For information only - not an official document

14 February 2012


Press Conference on Paris Pact Ministerial Meeting on Drugs from Afghanistan

1.30 p.m. on Thursday 16 February

VIENNA, 14 February (UN Information Service) - The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will be attending the Third Ministerial Conference of the Paris Pact Partners at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna this Thursday. The Paris Pact partners will discuss how best to combat the trafficking of opium and heroin originating in Afghanistan.

The meeting brings together Ministers and representatives from more than 55 countries as well as from international organizations and regional partners. The participants will discuss problems related to the trafficking of opiates from Afghanistan and look at ways to block financial flows from the illicit drug trade, prevent diversion of precursor chemicals needed to produce heroin, reduce drug abuse and how regional initiatives can help combat drugs from Afghanistan.

Media are invited to attend a press conference at 1.30 p.m. on Thursday 16 February with the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, Sergey V. Lavrov, the Foreign Minister of Austria, Michael Spindelegger, and the Minister of Counter-Narcotics of Afghanistan, Zarar Ahmed Muqbel Osmani. The press conference will be moderated by Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Yury Fedotov.
Venue: Hofburg Palace, Mittlere Lounge
Time: 1.30 p.m. Thursday 16 February
Please arrive by 1.15 p.m.

Media are also invited to the opening session of the meeting at 9 a.m. (NB: As space is very limited inside the Plenary Hall priority will be given to TV camera crews and photographers. There is a media lounge where the opening session can be viewed on screens by other journalists.). The opening will be addressed by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Austrian Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov, the French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé and the Afghan Minister of Counter-Narcotics Zarar Ahmed Muqbel Osmani.
Please arrive by 8.15 a.m.

Accreditation: pre-registration is required including for those already accredited to the VIC. Contact: Veronika Crowe-Mayerhofer, UNIS Vienna, email:, Tel: (+43 1) 26060 3342. Please register by 12 noon on Wednesday 15 February 2012.

Journalists are strongly advised to collect security passes prior to the event from the Hofburg Palace from 1-6 p.m. on Wednesday 15 February. Please allow plenty of time to go through security procedures before gaining access to the Hofburg Palace. Entry will be via the Josefsplatz entrance.

Journalists who are pre-registered but have not collected their security passes in advance are warned to expect long queues and should allow extra time. Journalists arriving on Thursday 16 February without pre-registration will not be allowed entry.

The Paris Pact Initiative (PPI) is an international partnership of more than 55 countries and international organizations which agreed at the Ministerial Conference on Drug Routes from Central Asia to Europe held in Paris in 2003, to the principle of common and shared responsibility in the fight against opium and heroin trafficking from Afghanistan. The second Ministerial Conference was held in Moscow in 2006. The Paris Pact Initiative is supported by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

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For further information please contact:

Preeta Bannerjee
Public Information Officer, UNODC
Telephone: (+43 1) 26060-5764
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-5764
Email: preeta.bannerjee[at]

For more information about the Paris Pact go to: