Leik Boonwaat

Representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to the Lao PDR


Mr. Leik Boonwaat was appointed as the Representative of the UNODC to the Lao PDR in December 2005.

Mr. Boonwaat has been serving as the Senior Adviser to UNODC and the Laotian Government through the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) on issues related to the National Programme Strategy to Eliminate Opium Poppy Cultivation and as the Alternative Development Specialist since September 2001.

Prior to this Mr. Boonwaat has held a number of positions:

As Chief Technical Adviser (UNOPS) to UNODC in Vietnam from March 2006-May 2001, as Chief Technical Adviser (UNDDSMS) to UNDCP in Palaveck, Lao PDR, As Project Coordinator with UNDESD from 1991-1993 and as a Junior Expert (UNDTCD) from January 1989-January 1991. Prior to that he has held a number of posts with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests and FAO in Burma and has served as a member of the Zonal Committee for Development of the Eastern Shan States from September 1980 to October 1988.

In the course of his career Mr. Boonwaat has held a number of short term assignments as Alternative Development Expert for Vienna to the International Conference on Alternative Development in Munich. Resource person on Illicit Crop Eradication, Policies, Strategies and Actions for UNODC Regional Center for East Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok Thailand, as Team Leader,  Alternative Development (UNOPS) in Kunming, China, Team Leader of the Mid Term Evaluation of the UNODC Nonghet Project, Regional Adviser on Alternative Development to the Asian Development Bank in Manila, Alternative Development Expert, UNDESD, New York, Development Planning Consultant (UNDDSMS) Xaisomboun Special Region, Lao PDR,  Team Leader Plant Protection  "Operation Enemy Free Mountain" aerial spraying of opium poppy fields in the Shan States.

Mr. Boonwaat has presented and published a number of papers on alternative development, community based approaches, gender mainstreaming, opium elimination, village legislation and drug control policies. The latest paper "Opium Elimination in Laos, poverty alleviation and development challenges" was published by the Australian National University in 2006.

Mr. Boonwaat holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture and a number of certificates in management, drug control etc: The Palaveck Project of which Mr. Boonwaat served as the CTA was selected for the Expo 2000 project award for sustainable development in Hamburg.  Mr. Boonwaat's languages include English, Lao, Burmese, Thai, Vietnamese, Shan, Khun and conversational White Hmong. Mr. Boonwaat is an Australian Citizen and is accompanied by his wife Kham Noan Hsam.