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    VIENNA, March 20, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - The United Nations believes that the increasing drug production in the world is directly connected with growing international terrorism. This statement was made by Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP).

    The boom in the production of synthetic drugs, drug trafficking and organized crime is a result of growing international terrorism, which draws its financial resources from the listed sources, Mr. Costa said following the 47th session of the UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention in Vienna.

    At the same time, he said, the session participants pointed out progress in lessening the cultivation of opium and coca in the Andes region of Latin America. But they also drew attention to the unprecedented growth in the production of opiates, which are a basic raw material for the production of heroin, in Afghanistan and in the neighbor regions of Pakistan. [Last year, according to different estimates, Afghanistan reaped in up to 3,200 tons of opium poppy.] The session participants also expressed a serious concern about new threats and challenges which mankind faces today.

    They spoke, in particular, about the growing number of narcotic medicines and injection materials which are used in some countries and also about the growth of HIV-infected people and AIDS cases in East European countries and in Central and Southeast Asia, especially in China.

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