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    A Russian diplomat's appointment as the UN's top man in the fight against drugs and crime has been opposed by influential NGOs over Moscow's record on human rights, a paper said on Monday.

    A Russian diplomat's appointment as the UN's top man in the fight against drugs and crime has been opposed by influential NGOs over Moscow's record on human rights, a paper said on Monday.

    UN Sectary General Ban Ki-moon appointed Yuri Fedotov, Russia's current envoy to the U.K., as Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNDOC) on July 9.

    Fedotov will be the first Russian to hold the post since the establishment of the UNDOC in 1997.

    Vedomosti said 24 NGOs had written to Ban to say that Russia's poor record on human rights and the fight against AIDS and drug addiction should excluded the country from its diplomats holding an influential UN post. However, a spokesman for the secretary general said the UN had not yet received the letter.

    Russia is one of the only countries in the world where methadone and needle exchanges are banned.

    MOSCOW, July 19 (RIA Novosti) 

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