|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
5907th Meeting* (AM)
SECURITY COUNCIL, CONCERNED AT SMUGGLING OF CHEMICAL COMPOUNDS IN AFGHANISTAN USED
TO REFINE HEROINE, TIGHTENS GLOBAL, REGIONAL CONTROLS ON THEIR INTERNATIONAL TRADE
Expressing utmost concern at the widespread smuggling to and within Afghanistan of chemical compounds that are used illegally to refine heroin, the Security Council today called on all United Nations Member countries to help tighten international and regional controls on the manufacture and trade of chemical precursors, and prevent their diversion to illicit markets.
Unanimously adopting resolution 1817 (2008), the Security Council noted that most of the opium produced in Afghanistan was now processed inside the country, and called on all Member States to increase cooperation in monitoring international trade in chemical precursors, especially acetic anhydride, which is used legally by the pharmaceutical, textile and leather industries, but is also the essential precursor used for converting opium into morphine base and heroin.
Looking ahead to tomorrow’s Paris international conference in support of Afghanistan, the resolution encouraged the expected participants in that event to “make concrete proposals” on how to address the problem of diversion of chemical precursors for illicit use, in the wider framework of discussions on strengthening counter-narcotics activities in the Afghanistan National Development Strategy and National Drug Control Strategy.
The resolution also stressed the importance of a comprehensive approach to Afghanistan’s drug problem, and invited Member States, particularly Afghanistan and its precursor-producing neighbouring countries and all countries on the trafficking routes, to fully comply with relevant provisions of the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, in order to close the loopholes used by criminal networks to divert chemical precursors from licit international trade.
Urging both importing and exporting States to strengthen their regulation and monitoring of the movement of precursors, the Security Council invited the international community to provide Afghanistan with financial and technical support to build its national capacity in those areas. It stressed the importance of training and equipping law enforcement agencies, including border police and customs officers, so they could deal efficiently with tasks such as detection, scanning, stockpiling, transportation and destruction of chemical precursors.
Speaking after the unanimous vote, Jean-Pierre Lacroix of France, one of the text’s main sponsors, welcomed the move, saying that his country stood firmly behind Afghanistan’s efforts to combat drug trafficking and improve stability throughout the country. Tomorrow’s landmark Paris donors’ conference, in support of Afghanistan’s development and reconstruction, would give the wider international community the opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to cooperation.
In Paris, the Afghan Government was expected to present a broad-based development strategy and, with that, mark a new dimension to the international community’s partnership with the country. A major element of that renewed partnership would be combating drug trafficking, which was undermining development efforts as well as security, he said. France supported the Government’s efforts to tackle the issue, and also considered that the trafficking in precursors was a “weak link” in the combat against drugs -- an area where both the Afghan Government and the international community could and should step up their efforts.
He said there were already international controls on the legal uses of precursors, but more needed to be done to prevent their diversion into the illegal trade. The resolution just adopted was certain to give the issue a higher profile, and France hoped it would also give renewed impetus to the efforts of all parties, including Afghanistan’s neighbours and relevant United Nations agencies, in combating the illicit trade in precursors.
Also welcoming the resolution, Vitaly Churkin of the Russian Federation said the text supplemented the Council’s efforts to stabilize the situation in Afghanistan and bolster support for the Government in its fight against terrorists, drug traffickers and other criminal networks. The Russian Federation hoped the Paris conference would spotlight the ongoing problem of Afghan drugs, especially the need to reaffirm the commitment to existing international treaties and agreements on the issue. More attention should be given to the rising demand for chemical precursors in Afghanistan, because, without tighter controls, it would be difficult to break the trend in drug production and derail the activities of criminal networks. The Council had today sent a clear signal calling for smoother and more cooperative efforts in the field.
The overall idea should be to break the financial and technological links in the chain and to strengthen the anti-drug and security belts around Afghanistan, he said. The text should also be seen as bolstering support for Council resolution 1735 (2006), which, in part, envisaged including on the sanctions list the names of individuals and entities participating in the financing of terrorists using proceeds derived from production and trafficking of narcotic drugs and their precursors originating in Afghanistan. The Russian Federation also welcomed the text’s mention of the importance of regional organizations and other partners in combating the drug trade and the illicit use of chemical precursors.
Aldo Mantovani of Italy said his delegation was confident that the adoption would give impetus to the fight against the illicit trade in precursors. Italy was also pleased that the text showed Council members’ “further cohesion” on the situation in Afghanistan. It was also notable that Afghanistan and other countries in the region had been consulted on the text. Every country should be comfortable with the contents of the resolution, as it would galvanize discussions on the items on the agenda at the Paris conference.
The meeting began at 11:10 a.m. and ended at 11:25 a.m.
