Labeling illicit drug trafficking, with its ties to terrorism and other criminal activities, as a “transnational threat,” a senior Peruvian official called for a renewed fight against the drug trade at the General Assembly’s annual high-level debate toady.
Narcotics drug trafficking “is not receiving due attention,” Foreign Minister José Antonio García Belaunde said, underscoring “its dangerous link with terrorism and violence in general, whose consequences not only affect the security and the rights of millions of people, but also the environment.”
Trafficking nets $500 billion – equivalent to 8 per cent of global trade – annually, while the long arm of drug consumption reaches over 200 million people, he noted.
Mr. García Belaunde cited the 2008 report of the International Narcotics Control Board, which found that drug traffickers in South America are engaged in money laundering and recruit intelligence experts and specialists at the highest levels of all sectors.
He appealed for joint global efforts to stamp out the scourge, emphasizing that eradicating illicit crops must complement prevention, rehabilitation and alternative sustainable development programmes.
“In Peru, drug dealers are working together with the remnants of terrorist groups,” the Foreign Minister told the 192-member Assembly. “The situation exponentially increases violence of… criminal groups and if we do not solve the problem now, perhaps we will be in a situation of unsuspected consequences in the future.”
The Latin American nation has earmarked over $600 million to address drug trafficking, but it cannot fight the production of illegal substances alone, he stressed.
“International action cannot be postponed,” Mr. García Belaunde said.
Africa, too, is now afflicted with the drug trade and Guinea’s Foreign Minister Alexandre Cécé Loua called for the support of the international community in fighting it.
“The CNDD (National Council for Democracy and Development) and the Government attach an especial importance to the struggle against drugs and narcotics trafficking in our country which, unfortunately, has in recent years become one of the transit points in West Africa for this trade,” he told the Assembly.
“The recent discovery of toxic substances and clandestine laboratories in certain towns in our country illustrate the gravity of the situation.”
The CNDD took power after the death of President Lansana Conté of Guinea last December, at a time when Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed the need for a peaceful, democratic and constitutional transfer of power.
Mr. Loua said presidential elections were now slated for January.