2-day International Conference opened in the capital of Uzbekistan, Tashkent. Delegations of the Customs Administrations of more than 30 countries, diplomats, journalists and a number of international organizations are taking part in this conference.

The main organizer of the conference informed the press that the decision to hold this major international forum was made during the visit of Mr. Michel Danet, the Secretary general of the WCO to Uzbekistan. For the years of Independence the Customs Service together with National Security service & Ministry of Interior of Uzbekistan detained about 28 tons of drugs and 75 tons of precursors, acetic anhydride, in particular, being one of the main components for heroin production. It may be mentioned here that, according to the UN experts, 45-55 percent of the drugs produced in Afghanistan are trafficked via Central Asian Countries.

According to the UN data, 8 million people in the world use heroin, 13.3 million-cocaine, 141.2 million-marijuana, 280million-synthetic drugs. The annual drug turnover is estimated at more than $500 billion which equals 8% of the world trade turnover.

The US Ambassador to Uzbekistan Mr. John Herbst, through the aid from the USA and its partners, is working with the Government of Central Asia to build on their existing programs against drugs, drug addiction, HIV/AIDS and Crime prevention.Three million US dollars will be spent to assist Uzbekistan to strengthen its drug prevention campaign.

Aloke Shekhar Tashkent Especially for PRAVDA.Ru

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