Summary of the Dublin Group Meeting 8th May 2014

This meeting includes updates on the global drug problem

Published: 8th July 2014


Discussion about regional and local chairs of the Dublin Group

The Chair asked if any delegation was willing to take over the Presidency of the central

Dublin Group. As no delegation expressed the wish to take over, the French delegation agreed to continue chairing it, which was accepted by the delegations. The chair summed up the

status of chairmanships of the Mini-Dublin Groups, concluding that there is no vacancy and all the regional and local chairs are in place.

Update on the Heroin Route Programme by the Commission

The representative of the Commission gave an overview of the Heroin Route Programme, which is an instrument managed by the Commission and funded by the Instrument Contributing to Stability and Peace (formerly know as Instrument for Stability). An independent review of the programme was conducted in 2012, and the results presented in

2013 confirmed that the programme design is strategic and presents an integrated approach. It was suggested to emphasise the regional support rather than focus on individual countries.

Presentation and / or update of regional reports: Africa, America

North Africa

The Spanish delegation presented the regional report on North Africa as set out in doc.8971/14 CORDROGUE 24 COAFR 134. In Algeria, a substantial rise in seizures of cannabis resin and psychotropic pills was recorded. In Egypt, a new hashish trafficking route has opened in the South and through the Red Sea. Cocaine consumption continued to be very rare. Most of the hashish consumed in Egypt comes from Morocco, heroin from Afghanistan and opium from South East Asia. Given the current situation, combatting drug trafficking is not one of the Government's priorities. Libya remains to be an established market and transit zone for hashish, heroin and cocaine. There is a correlation between illegal immigration, organised crime and drug trafficking, and problems have increased due to the lack of political authority. Additionally, there is a lack of official information on drug seizures, which further hampers

the fight against drugs. There have been no major changes in Morocco, which remains the world's leading country for the production and export of hashish. A new entry route for drugs, mainly cocaine, was observed, following the introduction of direct flights between Casablanca and Sao Paulo. Tunisia remains without significant drug production, and rather serves as transit country for the trafficking of moderate quantities of cannabis to Europe.

The Spanish delegation presented the regional report on South America as set out in doc.8977/14 CORDROGUE 25 COLAC 18. In Argentina, insecurity linked to drug trafficking is worsening in Rosario in the province of Santa Fe, as well as in the provinces of Cordoba, Mendoza and Buenos Aires. There has been growing evidence of national production, which together with increase in trafficking and consumption has also political repercussions. The discussion on decriminalisation has started in the parliament and the new State Secretary of the National Secretariat for the Prevention of Drug Addiction and Narcotics Trafficking (SEDRONAR) has been appointed. The main results of the Comprehensive Study on the Coca Leaf in Bolivia were published in November 2013, providing data on traditional and legal consumption of coca leaf. Inclusion of coca leaf for "cross-border trade" does not however comply with the international rules. National cocaine consumption continues to grow in Brazil, and the seizures more than doubled in 2013 to almost 42 tonnes. Colombia, together with Peru and Bolivia, remains the world leader in the cultivation and production of cocaine. There has been an almost 20% decrease in investigated infringements of drug law in Chile in 2013, as well as over 25% decrease in arrests. By type of drug, the main increase is in marijuana and marijuana plants and basic cocaine paste, and decrease in pharmaceutical products and cocaine hydrochloride. Porous nature of Chile's border with cocaine-producing countries remains a problem. In Ecuador, maritime trafficking continues to be the most common means of transferring large quantities of drugs, while human and postal trafficking are used to reach destinations in the USA and Europe. Consumption of cocaine basic baste has been spreading very quickly in Paraguay. In Uruguay, international drug trafficking is channelled via port and airport of Montevideo. In Venezuela, 85% of drug seizures take place in states on or close to the border with Colombia.

The President of the INCB informed the delegates about the difficulties experienced by ENACO in Peru in fulfilling its mission and called on for the international support for ENACO.

The Canadian delegation presented the regional report on Caribbean as set out in doc. 9314/14

CORDROGUE 32 COLAC 22 emphasising that region is vulnerable to threats posed by drug trafficking and organised crime due to its location between drug producing and consumer markets and highlighting the high rates of youth violence and drug-related violent crime.

The report highlighted the concern that drug trafficking might increase in the eastern Caribbean as a result of expected counter narcotics successes in Central America. Prolonged economic weakness enhances the risk of corruption and infiltration of government levels by drug traffickers. Dominican Republic remains an important transit point for cocaine traffickers. In Guyana, its geographic location, limited law enforcement capacity and corruption remain contributing factors to drug trafficking problems. Jamaica remains the largest Caribbean producer and exporter of marijuana to Europe and North America. The amount of seized marijuana decreased by more than 50% in 2013. In Trinidad and Tobago, corruption, lack of sustainability of government funded programmes, as well as gaps in legislative and organisational implementation continue to be the main challenges.

