UNODC continues to support cooperation to increase information exchange among law enforcement agencies in Central Asia, particularly through the Central Asia Regional Information and Coordination Centre (CARICC) which will provide the legal framework and mechanism for information sharing. The necessary legal and institutional instruments have been developed, finalized and signed by all seven Member States.
Turkmenistan was the first Member State to ratify the Agreement on 28 December 2007, followed by Kyrgyzstan on 19 September 2008. According to a resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Kazakhstan dated 1 July 2008, the CARICC Agreement was endorsed and submitted to the Parliament. CARICC's strategic plan provides the basis for it to become a fully operational agency at the earliest opportunity once the ratification process has been successfully concluded. While nor yet fully operational, in 2007, the heads of the legal departments of the ministries of foreign affairs and high-ranking officers of the law enforcement agencies of the participating countries endorsed the pilot phase of CARICC and recommended its initiation by 1 November 2007.
During this pilot phase, CARICC served as the operational and coordination role for a number of law enforcement projects and initiatives in the region, the prime example being Operation TARCET. In addition, a number of foreign liaison officers have already established operational contact with CARICC and a number of operations have been conducted based on the information provided through the liaison officers' network.. Measures are being taken to ensure cooperation with Afghan authorities which are expected to result in observer status in CARICC being granted to Afghanistan and the posting of an Afghan liaison officer. Links are also being established with Chinese counterparts.
On 22 March 2009, following the ratification by five Member States, the Framework Agreement entered into force, thus opening a new page in the process of the establishment of the Centre. Since commencing full functionality, Russia signed the CARICC Framework Agreement (4 September 2009) and Kazakhstan signed the Host Country Agreement (16 September 2009) completing all the requirements for CARICC.
There is strong support for the project from Europol, Interpol, and World Customs Organisation (WCO). Interpol will have an office within the Centre and the Interpol I-24/7 system was installed in
December 2007, with training provided to CARICC staff by Interpol officers. Work is underway to complete testing of WCO's CEN-COMM secure communication environment provided to CARICC by WCO.