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Improving information exchange crucial to strengthening border networks in Cambodia

Phnom Penh (Cambodia), 21 March 2016
- Improving communication and information sharing are essential to strengthening the Border Liaison Office (BLO) network according to policy makers at a PATROL Advisory Committee (C-PAC) event. Hosted by the UNODC and the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD), the C-PAC meeting is an opportunity to share information and set annual direction for the BLO network in Cambodia. At this year's 8th annual meeting, the need for building on successful training was highlighted, as well as improving information exchange throughout the regional BLO network.

"This meeting comes at an important time as world leaders discuss the efficacy of international control of illicit drugs at the upcoming UN General Assembly Special Session in New York" stressed Mr. Matthew Nice, UNODC Regional Coordinator for Border Management. The need for improvements regionally on border security require commitment and cooperation through using existing mechanisms, standardizing approaches, improving coordination at Border Liaison Office (BLO) locations, and monitoring success across the BLO regional network. "The UNODC remains a committed partner for the Government and the people of Cambodia", said Mr. Nice.  

The C-PAC meeting comes on the back of the March UNODC joint threat assessment of the Mekong River by the heads of drug control agencies from China, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Thailand which highlighted the steadily growing trafficking of drugs, persons, chemicals and endangered species throughout the region.  A number of recent international conferences and UNODC assessments in the region continue to find the lack of information-sharing between the various regulatory and law enforcement agencies as among the greatest challenge in stopping border trafficking incidents.  

BLO locations coordinate multiple national law enforcement agencies to facilitate and promote cross-border cooperation.  Each location acts as a centralized clearinghouse for information received from border areas and a central point from where joint actions can be coordinated and undertaken. UNODC is responding to these growing threats through its Border Management Programme by providing standardized core training curriculum, anti-smuggling reference materials, and basic equipment for officers stationed at BLO locations.  

UNODC is also developing and providing new advanced technology to communicate and inform on transnational crime incidents throughout the regional BLO network efficiently. In cooperation with training academies, UNODC's standardized training curriculum is being localized for Cambodia and other countries in the region to provide consistent minimum skills for frontline officers. Numerous officials within Cambodia, including Pol. Lt. General Meas Vyrith, Secretary General of the National Authority for Combating Drugs and Chairman of the C-PAC, welcomed such standardized trainings for the next generation of frontline officers.  

Click here to read more on the UNODC's Regional Border Management Programme providing specialized border support and training to BLO locations throughout the Greater Mekong subregion.