UNODC IN CENTRAL ASIA

Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia

UNODC presence in Central Asia began in 1993 with the establishment of the UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Today there are Programme Offices in all five Central Asian States and Azerbaijan the value of the programme portfolio has increased from $26 million in 2004 to more than $90 million in 2013.

With a traditional emphasis on building capacity in counter-narcotics through technical assistance, UNODC activities in the region link national projects on border control with regional projects developing intelligence analysis systems and joint operations. These include: the Central Asia Regional Information and Coordination Centre in Almaty, precursor chemical control, border liaison office project, national drug control agencies and intelligence lead policing. All this work is carried out in close cooperation with national and international partners and donors.


Significant trends in UNODC in recent years have seen the shift towards activities within the crime mandates of UNODC and towards an increasingly regional programming structure. Within the framework of a number of political initiatives concerning Afghanistan and its neighbouring countries, UNODC is seeking to build synergy between its drugs and crime mandates. With the introduction of the regional programming approach, UNODC aims to augment the delivery and impact of its work. The UNODC Regional Programme for promoting counter narcotic efforts in Afghanistan and neighbouring countries (2011-2014) is designed to provide a platform for coordination and facilitation of counter-narcotics efforts across the region.


The legislative platform for UNODC's crime mandates has grown out of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols, as well as the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the UN legal instruments against drugs and terrorism. Much effort has gone into promoting adherence to these instruments and in supporting States in bringing their domestic laws into compliance with them. Since laws mean little without effective implementation, UNODC also helps to strengthen criminal justice institutions through training and equipping national governments to enforce and adjudicate the law. To this end a number of regional and national training activities for investigators, lawyers, prosecutors and judges have been implemented.


Human trafficking is now a major problem facing the region, and the multi-billion dollar opium economy in Afghanistan combined with limited institutional capacity fosters conditions that leave Central Asian countries and Azerbaijan vulnerable to the incursion of illicit money from drug trafficking and other crimes. UNODC, as a co-sponsor of the Joint Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), is the lead agency in the region for HIV and AIDS prevention and care among injecting and other drug users and in prison settings.


On these and other issues, regional and national projects continue to be developed, in close coordination with regional and national partners, which support and contribute to improving human security in Central Asia and Azerbaijan.