Welcome to UNODC South Eastern Europe
UNODC and WCO organize awareness workshop on maritime private sector
Tirana, 4 March 2014: The UNODC Project Office in Tirana in cooperation with the Customs Administration and the State Police Directorate of Albania organized a one day awareness workshop on the maritime private sector with the intention of developing an effective interagency cooperation and improveinformation sharing withthe local and international maritime community and private sector.
The workshop was attended also by the heads of the Consolidation of Law Enforcement Capacities in Albania (PAMECA), the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program of the USA Department of Justice (ICITAP) and an international development company Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations.
The customs and police authorities, representatives of the maritime community and private sector had a detailed discussion on the need to identify and align data standards, business processes and resources. The participants agreed on the development of a mechanism which would enable information sharing among these entities.
The workshop pointed out that such cooperation and information sharing would contribute to the reduced friction of legitimate commerce, increased efficiency, improved security, enhanced safety and less diversion of the licit trade into illicit circulation.
The workshop was organized under the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme in Albania which is at present supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
The workshop was widely covered in the Albanian electronic media.
Consultations between UNODC and H. E. Mr. Bledi Çuçi, Minister of State for Local Government of Albania
Vienna, 28 February 2014: H. E. Mr. Bledi Çuçi, Minister of State for Local Government of Albania, visited Vienna for consultations with the Austrian counterparts, International Anti-Corruption Academy in Laxenburg and UNODC.
At UNODC, the Minister met with the Executive Director Mr. Yury Fedotov and the Director, Division for Treaty Affairs Mr. John Sandage as well as senior anti-corruption experts. The counterparts exchanged views on possible areas of cooperation in the field of anti-corruption between UNODC and Albania, including the UNCAC Implementation Review Mechanism, educational programmes aimed at preventing and countering corruption and other initiatives.
H. E. Mr. Çuçi stressed the attention paid to anti-corruption in Albania and the commitment of the national authorities in fighting this challenge. He also recalled the negative impact that corruption has on Albania, as well as on other countries. The Minister briefed on the initial steps which he has undertaken in the function of the national anti-corruption coordinator and informed that a short-term plan for 2014 and a longer term workplan for the next five years are being elaborated in his office.
UNODC will cooperat with the Government of Albania in the area of anti-corruption in accordance with the 2014 workplan approved by the Steering Committee of the Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe on 21 November 2013. Part of these activities fall under the umbrella of the One UN Programme in Albania.
The UNODC counterparts noted that anti-corruption cooperation with Albania would be useful within all three pillars of UNODC work, including the normative function, the technical assistance and the research role. The latest UNODC report on corruption as experienced by private sector in Albania prepared in cooperation with the Albanian National Statistical Office (INSTAT) as part of the EU-funded programme 'Assessment of Corruption and Crime in the Western Balkans', is about to be launched in Tirana.
The counterparts have agreed to continue maintaining contact through the UNODC Office in Tirana and the UNODC HQ in Vienna.
UNODC team participates in the 4 th meeting of the Police Cooperation Convention for South Eastern Europe
Ljubjana, 13-14 February 2014: Upon the invitation of the Secretariat of the Police Cooperation Convention for Southeast Europe (PCC SEE) based in Ljubjana, Slovenia, a UNODC team participated in the 4 th meeting of the PCC SEE. As part of the established in 2013 dialogue with the PCC SEE Secretariat, the UNODC team discussed common areas for cooperation, in particular the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme (CCP) operating in the region, and also delivered to the meeting a detailed presentation and a video on the CCP.
The UNODC team participated in practical review of various activities delivered under the PCC SEE. Many of the items discussed had a nexus to migrant smuggling and human trafficking between PCC SEE member states and the EU countries. Other law enforcement tools, deriving from the Convention, were analyzed by the meeting participants, including mixed patrols, hot pursuit (involving crossing borders), controlled delivery, etc.
Several of the discussed topics will be further explored by UNODC. Among them are e-learning modules for cross-border police cooperation, a communication system called "Border Sentry" which is soon to be operational and hosted by the PCC SEE Secretariat in Ljubljana and the conduct of train-the-trainer courses focusing on training techniques in cooperation with Switzerland. UNODC will review the relevance of these initiatives to the UNODC work in the region and best ways of cooperation with them.
Training course for the Durres Joint Port Unit held
Durres, 10-13 February 2014: Within the framework of the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme, UNODC Office in Tirana organized a participative risk based training course in order to maximize the preventive and operational effectiveness of the Joint Port Unit .
