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UN-affiliated body to cooperate in fight against addiction in Iran

United Nations Office for Drug and Crime (UNODC) Representative in Iran Fariba Soltani paid a visit to a Tehran drug rehabilitation clinic here Tuesday, IRNA reported.

She said the UNODC aims to cooperate with anti-drug organization and other similar drug rehabilitation centers.

Soltani said the UNODC-sponsored program 'Norouz,' with a dlrs 13 million budget, is an approved plan which is carried out in cooperation with Iran Drug Control Headquarters (IDCH) .

She said the budget allocated to the plan is insignificant compared to other funds allocated for this purpose in Iran.

Making the public more cognizant and sensitive to the issue of drug use is part of the cultural aims of the UNODC office which is also backed by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and several government-affiliated bodies in Iran, Soltani underlined.

Meanwhile, Deputy Secretary General of the UN Maria Costa said here last month that Iran is getting more serious in its campaign against drugs trafficking.

Costa, who is also executive director of United Nations Office Drugs and Crime (UNODC), said in a press conference that Iran is facing a crisis in its fight against illicit drugs.

"The country has also has unique problems in its anti-drug campaign," the UN official underlined.

Costa further added she has been invited to Iran several times, but has not had the chance to visit adding, "Therefore I do not have precise data on the situation in the country."

Reports indicate that Iran is waging a fierce battle against narcotics trafficking. "The situation is close to a war," Costa said.

Head of the UNODC in Iran Antonio Mazitelli also said in June that NGOs have had impressive participation in anti-AIDS and anti-drugs campaign in Iran.

He said although NGOs track record is satisfactory, 'it falls short of the needs for a country of 65 million people'.

Mazitelli said NGOs should help the government in its campaign against AIDS and drug addiction.

... Payvand News - 7/30/03 ... --

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