Representatives from the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) attended the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Counter Narcotics Seminar and Workshop in Islamabad, Pakistan, on 27 and 28 January 2015. The event aimed at enhancing awareness and aligning international efforts to combat the challenges posed by narcotics trafficking in the Middle East.
CMF was represented by Captain Nicholas Stoker Royal Australian Navy, the Deputy Commander of CMF’s counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics smuggling task force, Combined Task Force 150, and Commander Aamir Iqbal from the Pakistan Navy. The two officers briefed delegates from a large number of nations and agencies on CMF’s role in maritime security in the context of narcotics trafficking.
Organised by the UNODC Country Office in Pakistan and the Government of Pakistan, the seminar brought together many of the countries most affected by narcotics trafficking and asked them to consider a shared approach in combating drug networks and narcotics smuggling.
Captain Stoker said:
“The seminar presented a unique opportunity to highlight CMF’s role, achievements and challenges in countering narcotics smuggling as part of its counter-terrorism mission in the Middle East.”
He went on to say:
“Narcotics smuggling is a threat to maritime security and causes regional instability; it also funds international terrorist organisations and their activities across the globe. The nature of the narcotics threat requires international collaboration and interagency cooperation to ensure freedom of navigation and regional stability. CMF remains focused on deterring and disrupting terrorist activities and funding sources on the high seas.”