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    World Transnational Issues - 2006

      Disputes - international:
      stretching over 250,000 km, the world's 325 international land boundaries separate the 192 independent states and 73 dependencies, areas of special sovereignty, and other miscellaneous entities; ethnicity, culture, race, religion, and language have divided states into separate political entities as much as history, physical terrain, political fiat, or conquest, resulting in sometimes arbitrary and imposed boundaries; maritime states have claimed limits and have so far established over 130 maritime boundaries and joint development zones to allocate ocean resources and to provide for national security at sea; boundary, borderland/resource, and territorial disputes vary in intensity from managed or dormant to violent or militarized; most disputes over the alignment of political boundaries are confined to short segments and are today less common and less hostile than borderland, resource, and territorial disputes; undemarcated, indefinite, porous, and unmanaged boundaries, however, encourage illegal cross-border activities, uncontrolled migration, and confrontation; territorial disputes may evolve from historical and/or cultural claims, or they may be brought on by resource competition; ethnic and cultural clashes continue to be responsible for much of the territorial fragmentation around the world; disputes over islands at sea or in rivers frequently form the source of territorial and boundary conflict; other sources of contention include access to water and mineral (especially petroleum) resources, fisheries, and arable land; nonetheless, most nations cooperate to clarify their international boundaries and to resolve territorial and resource disputes peacefully; regional discord today prevails not so much between the armed forces of independent states as between stateless armed entities that detract from the sustenance and welfare of local populations, leaving the community of nations to cope with resultant refugees, hunger, disease, impoverishment, and environmental degradation

      Refugees and internally displaced persons:
      the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimated that in December 2004 there was a global population of 9.2 million refugees, the lowest number in 25 years, and as many as 25 million IDPs in over 49 countries (2005)

      Illicit drugs:
      cocaine: worldwide coca cultivation in 2004 amounted to 166,200 hectares; Colombia produced slightly more than two-thirds of the worldwide crop, followed by Peru and Bolivia; potential pure cocaine production of 645 metric tons in 2004 marked the lowest level of Andean cocaine production in the past 10 years; Colombia conducts aggressive coca eradication campaign, but both Peruvian and Bolivian Governments are hesitant to eradicate coca in key growing areas; 376 metric tons of export-quality cocaine are documented to have been seized in 2003, and 26 metric tons disrupted (jettisoned or destroyed); consumption of export quality cocaine is estimated to have been 800 metric tons
      opiates: worldwide illicit opium poppy cultivation reached 258,630 hectares in 2004; potential opium production of 5,444 metric tons was highest total recorded since estimates began in mid-1980s; Afghanistan is world's primary opium producer, accounting for 91% of the global supply; Southeast Asia - responsible for 7% of global opium - continued to diminish in importance in the world opium market; Latin America produced 2% of global opium, but most refined into heroin destined for United States; if all opium processed into pure heroin, the potential global production would be 632 metric tons of heroin in 2004

      NOTE: The information regarding World on this page is re-published from the 2006 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of World Transnational Issues 2006 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about World Transnational Issues 2006 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 06-Jun-06
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