UN backs Iran’s counter-narcotics battle

July 19th, 2011 - 12:39 am ICT by BNO News  

UNITED NATIONS (BNO NEWS) — United Nations (UN) senior official on Monday began a three-day visit to support Iran’s fight against illegal drugs and promote HIV prevention measures.

Chief of UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Yury Fedotov will meet with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other senior officials during his three day visit to Iran, which has the world’s highest rate of seizures of opium and heroin, 89 percent and 41 percent respectively, according to UNODC’s World Drug Report 2011.

“I am here to lend support for Iran’s vital strategic role in curbing illicit drugs,” Fedotov said upon his arrival. “I hope the international community will follow suit and support Iranian anti-narcotics measures,” he added, as he is scheduled to touch several issues including HIV prevention, treatment, and care services for injecting drug users.

In addition, Fedotov will also be visiting areas near the border with Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as a drug rehabilitation center in a country that devotes millions of dollars to counter-narcotics programs. Thousands of police officers are also stationed at borders to repel traffickers.

“Iran has put in place one of the world’s strongest counter-narcotics responses,” Fedotov stated. “Its counter narcotics efforts, good practices and concerns deserve the acknowledgment of the international community,” he continued, commending the Government’s efforts to curb drug trafficking.

Furthermore, the UNODC’s Executive Director will discuss Iran’s counter-narcotics efforts, its participation in the forthcoming UNODC Regional Program for Afghanistan, and neighboring countries, as well as its efforts to tackle one of the world’s most serious addiction problems.

According to UNODC nearly 70 percent of Iran’s 22,000 detected HIV cases are injecting drug users. The Government of Iran, in partnership with non-governmental partners, is providing effective drug treatment and has developed comprehensive HIV prevention, treatment, and care and support services for injecting drug users.

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