and International Cooperation
Facilitating dialogue and exchange at the bilateral, regional and international level, along with the promotion of international conventions, standards and best practices are the objectives of the new UNODC integrated programme of technical cooperation on drugs and crime in the Islamic Republic of Iran (2011-2014). They feature prominently in each of the programmatic areas of work: illicit trafficking and border management, drug demand reduction and HIV control, crime, justice and corruption.
Illicit trafficking and border control
In sub-programme 1, support will be provided to national authorities to facilitate the implementation of the Triangular Initiative on counter narcotics enforcement amongst the Islamic Republics of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan, particularly in the following three areas: establishment of border liaison offices, information-intelligence exchange and intelligence-led investigations, and cross-border communication system. Bilateral, regional and international cooperation under sub-programme 1 will be fostered within the framework of existing regional and international initiatives such as the Global Container Control Programme, Operation TARCET, Paris Pact Initiative, etc. Dialogue and exchange with the international anti-narcotics community (e.g. Drug Liaison Officers) will also be promoted under sub-programme 1.
Drug demand reduction and HIV control
In Sub-programme 2, South-South cooperation will be facilitated through actions that will expose other middle-income countries, as well as developing countries to good practices carried out by national authorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran in the areas of opium substitution therapies and HIV prevention and control in the prison setting. In particular, Iran's good practices in harm reduction will be presented in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Moreover, missions will be organised with the objective to allow Iranian NGOs to familiarize themselves with the organization of NGOs and civil society's role in other countries. In the past, Iranian experiences have contributed to the enhancement of harm reduction activities and programmes in several countries.
Crime, Justice and Corruption
In Sub-programme 3, regional and international cooperation will be made possible through a UNODC initiative known as FIU to FIU programme aimed at facilitating dialogue between the Iranian Financial Intelligence Unit and other units from abroad. Sub-programme 3 will also facilitate a structured dialogue on criminal justice matters between the judicial authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran and other countries. National efforts to establish an integrity-based, accountable and effective anti-corruption regime in line with the United Nations Convention Against Corruption will be supported through technical cooperation in the areas of legislation, as well as capacity and institution building. Last but not least, an innovative initiative will be launched by UNODC in collaboration with ten national partners and UNESCO with the objective to enhance national capacity in countering trafficking in cultural properties, art and antiquities in line with the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime. This initiative is expected to deliver legislative assistance, as well as to contribute to institution building and promote international cooperation.
Mini Dublin Group
The Mini-Dublin Group in the Islamic Republic of Iran has the main tasks of compiling local situation reports, facilitating coordination on drug policy and assistance, conducting a dialogue with the host country on drug control, drawing up recommendations, and implementing orientations of the Central Dublin Group and regional chairs.
The Dublin Group is a flexible, informal consultation and coordination mechanism for global, regional and country-specific problems of illicit drugs production, trafficking and demand. Its participants are the 27 Member States of the European Union, Australia, Canada, Japan, Norway, the United States, the European Commission and the UNODC. In Tehran, the Mini Dublin Group consists of representatives from the member states' embassies, while other countries take part as observers. The Mini Dublin group in the Islamic Republic of Iran is currently chaired by Germany. UNODC Country Office in the Islamic Republic of Iran provides expertise, technical and secretariat support to the Mini Dublin Group in the country.
Afghanistan's borders with the Islamic Republics of Iran and Pakistan are under attack from criminal groups that are smuggling precursor chemicals into Afghanistan and trafficking drugs out of the country. Above 70% of Afghan opiates are trafficked via Iran and Pakistan every year. Information sharing and coordination amongst anti-narcotics forces of the three countries are key tools for the achievement of successful counter narcotics results.
The blue flag of the United Nations provides an ideal setting to foster options for regional and transnational cooperation. UNODC has built bridges between Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan in the area of counter-narcotics enforcement through the Triangular Initiative. This initiative was launched by policy-makers from the three countries in Vienna in June 2007; it sets in motion a series of trust building measures and joint operations, with the ultimate goal of information/intelligence sharing. The role of UNODC is to serve as the Secretariat of the Triangular Initiative, facilitate the implementation of technical assistance and mobilize financial support.
Periodic meetings of experts and policy-makers have been facilitated by UNODC since 2007, building trust amongst the three countries' anti narcotics authorities. At the operational level, a Joint Planning Cell has been established in Tehran for information and intelligence sharing and the implementation of joint operations targeting drug trafficking networks operating in the region. Moreover, Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan have identified strategic locations to place Border Liaison Offices (BLOs) at their common borders to improve information exchange and ensure a concerted inter-agency and cross-border response against drugs and precursor trafficking. So far, eleven joint operations have been conducted since the Joint Planning Cell started its work at the end of 2009. Joint operations between the Islamic Republics of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan in March 2011 resulted in more than three tons of drugs seized.
The Regional Programme on Afghanistan and neighbouring countries is an upcoming initiative aiming to complement and further expand interventions designed to support the mplementation of the Rainbow Strategy and to address additional priorities as expressed by Member States.
The Regional Programme will place emphasis on cross-border and regional activities and does not supersede national responses and capacity building programmes, which represent the foundations of UNODC work in the region. There will be a great deal of complementarities between the national and the regional response, i.e. between an overall regional approach to programme development and the requirement to meet specific country needs.
The regional programme will be structured in sub-programmes addressing 1) Regional Law Enforcement Cooperation 2) International/Regional Cooperation in Criminal Matters 3) Prevention and Treatment of Addiction Among Vulnerable Groups 4) Trends and Impacts (as a cross-cutting function)