The course was designed to illustrate Albania's position vis-à-vis the European and global smuggling of controlled narcotic substances, as well as to describe the organized crime links to the smuggling of other prohibited, restricted and dutiable items. The course was not designed to be remedial, but to highlight the current narcotic smuggling risks, trends and concealment methods and to demonstrate the latest intelligence and enforcement techniques available to the Joint Port Unit in the performance of its daily duties.
The training course was conducted by the Albanian trainers who had previously benefitted from a risk analysis training of trainers organized by UNODC within the scope of a long-standing UNODC project ALB/G70 which used to support various law enforcement areas in the country.
The course was also considered a good opportunity for the Joint Port Unit to set closer contacts with the respective risk analysis departments at their respective entities.
UNODC participates in the South Eastern European Regional Steering Group on Small Arms and Light Weapons
Belgrade, 12 February 2014: UNODC participated in the meeting of the South Eastern European Regional Steering Group on Small Arms and Light Weapons. The Regional Steering Group meeting, chaired by the Regional Cooperation Council and UNDP, is a part of the South Eastern and Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SEESAC) governance structure and provides political and strategic guidance and ensures regional ownership.
The UNODC representative made a statement regarding the UNODC Global study on firearms trafficking and provided a short training to the national focal points attending the event on how to access, download, collect, compile and submit data on seized firearms for the purpose of the Study.
The participation of the UNODC representative is in line with the consultations which UNODC held last year with SEESAC and UNDP under the umbrella of the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe.
The workplan for 2014 of the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe includes inter alia collection of information from the countries of the region with regard to the UNODC Global study on firearms trafficking in cooperation with the SEESAC.
The preparation of the study is in line with resolution 5/4 of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime entitled "Illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, their parts and components and ammunition" and resolution 6/2 entitled "Promoting accession to and implementation of the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, their Parts and Components and Ammunition, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime".
Pursuant to paragraph 7 of resolution 5/4 and paragraph 7 of the resolution 6/2, UNODC was requested "to conduct a study of the transnational nature of and routes used in trafficking in firearms, based on the analysis of information provided by States on confiscated weapons and ammunition for consideration by the Conference at its sixth session". At its subsequent session, the Conference took note of the information gathered so far by UNODC in carrying out the study and requested UNODC "to improve methodology, in close consultation with Member States, and to complete the study in accordance with the given mandate, for consideration by the Conference at its seventh session". The Conference furthermore called upon States "to participate in and contribute to the study, as appropriate".
Launch of the UNODC report on Business, Corruption and Crime in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Skopje, 4 February 2014: The UNODC report "Business, Corruption and Crime in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: The Impact of bribery and other crime on private enterprise" was launched in the premises of the State Statistical Office in Skopje. The results of the survey were presented by the statistical officers.
The survey measures the actual experience of corruption and crime through representative sample surveys of businesses in order to provide a more realistic, evidence-based assessment of corruption and crime affecting the business sector. In doing so, it focuses on the extent and pattern of bribery by businesses from five different sectors (accounting for over 69.1 per cent of all businesses in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) in their frequent interactions with the public administration.
According to the survey, business representatives in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia rank corruption as the fifth most significant obstacle to doing business. Around eight out of ten companies had at least one direct contact with a public official or civil servant in the 12 months prior to the survey and the bribery prevalence rate among those businesses who had contact with public officials in that period is 6.5 per cent.
Bribe-paying businesses paid an average of 4.8 bribes to public officials in the 12 months prior to the survey. 52 per cent of bribes are paid in the form of food and drink. When paid in cash, the mean amount paid per bribe is 17,349 Denar which corresponds to 689 EUR-PPP.
On average one out of ten (10.3 per cent) entrepreneurs in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia state that they did not make a major investment in the previous 12 months due to the fear of crime.
The survey reveals that there are some variations in the prevalence of bribery across business sectors in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: Building and Construction (11.7 per cent); Wholesale trade and Retail trade (7.5 per cent); Manufacturing, Electricity, Gas and Water supply (5.1 per cent); and Accommodation and Food service activities and Transportation and Storage combined (3.8 per cent).
The survey represents the first attempt to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the actual experience of business bribery in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in order to help identify effective measures to fight it.
