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Drug Production in Afghanistan: A Challenge for the International Community

MOSCOW, May 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The international forum "Drug Production in Afghanistan: A Challenge for the International Community" will be held in Moscow on June 9 and 10, 2010, at Russia's initiative.

Heads of the key global drug control agencies and leading drug enforcement experts will gather in Moscow for a conference initiated by the Russian News & Information Agency RIA Novosti. The idea is supported by Russia's State Anti-Drug Committee, the Council for Foreign and Defense Policy and the Institute of Demography, Migration and Regional Development.

"Drug production in Afghanistan and the trafficking that follows have become so acute a problem that it requires leading figures in drug control agencies and the expert community to come together and discuss joint solutions. This problem must be resolutely confronted by the international community and a broad antidrug coalition formed," said Viktor Ivanov, Chairman of the State Anti-Drug Committee of the Russian Federation.

According to Russia's Federal Service for Drug Control, about 100,000 people worldwide, including up to 30,000 Russians, die each year as a result of opiates produced in Afghanistan, more than the number of those killed by the Hiroshima bomb. Production of opium-based drugs has doubled in the world over the past decade. With annual production standing at 7 billion doses, about 90% of the total, heroin dominates the global drugs market. It is turning the world, countries throughout Europe and Asia, Russia included, into a drug-ridden breeding ground for crime. The $65 billion dollars of drug money is destabilizing the young democracies of Central Asia, through which the main drug routes run, and hinders the process of normalization in Afghanistan.

Participants in the Moscow forum will try to determine the points of shared interest between all concerned parties, creating a common foundation for the struggle against drug production and trafficking.

The forum will be attended by the heads of drug control and law-enforcement agencies from many countries, statesmen, politicians, experts, journalists and representatives of the UN, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), NATO, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and other international organizations.

It will be held in the Conference Center of the Swissotel Krasnye Holmy. Press accreditation information will be available later.

SOURCE Drug Production in Afghanistan: International Forum
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