Special Report: UN unveils “World Drug Report 2013”

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The United Nations has unveiled its “World Drug Report 2013”, revealing drug trends around the world, while working with the Thai Police in eradicating the problem. 

Thailand has recently held its annual “Drug Bonfire” during which over 3 tons of addictive substances were incinerated. The Thai government has been working hard trying to eliminate drug problem in the society. Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra earlier announced her commitment to tackling the problem. Her “No Place for Drugs” campaign, generally known as NPD, has been launched to showcase the country’s strong commitment to its anti-narcotics movement.

Meanwhile, a report on the current global narcotics situation compiled by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) titled “World Drug Report 2013” indicates that Afghanistan accounts for 74 percent of global opium production in 2012 and remains the world’s leading producer and cultivator of opium. Methamphetamine, according to the report, remains the dominant amphetamine-type stimulant (ATS) accounting for 71 percent of global ATS seizures in 2011. Methamphetamine remains the predominant ATS in East and South-East Asia, including Thailand, given over 122 million pills were reportedly seized in the region in 2011; while seizures of crystal meth also increased to 8.8 tons in the same year, the highest level in the past five years.

According to Jeremy Douglas, a UNODC representative, the increase in seizures and the use of methamphetamine throughout Southeast Asia indicate that the drug economy is growing and drug money is increasingly flowing to the transnational organized crime groups that many countries struggle to deal with.

Mr Douglas has, therefore, said all sides need to work together to support Southeast Asia’s rapid regional integration and economic growth by providing each country with coordinated regional responses to transnational organized crime, promoting the rules and laws and assisting with alternative sustainable livelihood.

He also admitted that the demand for drugs has not been substantially reduced and that some challenges exist in the implementation of the drug control system. However, he said all countries, including Thailand, should not give up and continue their anti-drug movement for the better of the people and the society.

Meanwhile, the Thai Premier has promised to do whatever it takes to eradicate drugs and organized crimes, adding that the overall narcotics scene in Thailand has been improving as the Yingluck Administration’s anti-narcotic campaign has relentlessly cracked down on crimes related to addictive substances, while reassuring that the Thai government will never stop until the country is free of narcotics.