Pakistan renews its commitment to working towards ‘Drug Free World’

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 04 (APP):Pakistan Thursday reaffirmed its commitment to eradicate drug-abuse from its society and back global efforts for combating narcotics-smuggling and transnational organized crime, but voiced concern over the moves in some countries to legalize the use of illicit drugs.

“We believe this approach (legalizing use of illicit drug) is counter-productive, and would give rise to increase in drug demand, igniting the supply chain and having direct fallout on our region,” Pakistani delegate Qasim Aziz Butt told the General Assembly’s Third Committee, which deals with Social, Humanitarian and Cultural questions.

Speaking in a debate on crime prevention, cybersecurity and international drug control, he said Pakistan remained committed to working towards a ‘Drug Free World’.

Qasim butt said that the world drug problem persisted even as its forms, manifestations, causes and consequences vary from one region to another.

The proliferation of new technology means that drug flows are characterized by rapid changes in trafficking routes and concealment methods, said the delegate of Pakistan, one of the most affected transit States. He expressed concern over the steady rise in poppy cultivation and production in Pakistan’s neighbourhood.

Pakistan, Qasim Butt said, is party to eight United Nations Conventions related to transnational organized crime and drugs. Under Pakistan’s Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010, an independent financial monitoring unit has been set up to coordinate with other countries in combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

Opening the debate, John Brandolino, Director of the Division of Treaty Affairs at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), said the Office’s support directly addresses threats to peace and security, human rights and development. As cybercrime enables many other crimes and illicit financial flows, sharpening responses to prevent the misuse of technologies for criminal and terrorist purposes, including money laundering, is a major priority.

For its part, he said, UNDOC is helping Member States to disrupt these threats by providing scientific and forensic support, and strengthening their capacities to identify, secure and evaluate evidence. He further pointed to UNODC’s cooperation with the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism to combat the financing of terrorism.

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