This workshop, organised by the Strategic Police Matters Unit (SPMU) in co-operation with the Lithuanian Ministry of the Interior and UNODC, aimed to develop preventive measures against production and trafficking in synthetic drugs in the Baltic region and strengthen a regional co-operation among law enforcement agencies, reducing the supply of drugs, improving international co-operation and raising public awareness.
The threat emanating from narcotic activities is a danger that affects the communities, undermining their traditional and basic values, and challenging law and order which results in the weakening of the cohesion of the state and society. Each year, more synthetic drugs such as ecstasy, amphetamines are used worldwide than cocaine and heroin combined. EMCDDA report indicates about 10 million users of ecstasy and about 12 million users of amphetamines in Europe.
Global amphetamine production remains concentrated in Europe, which accounted for 81 % of all amphetamine laboratories reported in 2007 (UNODC, 2009). According to the EMCDDA research most amphetamine seized in Europe is produced, in order of importance, in the Netherlands, Poland and Belgium and to a lesser extent in Estonia and Lithuania.
This workshop was organised as a follow up to the joint OSCE-UNODC Conference on Combating the Threat of Illicit Drugs and Strengthening Control of Precursor Chemicals that took place on 8-9 July 2010 in Vienna, Austria. The event further encouraged a sharing of experiences among law enforcement agencies, highlighting of new approaches towards a common goal and the promotion of co-operation and co-ordination of OSCE participating States’ efforts in combating the synthetic drug supply in the Baltic region. Counter narcotics law enforcement discussions were structured around four main agenda items: assessment of the current situation with illicit synthetic drugs in Baltic region; preventive activities of law enforcement against drug trafficking in the region; prevention of trafficking in precursors; and international co-operation and international mechanisms to combat synthetic drugs in the region.
Workshop organisers expected participation of experts from countries in the Baltic region and international organisations associated with countering of illicit drugs. Delegations were expected to share their countries' experiences on combating synthetic drugs with a focus on new trends, problems, difficulties, modus operandi observed and possible solutions.