The booming of the opium economy is one of the greatest challenges facing Afghanistan in promoting effective governance, sustainable development and the restoration of the rule of law. 93% of opiates in the international market originating in Afghanistan, encouraged by the lack of security and the limited capacity of the state. Drug-related corruption is largely recognized as one of the dominant component of corruption in the country. Counter-narcotics efforts provide opportunities for corrupt officials to extort enormous bribes from drug traffickers. Another source of corruption is also attributed to the large inflows of international assistance combined with the pressure to spend these funds quickly, both for humanitarian aid and for sustaining the international military forces present in the country.
Overall, opium cultivation, drug trafficking, drug-related corruption combined with the general context of insecurity are intertwined phenomena, which hinder the development of licit economic activities in Afghanistan. Non-functioning institutions, the limited capacity of government as well as reported corruption in the justice sector itself seriously compromise the detection, prosecution and punishment of corrupt practices.
Committed to strengthening of the Afghan justice system, particularly in the areas of counter narcotics and anti-corruption, UNICRI in cooperation with UNODC have launched and are currently implementing two Projects on “Strengthening anti-corruption measures in Afghanistan” and on “Criminal Justice Capacity Building”. This joint UNICRI / UNODC effort is aimed at creating 2 different training manuals to be handed over to Afghan Judges and Prosecutors.
The main objective of both manuals is to give support in improving of the professional skills of judges and prosecutors in selected provinces of Afghanistan in handling of corruption and drug related crimes. On the basis of the manuals, trainings to Afghan judges and prosecutors will be carried out by UNODC in 2009.
In May and July 2008, international experts met at the UNICRI premises to discuss training methodology and contents of the two manuals, which will be tested in Kabul during two pilot training seminars in October 2008.