See also:

UNODC and Government of Myanmar strengthen partnership; identify new areas of cooperation

Nay Pyi Taw (Myanmar), 9 February 2017
- The Government of Myanmar lauded the continuing success of its partnership with UNODC, and urged expansion of the cooperation, at a meeting held to mark two years UNODC's Country Programme implementation in Myanmar. The third meeting of the Programme Governance Committee was jointly chaired by Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Major General Aung Soe, and UNODC's Regional Representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific Jeremy Douglas, with presentations by UNODC's Country Manager Mr. Troels Vester.

2016 was a landmark year in the UNODC's Myanmar Country Programme - among notable achievements was the first harvest of high quality coffee cultivated by beneficiary opium farmers as part of sustainable livelihood and development initiatives. It also began considerable expansion in the partnership between Myanmar and UNODC, including ongoing development of a new and more balanced drug policy; and strengthening technical assistance on anti-corruption, counter-terrorism, crime prevention, and sustainable alternative development programmes.

"There is no doubt that the partnership between the Government of Myanmar and UNODC continues to go from strength to strength," said Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Major General Aung Soe. "We know that major challenges that lie ahead that will require our continued commitment."

Senior government counterparts expressed appreciation for the achievements made in 2016 and confirmed that the challenges addressed by UNODC's Country Programme continue to be priority areas for the Government. The Country Programme is tailored to assist the government to meet and secure national development, regional development and political commitments in line with the frameworks of ASEAN, the Bali Process, and the Mekong MOU, and global political commitments in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

"The success of our partnership so far bodes well, but numerous challenges lie ahead," said UNODC Regional Representative Jeremy Douglas. "Drug production and use continues to rise unabated; and these challenges cannot be addressed without a regional perspective, as precursors are trafficked in from Myanmar's neighbours, and illicit drugs are trafficked out." He added, "other cross border transnational criminal flows between Myanmar and neighbouring states are also significant and require a coordinated national and regional response. We also can't overlook the fact that the illegal money that is generated contributes to instability in many parts of the country."

Jeremy Douglas United Nations UN UNODC 

The Government also welcomed planned increased assistance from UNODC on anti-corruption efforts. "The UNODC Myanmar Country Programme has proven to be an excellent catalyst for increased interest and support from donors, the latest being interest in funding technical assistance on anti corruption efforts," said UNODC Country Manager Troels Vester.

The Chief of the Myanmar Police Force, Major General Zaw Win, highlighted the importance of continuing and expanding the cooperation between UNODC and the Myanmar Police Force (MPF), and welcomed upcoming UNODC support for capacity development in the area of gender based violence.

Troels Vester United Nations UN UNODC Myanmar 

50 participants from key ministries and agencies participated in the meeting, including the Union Attorney General's Office, the Ministry of Planning and Finance, the MPF, the Ministry of Health and Sports, and the Anti Corruption Commission.

Click here to learn more about UNODC's Country Programme in Myanmar.