The rotational presidency of the UN security council was assumed by Russia on Friday amid heightened concern over developments in Afghanistan, Syria and in the Middle East.
Russia is due to initiate talk and debate on the situation in Afghanistan in its leadership role on the security council to discuss the decade long war launched by US-led international forces following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Russia has good reason to be concerned about the situation in Afghanistan: Since the beginning of hostilities, which pitted Coalition forces against a motley crew of Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants, the region has experienced not only an influx of terrorists but also a massive spike in drug trafficking across Europe and Russia.
According to the Federal Drug Service, 106 tons of illegal drugs – mostly in the form of heroin cultivated from Afghan opium poppy – were seized in Russia last year, a 70 percent jump from 2011.
In the meantime Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will chair on March 19 a UN Security Council meeting on Afghanistan. A resolution extending the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) will be adopted at the meeting.
The agenda of the Russian presidency will also address the Middle East issues, the settlement of the situation in Kosovo, and the Libyan sanctions regime, among other issues.