News / Asia

    UN: Afghanistan, Burma Main Producers of Opium

    An Afghan man collects resin from poppies in an opium poppy field in Panjwai district of Kandahar province,  Afghanistan, May 21, 200
    An Afghan man collects resin from poppies in an opium poppy field in Panjwai district of Kandahar province, Afghanistan, May 21, 200

    A new U.N. report on illegal drugs says Afghanistan accounts for the majority of the world’s production of opium, while trends show production in Burma to be on the rise. The report also found that between 12 and 21 million people worldwide use opiates, with three-quarters of them using heroin.

    The U.N.’s drug czar, Yury Fedotov, said at the report’s launch Thursday that illicit drug use is harmful to stability, security and health in many parts of the world.

    “Drug trafficking is fueling a global criminal enterprise worth hundreds of billions of dollars that wreck havoc on communities and undermining development and security in many countries in the world. We are also witnessing more and more acts of violence, conflicts and terrorist activities stoked by drug trafficking and organized crime,” he said.

    He noted progress on two fronts, supply and demand, saying global markets for the world’s two most problematic drugs - cocaine and heroin, declined last year. Heroin consumption has stabilized in Europe and cocaine consumption has declined in North America - the most lucrative markets for these drugs.

    But he said those positive developments were offset by worrying trends elsewhere, particularly in the increased use of synthetic and prescription drugs.

    The report, which distilled data from 2007 through 2010, found that cannabis is the world’s most popular illicit drug, with between 125 and 203 million people using it in 2009.

    In 2009, the global opiate market was valued at $68 billion, largely due to heroin use.

    Fedotov said Afghanistan continued to be the world’s leading grower of opium poppies accounting for 74 percent of global production in 2010, a 14 percent drop from the year before. But he said this was due to a blight [plant disease] that wiped out half the country’s poppy crop, and that production is likely to bounce back this year due to better yields.

    “In Afghanistan, opium cultivation is closely linked to insecurity and trafficking opium and heroin is helping to spread instability throughout the wider region. The international community understands that confronting the problem of Afghan opium is a shared responsibility that requires a coordinated response,” Fedotov said.

    He noted a disturbing trend in Burma, also known as Myanmar, saying its share in global production had risen from five percent to 12 percent between 2007 and 2010.

    Fedotov said amphetamine-type stimulants are the second most widely used group of illegal drugs, noting that over the last 12 years consumption of these drugs has grown most rapidly in developing countries, especially South East Asia.

    Meanwhile, West Africa has become an important transit hub for drug traffickers, while South America - a major cocaine producer - is now a significant consumer of the drug as well.

    Speaking at the report’s launch, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said there are more than 200 million illicit drug users worldwide and their addiction kills one of them every three minutes. He said drug addiction should be treated as a disease, not a crime.

    You May Like

    In Britain, The Sun Still Doesn’t Shine

    Invoking Spitfires and Merlin, Leave voters insist country can be great again, following surprising 'Brexit' vote last week

    Double Wave of Suicide Bombings Puts Lebanon, Refugees on Edge

    Following suicide bombings in Christian town of Al-Qaa, on Lebanon's northeast border with Syria, fears of further bombings have risen

    US Senators Warned on Zika After Failing to Pass Funding

    Zika threats and challenges, as well as issues of contraception and vaccines, spelled out as lawmakers point fingers

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeasti
    X
    June 29, 2016 6:15 PM
    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora