“Drug trafficking through the Pacific is of increasing concern, says a United Nations report.
“This week the International Narcotics Control Board released its annual report on the movement of drugs, including pre-cursor chemicals for illicit drugs.
“Board member and University of New South Wales Professor Richard Mattick said there was evidence that drug trafficking had increased in the region with illicit material predominately coming from Colombia for the Australian and New Zealand markets.
"...also from Asia coming down, avoiding coming directly into Australia, coming through Pacific Island states," he said.
"That movement of illegal drugs, particularly cocaine and to a certain extent methamphetamine, is meaning Pacific Island states are becoming more involved in illegal drug use."
“Prof Mattick said the increase in trafficking could lead to both security and public health problems.
“Prof Mattick said the report suggested one way Pacific nations could boost their ability to combat such activities was to sign up to three international drug control treaties.
“He said the treaties would open up greater resources to address the issue.
“The Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea have yet to sign up to all three major drug conventions.”
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