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

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    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.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora