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UNODC Presents Equipment to OSPP

Vientiane, (Lao PDR) 11 December 2013 - Lao PDR continues to be under the threats of human trafficking due to its location in the center of the Greater Mekong Sub-Region and its socio-economic vulnerability. The Government of Lao PDR has been committed to combat human trafficking through strengthening its criminal justice legislation and the capacity of front-line law enforcement and judicial officers.

UNODC has been a key partner of the Lao Government in strengthening criminal justice responses to transnational organized crime. One of the ongoing UNODC country projects is the LAOX26 Strengthening Criminal Justice Responses to Human Trafficking in Lao PDR. The project, supported by the US Government, intends to strengthen the national legal framework to prevent and combat human trafficking, and protect victims.

As one component of the X26 Project, UNODC presented equipment to the Office of the Supreme People's Prosecutor (OSPP) in Vientiane on Monday, November 25, 2013.  The presented equipment included three projectors for use in court proceeding and five laptop computers. The three projector-laptop sets will be used in court proceedings, with one set to be sent to each of the OSPP regional offices in the North (Luanprabang) and South (Champasack) while one will be used in Vientiane.  Of the five laptop computers, three computers will be used with the projectors in court proceedings and two will be used by teams undertaking researching on Evidence Laws, as part of another activity being undertaken by the Project.

At the presentation ceremony, remarks marking the occasion were given by Mr. Khamsane Souvong, the President of the Office of the Supreme People's Prosecutor, Mr. Lacy A. Wright, Jr., Director of the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) Section at the U.S. Embassy Vientiane and Mr. Fumio Ito, Officer-in Charge of the UNODC Lao Country Office.

Mr. Khamsane Souvong expressed his appreciation for the equipment and gratitude towards the continued support of UNODC and the US Embassy. He also stressed the importance of using proper equipment to strengthen and improve the overall level of prosecutors and court proceedings in Lao.

Mr. Lacy Wright spoke of the importance of continuing to improve the level of legal proceedings in Lao and adopting an evidence-based approach to prosecuting. He also spoke positively about future cooperation between the US and OSPP. 

Mr. Fumio Ito, who was leaving for Afghanistan that evening for a new post, expressed his appreciation to both OSPP and the US Embassy for their continued support and cooperation with UNODC during his tenure. He also reiterated UNODC's strong desire to continue its successful cooperation with OSPP to improve the level and efficiency of evidence collection and court proceedings in Lao PDR.