UN News Ceneter, 8 May 2008 - Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan have agreed to step up cross-border controls to stop the flow of illegal drugs, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) announced today in Vienna. The three countries, meeting in the Iranian capital Tehran, agreed to establish Border Liaison Offices, on each of their three borders, to plan joint operations against traffickers attempting to smuggle heroin out of Afghanistan. The countries also announced that they would step up the campaign to block the transport of precursor chemicals for heroin production in and around Afghanistan.
Another key focus was on how to prevent trade links and road transport from being used for the smuggling of narcotics. "We need to ensure that ways to facilitate trade are not exploited by smugglers of guns, chemicals and weapons," said Antonio Maria Costa, the Executive Director of UNODC.
Today's meeting in Tehran was part of the Triangular Initiative brokered by UNODC. Speakers at the meeting stressed the devastating impact of opium and heroin on their countries, and urged the international community, particularly European countries, to reduce demand for drugs and support the new plan.
With UNODC's assistance, Iran will establish a permanent secretariat for the Triangular Initiative and a regional centre for intelligence exchange.
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