International Conference on Afghanistan1
AFGHANISTAN: COUNTER NARCOTICS
Elimination of opium production in
Afghanistan is a key objective for the Afghan Government and the
International Community. It threatens the stability, reconstruction
and licit economy of Afghanistan as well as international security.
This can be achieved through implementation
of Afghan National Drug Control Strategy and the five Counter
Narcotics Action Plans in the areas of law enforcement, judicial
reform, alternative livelihoods, demand reduction and public awareness.
However more effort is required by the Afghan Government and the
The Afghan Government reaffirms its
commitment to tackle opium production and the drugs trade in Afghanistan
as a top priority and confirms that it will tackle corruption
and involvement with drugs at the highest level.
The UK as lead nation on Counter
Narcotics and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
both reaffirm their commitment to support implementation of the
Afghan Strategy and Action Plans.
The Afghan Government, the UK and
the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) together
urge the International Community to take on specific activity
from the five Counter Narcotics Action PlansAfghanistan
needs both human and financial resources to tackle this problem
and it requires the engagement of international partners.
In 2002, Afghanistan accounted for almost three-quarters
of global opium production. UNGDC reported an 8% increase in poppy
production for 2003 over 2002, despite a decline in cultivation
in some of the traditional growing areas. In 2003, the UN estimated
that the illegal income from the drug trade was equivalent to
more than 50% of Afghanistan's GDP.
Drug cultivation thrives in an insecure environment,
fuelled by the poverty that many rural communities live in. Drug
money underpins instability by providing funds to warlords and
extremist groups who challenge the authority of central government.
It fuels the corruption that undermines public and donor confidence
in Afghan institutions such as the police and judiciary.
But drugs are not simply an Afghan problem.
Whilst drug abuse in Afghanistan is rising rapidly, particularly
amongst the young, most of the opiates produced in Afghanistan
are consumed beyond its borders in neighbouring countries, Russia,
Western Europe and beyond.
Afghanistan has a strategy to tackle drugs and
it is through implementation of this Afghan National Drug Control
Strategy that, the objective of elimination of opium production
from Afghanistan will be achieved. Greater, and more co-ordinated,
effort is required from the International Community to implement
the Counter Narcotics Action Plans (Annex 1-5) agreed at the February
2004 International Counter Narcotics Conference on Afghanistan
in Kabul. This is how the international Community can support
the Afghan government in delivering on its objective of eliminating
of the illegal drug trade.
Without sustained, co-ordinated and considered
action by the Afghan government, supported by the international
community, the illegal drug trade will continue to threaten Afghanistan's
future. Sustainable elimination of the problem requires a broad-based
approach which considers all of the factors which support the
trade: rural poverty, criminality; institutional weakness and
domestic (and international) demand. And it cannot be tackled
in isolation. Counter narcotics needs to be a strand fed in to
all mainstream reconstruction and development work. A solid start
has been made, but much more remains to be done.
Accomplishments since the Bonn Conference
The approval of the Afghan National Drug Control
Strategy (ANDCS) by the Afghan Transitional Authority in May 2003
was the key development. The ANDCS, drafted in consultation with
line ministries and the international community, set the overall
objective of eliminating the production, trafficking and consumption
of illegal drugs in Afghanistan. The five key elements of the
strategy are: the provision of alternative livelihoods for Afghan
poppy farmers, the extension of drug law enforcement throughout
Afghanistan, the implementation of drug control legislation, the
establishment of effective institutions and the introduction of
prevention and treatment programmes for addicts. The February
2004 International Counter Narcotics Conference on Afghanistan
jointly hosted in Kabul by Afghanistan, the UK and UNODC assessed
achievements to date and developed action plans for each thematic
area to carry work forward. Achievements up to March 2004 included:
A new Drug Law, compliant with the
relevant UN Drug Conventions, was signed by the President and
is now in effect.
The Counter Narcotics Directorate
(CND) was established in October 2002, Reporting to the National
Security Adviser, CND is responsible for overall drugs policy
formulation and co-ordination. Based in Kabul, the CND also has
a regional presence.
A number of national and area-specific
programmes that have the potential to create alternative livelihood
opportunities have been initiated. These include the National
Solidarity Programme (NSP), which supports local governance structures,
develops rural infrastructure and provides income generating opportunities
for vulnerable groups; the National Emergency Employment Programme
(NEEP), co-ordinating labour-intensive schemes which provide employment
opportunities, as well as restoring essential infrastructure;
the Micro-finance Support Facility for Afghanistan (MISFA), that
makes micro-credit accessible to the poor and promotes micro-business
opportunities as alternatives to poppy; the Rebuilding Afghanistan's
Agricultural Markets Programme, and a suite of integrated rural
rehabilitation projects largely focused on developing agriculture,
off-farm business and employment, credit and agri-processing in
rural areas, and the Research In Alternative Livelihoods Fund,
a competitive funding facility to promote the testing of innovative
and practicable ideas and technologies to create additional livelihood
The Counter Narcotics Police of Afghanistan
(CNPA) was created as the specialist counter narcotics law enforcement
department of the Ministry of the Interior (MoL) in January 2003.