The full text of resolution 1817 (2008) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Recalling its previous resolutions on Afghanistan, in particular its resolutions 1659 (2006), 1776 (2007) and 1806 (2008), and the statement of its President on 17 June 2003 (S/PRST/2003/7),
“Recalling its resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1735 (2006), and reiterating its support for international efforts to combat terrorism in accordance with international law, including the Charter of the United Nations,
“Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Afghanistan,
“Reaffirming its continued support for the Government and people of Afghanistan as they rebuild their country, strengthen the foundations of sustainable peace and constitutional democracy and assume their rightful place in the community of nations,
“Noting with concern the existing links between international security, terrorism and transnational organized crime, money-laundering, trafficking in illicit drugs and illegal arms, and in this regard emphasizing the need to enhance coordination of efforts on national, subregional, regional and international levels in order to strengthen a global response to this serious challenge,
“Reiterating its concern about the security situation in Afghanistan, in particular the continued violent and terrorist activities by the Taliban, Al-Qaida, illegal armed groups, criminals and those involved in the narcotics trade, and the links between illicit drugs trafficking and terrorism, and Calling upon the Afghan Government, with the assistance of the international community, including the International Security Assistance Force and Operation Enduring Freedom coalition, in accordance with their respective designated responsibilities as they evolve, to continue to address the threat to the security and stability of Afghanistan posed by the Taliban, Al-Qaida, illegally armed groups, criminals and those involved in the narcotics trade,
“Welcoming the ongoing efforts of the Government of Afghanistan in the fight against narcotic drugs and also welcoming the efforts of neighbouring countries to address the impact on the region of the production of illicit drugs in Afghanistan, including through interdiction activities, and encouraging the international and regional organizations to enhance their role in the fight against illicit trafficking in narcotics and precursors, Paying homage to the sacrifice of members of the security forces of Afghanistan and its neighbouring countries in the fight against drug traffickers,
“Reiterating its support for the fight against illicit production and trafficking of drugs from and chemical precursors to Afghanistan, in neighbouring countries, countries on trafficking routes, drug destination countries and precursors producing countries, encouraging increased cooperation between those countries to strengthen anti-narcotics controls to curb the drug flow, including through border management cooperation, and expressing its support for the Paris Pact Initiative, for the outcome of the Second Ministerial Conference organized in Moscow in June 2006, and for the meeting organized in Kabul in October 2007 in the framework of the Paris Pact Initiative; Stressing the need for Member States to take measures, with the support of relevant international actors to combat the laundering of proceeds of criminal activity, corruption and illicit trafficking in narcotics and precursors in line with the outcome of the Moscow Conference,
“Recalling that achieving a sustained and significant reduction in the production and trafficking of narcotics with a view to eliminating the narcotics industry has been identified as a cross-cutting priority by the “Afghanistan Compact” adopted in London in 2006, which provides the framework for the partnership between the Afghan Government and the international community, as well as the Government of Afghanistan’s National Drug Control Strategy,
“Stressing the importance of a comprehensive approach to address the drug problem of Afghanistan, which, to be effective has to be integrated into the wider context of efforts carried out in the three areas of Security, Governance, Rule of Law and Human Rights, and Economic and Social Development, stressing that the development of alternative livelihood programmes is of key importance in the success of the efforts in counter-narcotics in Afghanistan, and reiterating that extensive efforts have also to be made to reduce the demand of drugs globally in order to contribute to the sustainability of the elimination of illicit cultivation in Afghanistan,
“Expressing utmost concern at the increase of illegal smuggling, for illicit use, to and within Afghanistan of chemical precursors needed to produce heroin, in particular acetic anhydride, and also hydrochloric acid and acetone, linked to the high level of opium cultivation, production and trafficking, and noting that most of the opium produced in Afghanistan is now processed in the country,
“Recalling the Political Declaration adopted by the General Assembly at its twentieth special session, in which Member States decided to establish the year 2008 as a target date for States to eliminate or significantly reduce, inter alia, the diversion of precursors, and recognizing that action against the world drug problem is a common and shared responsibility requiring an integrated and balanced approach in full conformity with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and international law,
“Acknowledging the role of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs of the Economic and Social Council as the central policymaking and coordinating body within the United Nations system on international drug control issues, and welcoming its intention to consider the issue of precursors control as one of the central questions to be discussed during the high-level segment of the fifty-second session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs,
“Acknowledging the mandate and the leading role played by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), as an independent treaty body, in the implementation of the United Nations international drug control conventions and the international control of precursors,
“Stressing the central role played by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in assisting Member States, notably by providing technical assistance, in the fight against illicit drugs,
“1. Expresses utmost concern at the high level of opium cultivation, production and trafficking, which involves in particular the diversion of chemical precursors, and stresses once again the serious harm that it causes to the security, development and governance of Afghanistan as well as to the region and internationally, and to the success of the international efforts;