Central America

The US delegation provided an update on Central America, focusing on four identified key themes: corruption (more efforts are needed to implement anti-corruption policies), the lack of resources to fight against drugs (including the lack of training and equipment, low salary level for law enforcement officials, poor investigative capacity and weak judicial systems), the lack of political will and professionalism/institutional building. Among success stories, the speaker highlighted 24% decrease in murder rate in Belize, establishment of money laundering and asset forfeiture bureaus in Costa Rica, progress in destruction of precursor chemicals in El Salvador, move towards intelligence-led police force in Panama, and accreditation of police academies in Panama and Guatemala.

The French delegation provided an update on Western Africa, focusing on its role as a storage and transit area for cocaine trafficking from South America to Europe (with around 40-80 tonnes of cocaine being trafficked annually, 20 tonnes of them to Europe), and noting that Senegal remained a major transit point from Brazil. Dakar is developing into a drugs market with cocaine being marketed in privileged areas and crack cocaine in poor areas. Manufacturing of synthetic drugs for South Asian markets, and focus on small aviation for transporting cocaine to/from Western Africa continue to be the characteristics of drug trafficking in the region. Guinea-Bissau is most hard hit by cocaine trafficking and Mali remains a very significant transit country.

The INCB President informed the delegations about the lack of availability of licit drugs used for medical purposes in Nigeria due to the cumbersome procurement procedures for supplying these drugs for public and private sector via the Federal Ministry of Health. He also drew the delegations' attention to the fact that in Benin, the yearly imports of benzodiazepines are as high as that in the US, as the product is being trafficked through illicit Nigerian channels to unregulated markets in Western Africa. He also noted that Mozambique lacks effective drug interdiction, in particular as regards training of law enforcement officers, especially customs, as well as equipment.

Discussion about CND outcomes and preparation for UNGASS 2016

The Chair summed up the main results of the last session of the CND welcoming the fact that CND was designated to be the main preparatory body for the upcoming UNGASS.

Intervention of Mr Bernard Leroy, newly elected French expert to INCB on questions raised by the current evolution of the drug phenomena

Bernard Leroy gave a presentation putting in relation the popular and consumerist culture, drug use, strategies of the organised crime groups and role of civil society. According to him, the counter strategy needs to be based on four elements: complicating the availability of product, making it less appealing, reversing social acceptance and undermining acceptance in socio-cultural group.

Presentation and/ or update of regional reports: Asia, Europe, Middle and Near East

South East Asia and China

The Japanese delegation presented the regional report on South East Asia and China as set out in doc. 8990/14 CORDROGUE 26 ASIE 22 + COR 1 Methamphetamine pills are the most widely spread drugs in Cambodia, and illicit drug use that was previously concentrated in urban areas, has ben recently expanding in rural areas. Laos has porous borders with its five neighbouring countries and there is a concern over an increase in drugs trafficking,production, use and drug-related crime in the context of upcoming establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community. Myanmar is preparing a revision of its 1993 drugs law that provides for imprisonment of 3 to 5 years for illicit drug users who fail to register at government-recognised medical centre and abide the medical treatment. Less severe punishments are proposed. Thailand is a strategic hub for drugs trafficking due to its geographic location, regional connectivity and developed tourism market, and traffickers continue to find new routes. Although synthetic drugs are increasingly present in Vietnam, heroin and opium are still the main consumed and trafficked drugs. China remains one of the main global producers of precursor chemicals. Organised crime continues to take advantage of growing chemical manufacturing industry to divert legitimately manufactured chemicals or manufacture illicit chemicals.

Western Balkans

The Hungarian delegation presented the regional report on Western Balkans as set out in doc.8886/14 CORDROGUE 19 COWEB 44. Drug crimes remained a serious problem for Albania in 2013, the country continued to be both a country of origin (for cannabis and its derivatives) and a transit route. The volume of drug seizures and arrests increased in 2013. Drug trafficking has the biggest share in drugs-related offences in Bosnia and Herzegovina, while domestic market remains small. Kosovo1 continues to be used as a transit country, as is unsuitable for cannabis planting. There is no information on synthetic drugs production. For the first time, one of the new psychoactive substances was detected in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Seizure of heroin on the Balkan Route has increased with the quantity of drugs seized in the first 2.5 months of 2013 equalling to the total amount of drugs seized in 2012. Smuggling and consumption of modified marijuana (skunk) is the main drug related offence in Montenegro. A return of the Balkan Route has been observed also in Serbia, although not at the earlier levels.

Afghanistan and Pakistan

The French delegation provided an update on Afghanistan and Pakistan emphasising that Afghanistan (which produces 90% of world opium) recorded unprecedented levels of poppy growing and increased production. Profits gained are estimated at the level of 50% of African GDP, and all provinces in the country are affected. Unstable situation and lack of security weaken ability of law enforcement to act. Afghanistan also remains the first world producer of cannabis with 1500-3500 tonnes produced a year. Cannabis production is replacing opium in provinces, and heroin production is on the raise too. Pakistan is more used as a transit country and over 40% of Afghan opium goes through Pakistan, which almost eradicated poppy crops over past 10 years.

The original text can be found here.