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U.N. and Europe worried with heroin trafficking from Afganistan.

Yuri Fedotov, UNODC Executive Director.

Last week (may 23rd) in Vienna, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) , European regional organizations  and  representatives of South-Eastern European Member States launched the 2012-2015 regional programme framework to counter drug trafficking and organized crime.

The UNODC European regional programme will focus on the southern corridor of the Afghan heroin trade, which for the past 30 years has been a major heroin trafficking route from Afghanistan to the lucrative markets of Western Europe and the Russian Federation. UNODC estimates that in only in 2009 about 60 tons of heroin were smuggled through South-Eastern Europe. The 60 tons of heroin have a market value of approximately $13 billion . Simultaneously to heroin, organized crime groups have  established illicit networks for smuggling other drugs,counterfeit goods, weapons,  and human beings.

The regional programme will concentrate basically on countering drug trafficking and organized crime; but the programme also includes other aspects of the problem like the enhancement of integrity and justice; and prevention, treatment and care for drug users and those infected with HIV/AIDS.

In this sense the UNODC is trying to bring together partners from the East and from the West, looking to achieve joint intra- and interregional cooperation to confront the problem of drug trafficking from Afghanistan.

The European Union and regional bodies will cooperate with the plans of the UNODC for South Eastern Europe.  The UNODC promotes similar programmes in Central and West Asia through its regional programme for Afghanistan and neighbouring countries, as well as the Central Asian Regional Information Coordination Centre, the Triangular Initiative and its joint planning cell, the Tajik Drug Control Agency, the Kyrgyz State Drug Control Service and other mechanisms.

By doing this field work, South-Eastern Europe will take part in UNODCs enforcement operations along the entire trafficking chain.