Plenary Day 1: Statement from the Russian Federation

In the 10.5 years since the commencement of operations in Afghanistan, many people have died. And despite drug control programmes, high numbers of people are addicted. Research has shown that children are ‘doomed’ because of the high rates of addiction among them. The reduction in funding in the next few years will further worsen the problem. We are leaving one of the weakest states to fight this ‘drug tsunami’. We call on the international community to help eliminate drugs in Afghanistan, to eliminate the ‘planetary centre of drugs’ in our world.

We call for a balanced approach to drug control, and remind countries of the right to development and need to stimulate social and economic development. The conventional method of alternative development has been a ‘poor relation’ of drug control, eg handing out bags of wheat by US soldiers in return for promises to halt development, and has not been effective. This is an insult to our intelligence.

New technology and infrastructure may be the main source required to drive social and economic development. We propose a number of actions needed for Afghanistan, including a dedicated development agency, construction of a gas pipeline which can supply a livelihood that can drive out drug production – Russia can undertake this construction and already has plans to do so, as well as in surrounding countries, and an interactive map showing sites of drug production which can be entered by anyone around the world.

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