As the data pertaining to the perception of corruption reveal, public opinion about corruption in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia shows a considerable level of concern about the issue. A window of opportunity is, therefore, open as it is likely that business organizations, as well as their constituent members, would welcome the further implementation of anti-corruption policies.
The research programme resulting into preparation of this and other studies for the region was undertaken by UNODC in co-operation and with the financial support of the European Commission and the Governments in the region. For further information with regard to this research programme, please refer to:
UNODC Executive Director holds a briefing to Member States on the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe
Vienna, 28 January 2013: UNODC Executive Director Mr. Yury Fedotov held the annual briefing to Member States on the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe (2012-2015). The briefing focused on the results of the UNODC work in the region in 2013 and the plan of work for 2014.
In his opening remarks, the UNODC Executive Director thanked the Governments of the countries of the region for their support and cooperation and outlined the main principles of the UNODC work in South Eastern Europe:
- the Inter-Regional Drug Control Approach;
- impact orientation;
- strategic identification of the UNODC niche to avoid duplication and ensure meeting the real needs of the countries, in particular given that so much is done already;
- focus on practical and operational results; and
Mr. Fedotov stressed that the Regional Programme represents a tool which can support the EU integration, which is of paramount importance for the region, and assist in building a comprehensive response, which is directed not only to the West, but also to the East. He referred to the latest UNODC estimates which suggest that up to 60-65 tons of heroin flow into South Eastern Europe annually, and also mentioned the challenge increasingly posed by the cannabis cultivation in Albania. Mr. Fedotov noted that a study on drug trafficking routes through South Eastern Europe will be released by UNODC in March 2014.
The team of the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe presented the details of work in 2013 and on the workplan for 2014. The main areas of work in the current year will be:
- anti-drug trafficking and container control;
- anti-money laundering;
- anti-human trafficking;
- anti-corruption; and
- drug abuse prevention and treatment.
The UNODC Inter-Regional Drug Control Approach to stem drug trafficking from Afghan drug cultivation and production was also presented and the comprehensive response to trafficking along the Northern, Balkan and Southern routes of Afghan heroin were explained.
The Permanent Representatives of the countries of South Eastern Europe delivered their remarks and acknowledged the usefulness, complementarity and effectiveness of the Regional Programme. According to them, the Regional Programme represents an expedient tool in the EU accession process and is not duplicating but complementing the work in this area. All Permanent Representatives thanked UNODC and expressed their support to the Regional Programme, as well as appreciated donor contributions and encouraged continuation thereof.
The Permanent Representatives and diplomats from the donor countries then spoke and expressed their support to the Regional Programme.
UNODC and UNDP sign an inter-Agency contribution Agreement in Support to the Anti-Corruption Efforts in Kosovo*
31 January 2014: UNODC and UNDP have signed an Agreement on the joint implementation of a project entitled 'Support to the Anti-Corruption Efforts in Kosovo (SAEK)'. UNODC will carry out a range of activities aimed at addressing corruption within the judiciary internally and at enhancing the ability of the judiciary and prosecution services to effectively investigate and prosecute corruption cases in Kosovo.
UNODC's involvement will start with an initial assessment to determine legal, organizational and capacity development needs to investigate and prosecute cases of corruption internally and externally. UNODC will then proceed with the delivery of a series of workshops to increase the capacity of the judiciary to address internal corruption offences and to enhance the personal and institutional integrity of members of the judicial system. UNODC will also develop tailored training materials and deliver specialized training workshops to provide the judiciary with the pertinent skills to investigate corruption cases. UNODC will also provide support to judicial institutions in the production and harmonization of relevant ant-corruption legislation and guidelines in accordance with international standards, as well as deliver workshops aimed at enhancing the capacity of government to conduct their work effectively. The project will further strengthen cooperation and coordination amongst anti-corruption bodies and produce anti-corruption policies and guidelines. The expected outcome of the project is that the ability of the judiciary to fight corruption internally and externally will be increased.
* All references to Kosovo should be understood in the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).
UNODC fosters cooperation with the South Eastern European Centre for Security Cooperation (RACVIAC)
Zagreb, 24-25 January 2014: A UNODC technical mission visited RACVIAC (the South Eastern European Centre for Security Cooperation) at its premises in Rakitje, near Zagreb, Croatia. One of the main aims of this visit was to explore possibilities for cooperation and partnership between the two bodies in order to build on their added value and achieve synergies, since both deal with security and crime matters from different perspectives. The visit follows the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between UNODC and RACVIAC on 21 October 2013.
