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Global response needed against drug trafficking: Anand Sharma

world Updated: Jun 25, 2011 14:00 IST

India has called for a coordinated global response to arrest the threat posed by transnational organised crime, drug trafficking, terrorism and money laundering.

"We believe that the United Nations is the best mechanism for developing this coherent transnational response," commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma has said.

"India is committed to strengthening the international normative and legislative mechanisms that are required to create a framework for countering this threat," he said, adding that India had joined the UN Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime in May.

In its annual drug report, the UN has pointed out that most of the heroin in the South Asian market went to Indian local criminal groups.

"With a value of $ 1.4 billion, the biggest market is in India," said the report released on Thursday.

The report said that South Asia was an important consumption and transit point for Afghan heroin in 2009.

It, however, pointed out that domestically produced heroin and opium is half of what is consumed in India.

Yury Fedotov, head of the UN department on drugs and crime (UNODC), said that drug trafficking is fuelling global criminal enterprise worth billions of dollars that is undermining development and security.

"We are witnessing more and more acts of violence, conflicts and terrorist activities fuelled by drug lords," Fedotov told the 15-member council.

Fedotov suggested a four pronged approach--strengthened international cooperation, building regional capacity around fragile states like Afghanistan, reinforcing the rule of law and criminal justice system, and adopting a cross-disciplinary strategy.