UNODC, Afghanistan partner to strengthen drug control and promote economic development in the country

Amid high illicit crop production figures in Afghanistan, UNODC has scaled up its work with partners to promote innovative strategies to integrate a development perspective into the country’s drug control efforts.

Recently, UNODC teamed up with the Ministry for Counter Narcotics of Afghanistan to host a two-day conference on “Promoting Afghanistan’s Alternative Development Initiatives among Regional and International partners” in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

Organized in the context of the 7th Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan, the event sought to increase awareness and identify opportunities for alternative development among neighboring countries. It also provided a platform to explore new partnerships between agencies working on drug control and development.

Yury Fedotov, UNODC Executive Director, delivering his remarks through a video message, said that “Alternative development can help transform communities, but they can only flourish where the rule of law and sustainable licit economies are strong.” He highlighted that the Government of Afghanistan, through its National Peace and Development Framework and National Drug Action Plan, has laid a strong foundation to build coordinated and integrated cooperation. “But these efforts require the strong support of the international community,” Mr. Fedotov added.

In his opening remarks, Jeremy Milsom, UNODC Senior Programme Coordinator of the Regional Programme said: “Security and development are indivisible, an understanding reaffirmed through the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the UN General Assembly Special Session on the world drug problem.”

UNODC’s 2017 Afghan Opium Survey shows that opium poppy cultivation and drug production chain generate huge profits, supporting criminality and insurgency, and ultimately resulting in greater insecurity. “There is no way to achieve a viable and sustainable social and economic development unless we tackle the drugs issue and insecurity,” Mr. Milsom stressed.

Also participating, Roland Kobia, Special Representative of the European Union to Afghanistan, defined alternative development as a long-term strategy that seeks a sustainable move away from illicit drug cultivation. “Access to markets is crucial to allow farmers to generate sufficient revenue to maintain a decent standard of living,” he pointed out.

Professor Salamat Azimi, Minister for Counter Narcotics of Afghanistan stressed that her country was truly committed to fighting narcotics. Citing an example, she said that the Government was developing national policies to support relevant Ministries in achieving this goal.

Over 70 senior officials and participants from Afghanistan and several senior officials from Pakistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Colombia and Thailand attended the event, funded by the European Union, Japan, the Russian Federation and the United States.

For over 40 years, UNODC has been working with Member States on alternative development, a principal pillar of the international drug control strategy. In Afghanistan, most illegal cultivation is driven by poverty, food insecurity, and the lack of land tenure. Alternative development seeks to reduce illicit crop cultivation and drug production by generating licit income and opportunities while providing a range of social services.

This article first appeared on the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Website


Hands on Peer Education, is a front-line service in Dublin’s north inner city, where those suffering with addiction and their families can get access to much needed support and treatment options. H.O.P.E. facilitates and advocates for recovery through abstinence. We also offer a wide range of advocacy services. H.O.P.E.’s free and confidential drop-in clinic is open from 10am ‘til 1pm, Monday to Friday.

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Dublin’s North East Inner City: Creating a Brighter Future

Dublin’s North East Inner City: Creating a Brighter Future

The Kieran Mulvey Report, February 2017

Last night – Thursday, 16th February, 2017 – the government task force to north east inner city launched the Kieran Mulvey report. H.O.P.E., along with many other community stakeholders, were present in anticipation of the final report. The communities of the north east inner city have suffered severe social inequalities for many years. With that in mind, this project welcomes the report and it’s suggestions.

After meeting with community groups, individuals, organisations over the last few months and taking some 50 organisational/individual submissions, Kieran Mulvey used the issues put forward to inform the report. And from these submissions, an action plan has been formulated. But what does the action plan have in store for the north east inner city?

The action plan outlines four key areas for priority action

  • Tackling crime and drugs; Better and more visible policing with an emphasis on community policing needs to be key feature in the Plan. It must be “safe” to lead; it must be “safe” to live, work, learn and play in the community.
  • Maximising educational/training opportunities/ creating local employment opportunities; There needs to be significant enhancement of the linkages between education and employment opportunity for this current generation of school goers, young adults and the unemployed in local businesses and enterprises, particularly in the business / retail area of the inner city and in the Docklands Development – both in construction and business occupation stages.
  • Creating an integrated system of social services; Social, educational and training services to address the real problems faced by families and their children need to be planned and delivered in a far more coordinated fashion. Services should be co-ordinated under a single plan which is in response to the particular needs and circumstances of different communities within the area.
  • Improving physical landscape; The area has some of the broadest streets in the City with potential for refurbishment and revitalisation. Future regeneration needs to explore the potential within the area to renovate, make it liveable and bright with improved physical landscape; to eliminate waste, derelict sites and progress the refurbishment and replacement of the existing flat complexes.

The Examiner, on Thursday, February 16, 2017 – 06:46 pm, highlights

  • Government accepts recommendations of the Mulvey Report for regeneration of the North East Inner City.
  • Ring-fenced funding of €5m will support implementation of the report.
  • Policing resources in the area to increase by 30 additional Gardaí by end 2017.
  • Rutland Street School to remain in state ownership and to be developed as a community hub.
  • Design, planning and procurement relating to the re-opening of Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station to begin.
  • Government to move quickly to put in place Implementation Structures recommended with strong Community Engagement and Government Oversight.

The full report can be read below.