The RACVIAC management and staff presented the organization's mandates, achievements and capacities for organization of trainings and meetings at its premises. The UNODC delegation was also briefed in details on the RACVIAC's 2014 Working Program for the region and its three pillars: Security Sector Reform, International and Regional Cooperation and Cooperative Security Environment with focus on Arms Control.
The UNODC delegation informed the RACVIAC counterparts on the relevant aspects of work within the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe (2012-2015), as well as on the UNODC's 'Networking the Networks' initiative under its Inter-Regional Drug Control Approach.
The two sides agreed on the follow up and identified activities to be pursued.
UNODC supports civil society in getting trained on the TREATNET Programme
Albania, November-December 2013: The Joint Program of UNODC-WCO on Drug Treatment and Care in cooperation with an Albanian NGO Aksion Plus undertook a series of trainings on TREATNET Programme, Volume A. The trainings were organized in the cities of Shkodra, Vlora, Elbasan and Korca in November-December 2013.
The main objective of the training was to familiarize the healthcare staff from Emergency Units and hospitals of these districts with the concepts and knowledge on substance abuse treatment, in general, and specifically with the screening elements and the short interventions (as serious aspects in the drug abuse treatment); to discuss the implementation of the methods of data gathering and their application in the daily work and to increase knowledge and information among drug users population about Harm Reduction Programme.
120 nurses, doctors, primary heath care professionals and social workers befitted from these training.
UNODC and WHO recommended materials were used during the training. The participants were provided with brochures, leaflets and small books on drug abuse and human rights. The methodology of trainings was interactive and promoted participation and discussion between participants and the trainers leading to sharing of mutual experiences and knowledge. The trainings were conducted by two local trainers who had previously benefitted from a programme "training of trainers" organized by UNODC and WHO.
The filled Pre-test, Post-test and Training Satisfaction Form showed that the participants were very satisfied with the trainings. They stated that they embraced the new knowledge and appeared motivated to apply this knowledge in their daily work with substance abusers.
The training was accredited by the National Center of Continued Education (QKEV). At the end of each training, the participants received a certificate of participation.
Crime networks pose a threat to every country, says UNODC Chief in Istanbul
Istanbul/Vienna, 13 December 2013: (UN Information Service) - Crime fighting agencies from across the globe met yesterday in Istanbul, at the start of a two-day conference hosted by the Turkish government, to discuss greater coordination of efforts against drug trafficking, and other forms of transnational organized crime.
Speaking at the opening, Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said: "This new initiative is about leveraging combined strengths, region to region, to effectively counter drug trafficking networks with stronger, more united networks of our own."
Head of the Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crime Department (KOM) of the Turkish National Police, Mehmet Yeşilkaya, in his own statement, welcomed the initiative which, he said, "will contribute to widening the existing dialogue and create a sustainable platform for the relevant international and regional organizations."
Named "Networking the networks" the initiative offers an innovative approach to confronting illicit drugs and crime and will link bodies such as the Central Asian Regional Information Coordination Centre (CARICC), the Gulf Criminal Intelligence Centre (GCIC), the Joint Planning Cell (JPC), the Southeast European Law Enforcement Centre (SELEC), the Asia-Pacific Information and Coordination Center for Combating Drug Crimes (APICC), among others, to create better coordination, greater sharing of information and better assistance in tracking criminal proceeds.
The initiative also forms part of an overall inter-regional drug control approach, which was developed to address the challenges stemming from Afghanistan, and is based on shared responsibility outlined under the Paris Pact Initiative - a broad international coalition of over 70 countries united against opiates.
UNODC also presented its latest report on drug trafficking along the Balkan route. Together with the Northern and Southern routes, the Balkan route is one of the main trafficking routes and moves between 60 to 65 tons of heroin from Afghanistan into Western and Central Europe.Global proceeds from illicit drugs are estimated by UNODC to be some US$320 billion annually, some of which comes from opiates. Trafficking in opiates is worth around US$68 billion annually with some 75 per cent of the world's opiate supply coming from Afghanistan.
UNODC's aims in combating these challenges are also supported by regional entities including the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, the World Customs Organisation, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, as well as by ASEANAPOL, Europol and Interpol.
Anti-Corruption Regional Conference opens in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Sarajevo, 9 December 2013: A two-day anti-corruption conference opened today in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, to coincide with the International Day against Corruption, 9 December. The meeting is being organized by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in partnership with the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the European Commission (EC).
