The 17th meeting of Prosecutors General of Shanghai Cooperation Organization member states (hereinafter - the SCO) was held in Bishkek. Cooperation in field of combating smuggling and illicit trafficking of drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors was on the agenda.
The event was attended by delegations of Prosecutor General’s Offices of India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, including those of observer states and dialogue partners, in particular: Armenia, Belarus, Iran, Mongolia, Turkey, the Secretariat and the SCO Regional Anti- Terrorism Structure, Secretariat of the Coordinating Council of Prosecutors General of the CIS Member States and the International Association of Prosecutors.
N.B. SCO has the following main objectives: strengthening of mutual trust and good neighboring relations between member-states; promotion of participants’ efficient cooperation in political, trade, economic, scientific, technical and cultural fields, as well as in spheres of education, energy, transport, tourism, environmental protection and etc.; joint provision and maintenance of peace, security and stability in the region; undertaking steps forward towards a new international political and economic order based on democratic, just and rational grounds.
In his speech, Alexander Konyuk emphasized the international nature of the issue of illicit trafficking of drugs and psychotropic substances.
The Head of Belarusian Supervisory Authority noted that: “The United Nations has justified its global character, providing figures that one in twenty adults take drugs. Annually death rate due to the issue is estimated to be 200 thousand people.
The Prosecutor General of Belarus shared with the participants how drug-related crimes are prevented and combated in his country: “Publication of the Head of State’s Decree “On urgent measures to combat drug trafficking” in December 2019 contributed to identification and investigation of crimes, which was further supported by modifications and amendments to the Criminal Code ".
The head of the Department further mentioned that structure of Belarusian drug market had substantially changed over the past three: “Until 2014, about 90 percent of it was occupied by the so-called“ spice”, the distribution of which was blocked. Currently marijuana, poppy straw, hashish, and various psychotropic substances predominate among the seized drugs. At the same time, drug use falls out of fashion among the youth, becoming more and more enticing for the marginalized. ”
Alexander Konyuk pointed out that in Belarus the number of registered drug users decreased along with cases of fatal overdose.
“The adopted systemic measures to combat spread of drugs allowed us to make positive changes in the most threatening areas, but still there are reasons for caution: Belarus is not isolated from the rest of the world. And the drug threat remains, he stated. “Organized international criminal groups continue to increase production of illicit drugs, create new routes to smuggle them through the territory of the SCO member-states, develop a distribution network and entice the most productive part of country's population to use drugs, thus posing a threat to nations’ gene pool.”
The Prosecutor General of the Republic of Belarus reported that the major share of illicit drugs and psychotropic substances is delivered to the country from overseas. He also mentioned that the amount of psychoactive substances seized inside Belarus was noticeably inferior to the amount of substances, transported in transit and seized by customs and border control services.
Alexander Konyuk summed up that international cooperation and well-coordinated work of state law enforcement agencies, which come as the result of such cooperation, is the most important aspect of fight against drug trafficking: “The Prosecutor General's Office of Belarus is ready for constructive cooperation in this area. Recognizing the importance of common and undivided security, our country, as a donor of regional stability, sufficiently contributes to the realization of the organization’s objectives. 1 am convinced that our meeting will be a significant step in the development of systemic cooperation in combating drug threat, and will help strengthen joint efforts in this direction” he concluded.
Within the framework of this meeting the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Konyuk held bilateral talks with the Prosecutor General of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, with the aim to strengthen professional ties, exchange experience in fight against crime and raise the level of international cooperation.
Photo: prokuror.kg, genproc.gov.ru, Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Belarus
Prosecutor General’s Office