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Project Code and Sector
Project Background and Justification
Immediate Objective, Outputs and Main Activities
Counterpart, Institutional Setting and Implementing Arrangements

H15 - Support for MOU Partnership in East Asia

1. Project Code and Sector

No. and Title: H15 - Support for MOU Partnership in East Asia
Status/Starting Date: July 2003
Project Function: Subregional/Multisectoral
Duration: 7 years
Executing Agency: UNODC
Aggregate Budget & Funding Source: US$216,000
Yearly cash and in-kind contributions as stipulated in the MOU Addendum on Partnership, May 2002. Initially $36,000 annually


2. Project Background and Justification

Since the early 1990s the political, economic and social conditions in East Asia have stimulated regional trade, infrastructure development, cross border labour mobility and the flow of capital between countries. These developments have also contributed to an increased regionalization of illicit drug production, trafficking and associated abuse as well as to rising organised criminal activities at national and regional levels. During the decade, the countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion - Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam - joined forces with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in developing subregional mechanisms to deal with their rising illicit drug problems.

In 1993 the Governments of China, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand and UNODC agreed to undertake cooperative anti-narcotics activities in the region, with this commitment being codified in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Subsequently the Governments of Cambodia and Vietnam became parties to the MOU at a Ministerial Meeting held in May 1995 and a Subregional Action Plan for Drug Control (SAP) was approved by the six Governments. Although initially established for the period 1995-1998, the SAP has since become a rolling plan revised every second year. By the end of the year 2002, it consisted of 10 projects with a total operational budget of approximately US$16 million. Another four projects with combined budgets of $5 million had already been completed.

The SAP includes a UNODC support project entitled "Technical Assistance for Subregional Cooperation and Interagency Collaboration in East Asia" (RAS/B36), which has played a crucial role in supporting the entire MOU process and the SAP. This project has provided inter alia extensive support for the convening of the MOU Ministerial meetings, held every two years, the annual Senior Officials Committee meetings, bilateral cross-border meetings, innovative pilot interventions in individual countries, technical training, and the strengthening of the managerial capacities of the Governments to initiate and implement drug control projects and programmes. Furthermore, the project permitted UNODC to support the continual updating, development and refinement of the SAP through identification missions, specialised studies, formulation of new projects and project evaluations.

In 2002 the Governments and UNODC (then UNDCP) signed an Addendum on Partnership to the MOU in which they reaffirmed their commitment to sustaining and strengthening their cooperative efforts to deal with problems of illicit drug production, trafficking and abuse which have become even more serious in the region. In the Addendum on Partnership the Governments and UNODC confirmed that the MOU consultative structure should be maintained and that the SAP should continue to assist the member states in strengthening and adjusting their drug control capacities on both the national and regional levels to address new challenges as they occur. It was also recognised, however, if the MOU process was to reach its full potential, the member Governments would need to assume a more active involvement in the management and implementation of the MOU consultative process and SAP projects. The commitments outlined in the Addendum were endorsed in the MOU Senior Officials Committee meeting in 2002.

The current project has been developed to respond to: (i)the need for a new support project for assisting the MOU process and the development and implementation of the SAP; and (ii) the pledge made in the Addendum on Partnership to develop a new Action Plan project to be supported by the MOU Governments


3. Immediate Objective, Outputs and Main Activities

The project's Immediate Objective shall be:

To further strengthen the MOU consultative process and the development and implementation of the rolling SAP through increased direct participation of the MOU Governments and to expand efforts to broaden civil society involvement in drug control measures.

Output 1

High level MOU consultative mechanisms sustained and strengthened, with the MOU Governments taking an increasingly active role in shaping subregional drug control policy and strategy.

Output 2
SAP revised every second year reflecting agreed priorities and related activities with the MOU Governments actively involved in the development, implementation and financing of new projects.

Output 3
The institutional capacity of the MOU Governments to effectively manage their national drug control programmes and to contribute to the development and implementation of the Subregional Action Plan will have been strengthened.

Output 4
A number of innovative low-cost, small-scale activities in support of the overall subregional programme, including measures to broaden public awareness of drug problems and to advocate civil involvement, will have been undertaken.


4. Counterpart, Institutional Setting and Implementing Arrangements

The MOU Senior Officials Committee will establish broad yearly workplans with priorities and, at its yearly meetings, will review the project activities and the use of the project funds.

The MOU Governments will entrust UNODC, through the UNODC Regional Centre, Bangkok, with the overall management of the project under the guidance of the MOU Senior Officials Committee.

Under the UNODC execution, UNDP (Bangkok) will provide financial and administrative support to the project, in keeping with the regular administrative arrangements established with UNODC and its programme delivery functions.

This project is intended to implement the commitment made by the MOU countries in the Addendum on Partnership. The MOU countries' contributions earmarked for this project will be made to UNODC account. UNODC Regional Centre will be accountable for the management and operation of this account according to UN rules and procedures.

The project will be executed in close cooperation with the respective national drug coordinating agencies and UNODC Country Offices. Each MOU country will nominate a MOU partnership focal point (in principle the head of delegation to SOC level or deputy/designated official with due responsibility and authority) to liase with UNODC Regional Centre on and participate in the implementation of this project. Implementation of project components will be carried out to the extent possible through agencies, institutions, NGOs and subcontracts within the MOU countries as appropriate.

Any support that may be provided to projects and activities covered by the SAP will be under the review of the Senior Officials Committee.