DUSHANBE, November 27, Asia-Plus -- Rustam Nazarov, director of Tajikistan’s Drug Control Agency (DCA), is taking part at an international three-day conference on issues of preventing drug threat emanating from Afghanistan that opened in Vienna today.  

A source at Tajik counternarcotics agency said that representatives from more than 50 countries across the country, including the CIS states, Western and Eastern Europe, Asia and Northern America, as well as representatives from the profile international organizations dealing with the fight against drug trafficking are participating at this conference.   The conference is considering issues related to extension of the Paris Pact Initiative for the period of 2007-2009 and discuss and make concerted the main spheres of activity of this Paris Pact Initiative. 

On the sidelines of the forum, a session of the working body on the security and the fight against drugs in Central and Southern Asia will be held in Vienna on November 28.  Besides, the third two-day the UN ODC Executive Council will also be held in Vienna from November 29 to November 30.  

The re-emerging Afghan illicit opium production, with its all-time high of an estimated 3,800 tons of opium in 2003, poses a severe threat to neighboring countries, and to all transit and consumption countries along the heroin trafficking routes to Western markets.  In May 2003, during a Ministerial Conference held in Paris by the French Government, 55 affected countries committed themselves to increase action and support throughout the region to combat growing drug trafficking and related problems and proposed a coordinated response.  This commitment was confirmed during subsequent high-level meetings of G8 countries and the United Nations Security Council.  Central Asia, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, and all other countries along the “Balkan Route”, “Silk Route”, Black Sea and Mediterranean Seaports are increasing their action against international heroin trafficking and related problems. 

This Paris Pact Initiative facilitates a consultative mechanism among all affected countries at expert and policy levels, and creates a supporting field-based computerized system (ADAM) for all donor assistance in the region, including detailed inventories of training and equipment provided and results achieved, so as to provide real-time information to all affected countries.  Through this mechanism, assistance priorities and gaps can be jointly identified and reviewed, and policy level decisions affected on resource allocations and funding for priority needs. The Paris Pact Initiative also facilitates joint assessment and programming missions, as well as expert networking in priority areas; to increase the level of drug related assistance to key countries.