On November 26, the Paris Pact Initiative Expert Working Group Meeting was held in the China National Institute for SCO International Exchange and Judicial Cooperation under the patronage of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Secretariat. Liu Xiaohong, President of SHUPL and Director of CNISCO Office attended the opening ceremony. She warmly welcomed the leaders, experts and media representatives, expected that they can discuss in depth on this meeting platform and wished the meeting a great success.
This is the second consecutive year that the SCO Secretariat has organized the Paris Pact Initiative meeting in China, showing that the SCO has attached great importance to Afghan drug problem and it has become an essential platform for international cooperation on combating the drug issues in Afghanistan.
According to the United Nations, in 2018, the total opium poppy cultivation area in Afghanistan was estimated at 263,000 hectares and the potential opium production was estimated at 6,400 tons. The situation of poppy and opium cultivation and heroin manufacturing and trafficking is still quite stern. The Afghan drug problem has not only severely influenced the security, stability and socio-economic development of Afghanistan, but also brought harms to its neighbors and the many other countries.
According to the SCO Secretariat, Afghanistan’s border with the SCO-related countries is more than 4,000 kilometers long. In recent years, the SCO has actively promoted the cooperation in combating drug issues originating from Afghanistan in various fields and formulated a five-year Anti-Drug Strategy and an Action Plan for its implementation to unify anti-drug measures, deploy joint investigation and control on precursors and reinforce joint drug control in border areas.
In 2006, China and Afghanistan signed an intergovernmental agreement on drug control cooperation, and cracked a number of drug-trafficking cases through practical cooperation such as information exchange and case investigation. So far, China has held 10 training programs and trained over 200 anti-drug law enforcement personnel in Afghanistan.
Liu Yuejin, Deputy Director of the National Narcotics Control Commission, Anti-terrorism Commissioner of the Ministry of Public Security said at the opening ceremony of the meeting that “China regards Paris Pact Initiative as an important mechanism to tackle Afghan drug problem, and is ready to promote the sound development of this anti-drug cooperation mechanism to explore the potential of cooperation in an all-round way. ”
Named after the meeting held in Paris in May 2003, Paris Pact Initiative is a multilateral cooperation mechanism for combating the drug and crime issues in Afghanistan, and the participants mainly include the countries and international organizations which are affected by Afghan drug problem. At present, the mechanism consists of 58 partner countries and 23 international organizations, including the SCO member states. By holding consultative meetings, providing technical assistance and appointing analysts in key countries, etc., Paris Pact Initiative aims at strengthening capability of gathering and analyzing drug-related intelligence so as to provide data support for making anti-drug strategies, plans, policies and actions.