The conference brings together anti-corruption experts and civil society representatives from the region to take stock of anti-corruption efforts, policies and strategies to date, and to identify areas for improvement, particularly in light of the European Union (EU) accession process.
UNODC works in the region through its Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe, which has a strong focus on the "Balkan Route" of Afghan opiates and related challenges, including corruption and bribery.
"Corruption fuels and enables transnational organized crime and drug trafficking," said UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov in his address to the conference. "UNODC's partnership with the European Commission and with local governments is an important one, and I hope that we can continue to work together on these and related challenges."
"Corruption remains one of the biggest challenges for all societies, including in enlargement countries, but EU Member States are also far from being corruption free", said Joost Korte, Deputy Director General, Directorate General for Enlargement, European Commission (EC).
"An effective fight against corruption is of crucial importance to our country and citizens", said the Minister of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina Fahrudin Radoncic. "Strengthening the rule of law, with full implementation of EU standards and the development of regional cooperation, will ultimately have a key impact on the achievement of long-term stability, democracy and economic development in all countries of South-Eastern Europe, as well as on the fight against poverty," he added.
Corruption also has a severe impact on the economy and increases costs for companies. A recent European Commission-funded UNODC study, " Business, Corruption and Crime in the Western Balkans", showed that that corruption plays a significant role in the daily business of many companies in the western Balkans. On average, across the region, one in ten businesses that had contact with public officials paid bribes over a 12-month period, at a hefty average price of 880 EUR per bribe.
Ms. Zahira Virani, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP stressed that corruption directly impedes development and deters people from realizing their full potential. "In survey after survey, the UN has found that corruption-related grievances rank amongst the top concerns of citizens in Bosnia and Herzegovina," she said. "The UNODC report of 2010 shows that 1 in 5 citizens have paid a bribe. Thus, it is encouraging to see that the countries in this region are committing to liberate themselves from corruption."
"For continued success, we need the firm commitment of all nations to reject corruption and for all national laws to be in line with the United Nations Convention against Corruption," said Yury Fedotov. "We also need the voices of governments, civil society, academia and the public to join in the condemnation of corruption wherever it arises", he concluded.
First draft of National Anti-Corruption Strategy unveiled in Tirana
Tirana, 9 December 2013: The first draft of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy was presented on Monday in an event co-organized by the OSCE Presence in Albania, the Minister of Local Affairs and UN-Albania, on the International Anti-Corruption Day. The strategy is expected to be ready by April 2014.
Addressing the conference, Prime Minister Edi Rama stressed the need for a strong and joint action against corruption. Minister of Local Affairs and National Coordinator on Anti-Corruption, Çuçi presented the draft saying that war against corruption is the key priority of the government. Minister Çuçi said the first round of negotiations has been launched, and the drafting process will be open and the institutions will be represented and heard. According to him, the strategy will be short but efficient.
OSCE urged national counterparts for urgent concrete measures to curb corruption. "Albanian citizens must feel that corruption will be seriously tackled. They have the right to functioning, reliable and efficient public services, including education and health care," the Deputy Head of the OSCE mission said. He also congratulated the Government for tangibly showing its commitment in the fight against corruption and expressed appreciation for the efforts to tackle this issue comprehensively. He added that government cannot tackle corruption on its own, and the involvement of civil society, media, business community and citizens is imperative.
The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Albania noted that corruption destroys opportunities and creates rampant inequalities, with women and youth being often most affected. She said that the new strategy components will bring new motivation to the entire public administration, business community and people, and stressed that UNDP and UNODC will support the Government in the Implementation Review Mechanism of the United Nations Convention against Corruption.
The Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Albania stressed the importance of having a realistic strategy. He said that corruption is a disease which damages the institutions. According to him, the war against corruption is an investment for the future of Albania.
The event was supported by UNDP and UNODC and took place under the logo of the United Nations in Albania.
UNODC mission visits Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Banja Luka, 6 - 7 December 2013: A UNODC technical mission visited Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina to meet with Government officials to discuss conditions and requirements for the implementation of the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme (CCP) in the country. The meeting was organized at the premises of Indirect Taxation Authority (ITA) of Bosnia and Herzegovina and was attended by the management of this agency and officials from various agencies and ministries.