“Kieran Mulvey’s NEIC Report Launch”

From NEIC Report Launch. Posted by HOPE Hands On Peer Education on 2/17/2017 (10 items)

Generated by Facebook Photo Fetcher 2

Alcohol policy in Ireland

Excerpts from ‘Alcohol policy in Ireland and Scotland’

by Lucy Dillon

On 2 March 2016, Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP), Alcohol Focus Scotland and Eurocare held a joint event in Edinburgh to discuss alcohol policy in Scotland and Ireland. They subsequently published the proceedings of the event in Alcohol policy in Scotland and Ireland: European trailblazers or Celtic fringes?1 The event came about as governments in both countries promoted policies that focused on increasing the price of alcohol, reducing its availability, and restricting its marketing. Similarly, both governments were seen to face sustained opposition from global alcohol producers in implementing these policies.

The published proceedings contain the five papers presented on the day and notes from the final discussion session.

Whisky galore? Policy challenges and priorities in Scotland’, Alison Douglas, chief executive, Alcohol Focus Scotland

Douglas described the pattern of alcohol consumption in Scotland, highlighting the widespread harms experienced in particular in deprived communities. She argued that in terms of cost-effectiveness of interventions to reduce consumption and harm, the three ‘best buys’ were to take action on alcohol pricing, availability and marketing. They were to be seen as mutually reinforcing and should therefore be implemented ‘collectively’.

Finding the right measure? Policy challenges and priorities in Ireland’, Suzanne Costello, chief executive, Alcohol Action Ireland

Costello described Irish alcohol consumption patterns, emphasising that ‘binge drinking is a real problem in Ireland’. Alcohol-related harms were highlighted, including alcohol-related deaths, and their role in deaths by suicide in Ireland. Addressing Ireland’s drinking ‘culture’ was described as presenting a particular challenge. As with previous speakers, she identified alcohol pricing, availability, consumer information, and advertising and marketing as requiring action if consumption and harms were to be addressed. These reflected some of the key elements of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill 2015 that was described, including the use of product labels to contain a link to a public health website providing information on alcohol and its related harms. She concluded that at the time of presenting, the Irish political landscape was ‘much more favourable to health issues’.

1    Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (2016) Alcohol policy in Scotland and Ireland: European trailblazers or Celtic fringes? Edinburgh: Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems. (see below)

Alcohol policy in Scotland and Ireland: European trailblazers or Celtic fringes?

On 2nd March 2016, Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP), Alcohol Focus Scotland and Eurocare, held a joint event in the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh to explore and discuss alcohol policy in Scotland and Ireland. Governments in Scotland and Ireland are pushing forward policies that focus on increasing alcohol price and reducing availability and marketing, in the face of sustained opposition by global alcohol producers.

In the context of a refresh to the current Scottish Alcohol Strategy, ‘‘Changing Scotland’s Relationship with Alcohol’’, and Ireland introducing a new Public Health (Alcohol) Bill, which includes Minimum Unit Pricing and is wide ranging in its provisions related to marketing and availability, the event provided an opportunity to hear from experts who are centrally involved in influencing alcohol policies. As well as providing an update on Scottish, Irish and European alcohol challenges and priorities, the findings of the latest MESAS (Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland’s Alcohol Strategy) report, which was launched on 1st March 2016, were presented.


“Does Kieran Mulvey have the answers to street dealing?” The Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk, Thursday 2nd February 2017

Does Kieran Mulvey have the answers to street dealing?

The Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk, Thursday, 2nd February, 2017

Last week, the Pat Kenny show on Newstalk returned to the subject of social inequality and drug fuelled gang warfare in Dublin’s north east inner city. H.O.P.E. manager, Irene Crawley, had her say on the topic of street dealing and the overall situation suffered by the north east inner city.


Full show – click here

NICCC Submission to Kieran Mulvey

After all the hard work of the North Inner City Community Coalition over the last few months, the eight working groups have completed their proposed lists of issues and resolutions. Now, the submission to Kieran Mulvey, who has been tasked with the job of reporting the situation back to an Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, has been compiled. The document has been signed off on by the community and has been submitted to Kieran Mulvey. The community’s move in this process of community engagement has been made. The next move is in the hands of the State.

[Full Document]

Meeting the Minister


H.O.P.E. would like to express a massive thanks to Minister for State, Catherine Byrne and her staff. Minister Byrne has been tasked with delivering the new national drug strategy. Catherine has taken it upon herself to visit the various projects that help people break free from addiction – a massive undertaking. It was great to discuss HOPE’s past, present, & future and our place under the new national drug strategy.

Dublin NICCC Meets Taoiseach

Dublin NICCC Subgroup meets Taoiseach
Dublin NICCC Convenors meeting with Taoiseach Enda Kenny

On Wednesday 27th July 2016, Taoiseach, Enda Kenny met with the Dublin North Inner City Coalition Convenors. Here you can find a copy of the meeting minutes. More details to follow.

Dublin NICCC Subgroup
Dublin NICCC Convenors


Seanad Debate – Misuse of Drugs Act (Amendment) Bill 2016

On Wednesday 29th June, the Seanad had debated the Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Bill 2016. Amendments were proposed by Senators Aodhán Ó Ríordáin and Lynn Ruane so that drug users would not be criminalised for possessing the drugs covered by the Bill. As you will see, the amendments were not accepted, but commitments were given by Minister Catherine Byrne to address the issues raised by them in a further Bill in the Autumn.

The minutes can be read here.