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    World Transnational Issues - 2004

      Disputes - international:
      stretching over 250,000 km, the world's 322 international land boundaries separate the 192 independent states and 70 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 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 directly affects the sustenance and welfare of local populations, often leaving the world community to cope with resultant refugees, hunger, disease, impoverishment, deforestation, and desertification

      Illicit drugs:
      cocaine: worldwide, coca is grown on an estimated 205,450 hectares - almost exclusively in South America with 70% in Colombia; potential cocaine production during 2002 is estimated at 938 metric tons (or 1,200 metric tons of export quality cocaine at an average of 78% purity); coca eradication programs continue in Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru, and 292 metric tons of export quality cocaine are documented to have been seized in 2002; consumption of export quality cocaine is estimated to have been 875 metric tons
      opiates: cultivation of opium poppy occurred on an estimated 141,213 hectares in 2002 and potentially produced 2,183 metric tons of opium - which conceivably could be converted to the equivalent of 238 metric tons of pure heroin; opium eradication programs have been undertaken in Afghanistan, Burma, Colombia, Mexico, Pakistan, Thailand, and Vietnam, and the annual average for opiates seized worldwide over the past five years (1998-2002) has been 45 metric tons of pure heroin equivalent; estimates for average annual consumption over this time period are 315 metric tons pure heroin equivalent

      NOTE: The information regarding World on this page is re-published from the 2004 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of World Transnational Issues 2004 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about World Transnational Issues 2004 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 21-May-04
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