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SOUNDBITE (English) Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC):
The pact was signed by Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli and UNODC Deputy Director General and Executive Director Yury Fedotov in a meeting in Vienna.
UNODC Regional Programme for Central Asia to 2015-2019 years was signed at the forum and on the results of the meeting the ministers adopted a Ministerial Declaration.
Shaikh Abdulla received an invitation from UN Deputy Secretary-General and UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Executive Director Yuri Fedotov to attend the meeting, scheduled to be held at the UN headquarters in Vienna.
Afghanistan accounted for 74 per cent of global illicit opium production in 2012 and remains the world's leading producer and cultivator of opium, while Myanmar is the world's second largest, accounting for 23 per cent of the land used for illicit poppy cultivation and 10 per cent of global opium production, says the UNODC.
They also called on UNODC to pursue issuing guidance manuals and brochures and providing the practical necessary tools to ensure international and regional cooperation on criminal matters.
The UNODC also said that while these numbers seem high, it actually reflects a slight improvement from three years ago, when 59 percent of Afghan adults had to pay a bribe to get services.
This allows "real-time exchange of operational information," said the UNODC. The project will run for an initial 36 months, coordinated by the UNODC Regional Office for West and Central Africa.
The UNODC survey reveals 53 percent increase has been recorded in the number of those using drugs in Afghanistan, he added.
The source said there was a common GCC and UNODC suspicion that the main provider of such weapons was Iran's ruling Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its external arm, the Quds Force, and its Lebanon branch Hizbullah.
The statement said that Mohammed Al-Mulla, special representative of the UNODC to the GCC, has been helping the member states to set up the center.
Some 90 per cent of the world's opium comes from Afghanistan and Helmand supplied 4,085 of the 6,900 tonnes of the drug produced in the country this year, the UNODC said.
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