“2. Calls upon all Member States to increase international and regional cooperation in order to counter the illicit production and trafficking of drugs in Afghanistan, including by strengthening the monitoring of the international trade in chemical precursors, notably but not limited to acetic anhydride, and to prevent attempts to divert the substances from licit international trade for illicit use in Afghanistan;
“3. Invites all Member States, in particular chemical precursors producing countries, Afghanistan, neighbouring countries, and all countries on the trafficking routes to increase their cooperation with the INCB, notably by fully complying with the provisions of article 12 of United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988, in order to eliminate loopholes utilized by criminal organizations to divert chemical precursors from licit international trade;
“4. Urges exporting States to ensure the systematic notification of all exports of relevant chemical precursors, upon request from importing States, in accordance with provisions of the 1988 Convention, and encourages importing States to request the systematic notification of such exports; also urges the Governments that have not yet done so to register with and utilize the online system for the exchange of pre-export notifications (PEN Online);
“5. Calls upon States that have not done so to consider ratifying or acceding to, and State parties to implement fully the multilateral treaties whose aim is to fight against the illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs, notably the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, as amended by the Protocol of 25 March 1972 and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988, underlines the importance for all States parties to these treaties to implement them fully, and stresses that nothing in this resolution will impose on State parties new obligations with regard to these treaties;
“6. Expresses its continued support to the commitment and efforts of Afghanistan to achieve a sustained and significant reduction in the production and trafficking of narcotics with a view to complete elimination, Expresses also its support to the Afghan National Drug Control Strategy and calls on the Afghan Government, with the assistance of the international community, to accelerate its implementation, as discussed at the seventh meeting of the Joint Coordinating and Monitoring Board (JCMB) held in Tokyo in February 2008, and Calls for additional international support for the priorities identified in that Strategy;
“7. Calls upon all Member States, in particular chemical precursors producing countries, Afghanistan, neighbouring countries and all countries on the trafficking routes to adopt adequate national legislation, consistent with the requirements of relevant international conventions to which they are parties, where it has not yet been done, and to strengthen their national capacities in the areas of (i) regulation and monitoring of manufacture and trade of chemical precursors, with a view to controlling the final destination of such chemicals and (ii) specialized enforcement operations against the diversion of precursors, including for their detection and disposal in Afghanistan and the region, and for strengthening border controls;
“8. Invites the international community to provide financial and technical assistance and support, in building national capacity in the fields referred to in paragraph 4, to Afghanistan and, where appropriate and upon request, neighbouring countries, including through voluntary contributions to UNODC; stresses in particular the importance of training and equipping law enforcement agencies, including border police and customs officers, so as to allow them to deal efficiently with such tasks as detection, scanning, stockpiling, transportation and destruction of chemical precursors; and encourages Afghanistan and its neighbours to make full use of such assistance;
“9. Reiterates its support for the Paris Pact Initiative aimed at facilitating counter-narcotics cooperation and coordination among countries seriously affected by the trafficking of narcotic drugs produced in Afghanistan, for the outcome of the Second Ministerial Conference organized in Moscow in June 2006 (S/2006/598), in cooperation with UNODC, and for other international and/or regional relevant initiatives, such as Project Cohesion, and calls upon Paris Pact partners to further promote international and regional initiatives;
“10. Welcomes the launch, under the guidance of UNODC and the Project Cohesion Task Force, of the Targeted Anti-Trafficking Regional Communication, Expertise and Training (TARCET) initiative, targeting precursors used in the manufacture of heroin in Afghanistan, and urges the Paris Pact partners to cooperate closely in a view to achieve its successful implementation;
“11. Recognizes the legitimate need of industry to have access to precursors and its important role in preventing the diversion of precursors, and encourages all Member States, in particular producing countries, Afghanistan and its neighbours to develop partnerships with the private sector so as to prevent the diversion of precursors;
“12. Looks forward to the outcome of the international conference in support of Afghanistan, which will be held in Paris on 12 June 2008, and encourages the participants to the Conference to make concrete proposals on the ways to address the problem of diversion of chemical precursors for illicit use, in the wider framework of the discussions on the strengthening of counter-narcotics activities in the Afghanistan National Development Strategy and National Drug Control Strategy;
“13. Encourages Member States to submit to the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) for inclusion on the Consolidated List names of individuals and entities participating in the financing or support of acts or activities of Al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden and the Taliban, and other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with them, using proceeds derived from the illicit cultivation, production, and trafficking of narcotic drugs produced in Afghanistan and their precursors, in order to give full effect to the relevant provisions of resolution 1735 (2006);
“14. Requests the Secretary-General to include, as appropriate, in his regular reports to the Security Council and the General Assembly on the situation in Afghanistan, in close consultation with UNODC and INCB, observations and recommendations on the fight against drug production and trafficking, notably on the issue of the illicit traffic of chemical precursors to and within Afghanistan;
“15. Invites the Commission on Narcotic Drugs to consider, in accordance with its mandate, ways to strengthen regional and international cooperation to prevent the diversion and smuggling of chemical precursors to and within Afghanistan, and further opportunities for Member States to support the Afghan Government in developing capacities to tackle precursors and trafficking;
“16. Decides to remain seized of the matter.”
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* The 5906th Meeting was closed.