|Winds of Change in Turkmenistan|
|The shaping of policy at UNODC (2002-2010)|
Posted: 11 January 2008
Under its new President, Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedow, this once secretive country is opening up to the world.
Since it is located along one of the biggest opium trafficking routes from Afghanistan to the West, Turkmenistan has been feeling the effects of drugs and crime along its borders.
In my meetings with the President, it is clear that the winds of change are blowing in favour of greater regional and international cooperation to strengthen Turkmenistan's drug control capacity.
We discussed joint projects to strengthen border management along Turkmenistan's borders with Afghanistan and Iran, and to develop a national Drug Control Agency. We also spoke about the Caspian Sea Initiative which is designed to enhance security along that important flank.
A much colder wind was blowing when we landed at the exact spot where the borders of Afghanistan, Iran and Turkmenistan meet - a three hour helicopter ride from the capital Ashgabat. In howling winds, three feet of snow and temperatures of minus 17 degrees, we joined 18 year-old soldiers with frost bitten hands, patrolling a bleak and desolate landscape. A fence, built to stop traffickers, runs as far as the eye can see. There is no plumbing or running water (cold or hot).
With all this in front of my eyes, I asked myself whether drug addicts and traffickers alike are aware of the sacrifices that they are imposing on others, to feed their craving and to stuff their wallets.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 20 January 2011 11:02|
|Into The Lion's Den|
Posted: 10 January 2008
On 7 December I made a speech to a rather unusual audience - the Drug Policy Alliance, most of whom are in favour of legalizing drugs. It was a rather raucous affair with a few boos but more applause than expected. Have a look:
|Disrupt criminal markets, not just the mafias High-level meeting of the UN General Assembly on transnational organized crime|
New York, 17 June 2010
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
In the past quarter century, organized crime has gone global. It has reached macro-economic and armed dimensions to become a threat to the stability of nations. The report on The Globalization of Crime issued today by my office (the UN Office on Drugs and Crime) provides the first comprehensive assessment of global crime markets: drugs, arms, modern slaves, illicit resources, counterfeits, as well as maritime piracy and cyber-crime.
The threat is not just economic. The threat is strategic, as criminals today can influence elections, politicians and the military – in one word, they buy power.
Some governments are unable to resist, as they lack the resourcess. Some others would be able to contain the problem, but show a benign neglect -- and I have in mind some rich nations.