Q&A: UN rep on opium surge in Southeast Asia’s ‘Golden Triangle’ | Drugs News
The United Nations has expressed concern over the recent surge in opium production in the Golden Triangle, a region spanning Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar. The region is estimated to produce around 70 percent of the world’s opium, and the UN has warned that the drug trade is becoming increasingly lucrative in the region.
At a press conference in Bangkok on Wednesday, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Drugs and Crime, Yury Fedotov, said that the increase in opium production is a “deeply worrying trend” and that it is having a profound effect on the region’s stability and security.
“The illicit drug trade is a major source of instability and insecurity in the region,” he said. “It is also a major source of funding for criminal networks and terrorist organizations.”
Fedotov also noted that the increase in opium production is linked to a rise in the number of drug users in the region. He said that drug use is becoming increasingly prevalent among young people, and that this has serious implications for the region’s future.
“We must act now to prevent this alarming trend from becoming a full-blown crisis,” he said.
In response to the increase in opium production, the UN is calling for a comprehensive approach to tackling the problem. This includes strengthening law enforcement, strengthening the justice system, and providing support to those affected by drug use and trafficking.
Fedotov also highlighted the need for greater international cooperation to address the issue. He said that the UN is working with governments, civil society, and other partners to tackle the problem, but that more needs to be done.
“We must all work together to ensure that the Golden Triangle does not become a hub for the production and trafficking of drugs,” he said. “We must ensure that the region’s people are not exploited by drug traffickers and that their communities are not blighted by the scourge of drugs.”