Drawing attention to the dangerous nexus between terrorism and drug trade, Indian envoy to the United Nations, Hardeep Singh Puri, has urged the international community to take tough action against this lethal combination.
“We would like to express our profound concern on the deep-rooted nexus between drug mafias, arms dealers, and money launderers for financing terrorism,” Mr. Puri told the committee of General Assembly that handles a range of social, humanitarian affairs and human rights issues that affect people all over the world.
“There is a need to create as well as reinforce bilateral, regional and international cooperation to develop strategies to combat the menace of this nexus,” he added.
The top Indian diplomat advanced a multi-fold approach to tackle drug cultivation and distribution, which included support for the Secretary-General’s policy for illicit supply reduction through alternative development programmes.
“Unfortunately, there has not been substantial support for these activities by the international community in the affected regions,” he said.
Mr. Puri also called for strengthening efforts to counter the problem of drug addiction as well as providing sustainable alternative livelihood to drug cultivators.
“We would like to voice our support for such initiatives by strengthening not just North-South cooperation but also South-South cooperation by sharing of best practices and lessons learnt as well as by providing technical assistance,” he said.
Noting that India is the world’s largest producer of licit opium, Mr. Puri underlined that New Delhi pursued balanced drug control measure, and clamped down on proliferation beyond established manufacturers.
“We ensure that the demand and supply of licit opiates required for genuine medicinal and scientific purposes is maintained,” he said.
The World Drug Report 2009, produced by the UN, reported an overall decline in cultivation of drug crops for drugs and demand for narcotics.
The study showed that the year 2008 saw reduction in opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan of 19 per cent and a reduction in coca cultivation in Colombia of 18 per cent leading to global reduction in opium and coca production.