CNPA units have been established, trained and supported in Kabul,
Jalalabad, Kandahar, Lashkar Gah, Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif, Kunduz
and Fayzabad. A specialist CNPA drug detection team has been established
An Afghan Special Narcotics Force
(ASNF) has been created within the Ministry of the Interior to
conduct sensitive interdiction operations.
The Mol has established a national
eradication planning capacity to impartially direct eradication
against poppy growing areas where farmers can be expected to have
access to alternative sources of income, and areas where eradication
will not upset the security balance.
The CND conducted a national public
awareness campaign in 2003.
Establishment of a Drug Demand Treatment
Centre focusing on community-based motivation, treatment and rehabilitation
projects in Kabul.
Plan for the future
The February 2004 International Counter Narcotics
Conference on Afghanistan set out the areas where future action
is required to implement the ANDCS. The Conference agreed action
plans in broad thematic areas: alternative livelihoods, law enforcement,
judicial reform, drug demand reduction and public awareness. These
documents are attached as annexes. There will be a need to update
these action plans regularly on the basis of lessons learned and
any changes in external circumstances. Effective implementation
can be achieved only through increased and more co-ordinated input
from international stakeholders in partnership with the CND and
Inputs and resources
Counter narcotics is a cross-cutting issue.
Progress in key areas (such as police and judicial reform, anti-corruption
and rural livelihoods) and on general economic reconstruction
will have positive effects on the Afghan government's counter
narcotics programmes. International donors should consider whether
existing or planned programmes not specifically targeted at counter
narcotics could have knock-on effects (both positive and negative)
on counter narcotics objectives. With a little adjustment, many
programmes could have a positive counter narcotics impact whilst
continuing to fulfil their original objectives.
Some projections of the costs of reconstructing
Afghanistan in the medium (seven year) term are given in the Afghan
Government document "Securing Afghanistan's future",
a summary of which will be presented at the Conference. However
it is difficult to separate out the costs of achieving specific
counter-narcotics objectives from the wider costs of reconstruction
and development. The commitment of human resources is as important
as that of financial resources.
Coalition and ISAF military forces need to incorporate
counter narcotics activity into their regular operations. The
Coalition's and ISAF's profile, as well as their access to areas
outside of Kabul, will provide a real opportunity for them to
support the Afghan government's efforts to interdict the processing
and trafficking of illegal narcotics. PRTs, whilst not getting
actively involved in specific drug enforcement activities, could
still be a valuable source of support in developing alternative
livelihoods and promoting the rule of law.
Pillar over Next Three Years (2004-06)
By 2006 there should be:
An effective Counter-Narcotics Directorate
(CND) as the sole organisation responsible for co-ordinating national
policies and programs on drug control with an effective presence
in Kabul and the regions and with clear lines of accountability
to the National Security Adviser;
A strong Counter Narcotics Police
of Afghanistan (CNPA) as the lead drug enforcement agency under
the Ministry of Interior with an effective presence in 13 provinces;
An effective Afghan Special Narcotics
Force capable of undertaking national interdiction operations
with clear lines of accountability to the Interior Minister;
The establishment a national eradication
planning capacity and a single national co-ordinated program of
Effective rural or community development
programs to cover all opium poppy growing districts;
Effective drug demand reduction programs
in Kabul and the regions;
Mechanisms for the safe and fair
prosecution of drugs offences;
There will be increased access for
opium poppy farmers, including sharecroppers and farm labourers
to legal sources of income, resulting from ongoing and completed
rural development programmes;
An active institutional mechanism
will be in place for the co-ordination of alternative livelihood
programmes, including promotion of counter-narcotics objectives
in rural and agricultural development programmes, and to support
related data collection and knowledge management;
The central government will be able
to conduct effective national information campaigns in support
of all counter narcotics activity using a variety of methods for
Enhanced co-operation with neighbouring
countries across all counter narcotics themes based on a signed
agreement under the Good Neighbourly Relations Declaration framework.
Afghanistan has a strategic framework to implement
and co-ordinate counter narcotics activities to eliminate the
opium economy. The priority now is to accelerate the implementation
of sustainable drug control measures, particularly in the provinces.
The Action Plans for the key areas need to be implemented. This
will require large additional human and financial resource inputs
from the international community. It should also be recognised
that tackling the drugs trade in isolation will be futile unless
there is a strong economy, a robust judiciary and a stable environment
to enforce the laws of the Afghan government and to develop alternatives
to the opium poppy trade.