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

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    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.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.