UNODC informed the Bosnian partners about the methods and terms of participating in the CCP and presented an overview of enrollment of the Programme (including identification of suitable accommodation for the inter-agency container profiling units, establishment of a Steering Committee comprising representatives from the relevant national law enforcement agencies and UNODC, signing of an inter-agency cooperation agreement and operational procedures, etc.).
The parties agreed on the way forward and reiterated that CCP would be useful for Bosnia and Herzegovina and would be of benefit in accelerating the flow of goods and people while simultaneously intensifying the controls and in ensuring better exchange of information between other institutions to the successful fight against illicit trafficking and all other types of customs or tax frauds.
The Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) has provided funding for the implementation of the CCP in South Eastern Europe, including Bosnia and Herzegovina. Currently, the Programme is being implemented in the Port of Durres, Albania, and the Port of Bar, Montenegro.
Albanian officers of the Durres Joint Container Control Unit (JCCU) visit the Port of Rotterdam
Rotterdam, 2 - 6 December 2013: UNODC and WCO, supported by the Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) / US Embassy in Tirana, organized a study visit for officers of the JCCU from the Albanian Port of Durres to the Port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
The study visit was hosted by the Dutch Customs Authority and focused on operational work (including operative team building, improvement of knowledge through exchange of practices, review of different perspectives and methods of work, building bridges between the two Ports, improvement of language skills of the officers).
During the visit, the Albanian officers were provided with an in-depth comparative analysis of the challenges and success of the Dutch customs in fighting illicit container trade. Different operating models of the Dutch police and customs in advancing their performance by using criminal intelligence and risk assessment, including in the selection of containers, were presented to the Albanian colleagues.
The study visit is assessed by the participants as "impressive, memorable, intense, informative, professional and very well organized".
Paris Pact Initiative - EUROPOL Expert Working Group to increase actions on diversion of precursor chemicals
The Hague, 28 - 29 November 2013: A two-day Expert Working Group on precursors was held under the auspices of UNODC's Paris Pact initiative was hosted by EUROPOL to discuss the prevention of the diversion of precursor chemicals as one of the four pillars of the Vienna Declaration of the Paris Pact.
Diversification of trafficking routes from Afghanistan is a prominent and current development as organised criminal groups target the European Union as a potential source region for acetic anhydride. In order to increase awareness on this matter, representatives from many countries affected by precursors diversion met at Europol.
Key points arising form the meeting were the need to build upon current achievements including existing frameworks for cooperation as the Regional Intelligence Working Group on Precursors, which is part of the UNODC Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighboring Countries. In particular this model might be replicated to sustain operational interventions in other regions. In view of the increasing inter-regional cooperation approach to stem Afghanistan-originated heroin plague, similar initiatives would facilitate information sharing at country and regional level. This approach will be in line with the new mechanisms envisaged in the Networking the Networks Conference (Istanbul, 12-13 December 2013) to address drug related cross-cutting threats and challenges. The inter-regional dimension efforts were welcome by the participants. South Eastern Europe countries' representatives attended the event as the region stands as strategic bi-directional transit for criminal networks shipping precursors from EU markets to production sites in Afghanistan and its neighbourhood as well as trafficking heroin in the opposite direction. South Eastern Europe countries' efforts will sustain inter-regional dimension through the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe (2012-2015) by ensuring counter narcotics policies' consistency along the heroin routes.
In the course of the meeting some issues were raised as the need to standardize analytical forensic methodologies to ensure the transfer of results, the strengthening of forensic intelligence and investigative capacities. Changes along trafficking routes with greater exploitation of maritime shipping as well as the emergence of Africa as a trans-shipment hub were stressed.
Stronger regulations at global and regional level to deal with precursors diversion were considered necessary as well as strengthening risk profiling and promote cooperation with the chemical industry as indicated by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB).
The Expert Working Group was supported by the "Information Networks along the Heroin Route" Project in the context of the European Union's Heroin Route Programme. Furthermore, countries' contributions from Norway, France, the United States of America and the Russian Federation to the Paris Pact programme have enabled - amongst several other activities - the organization of this meeting.
UNODC-WHO Programme on Drug dependence treatment and care in Serbia
Belgrade, 27 November 2013: The UNODC carried out a workshop in Belgrade on "Sustained recovery management" under the framework of the UNODC-WHO drug dependence treatment and care programme to support the expansion of drug dependence treatment services in Serbia. This activity targeted practitioners and relevant experts from four regions of Serbia (Belgrade, Niš, Novi Sad, Kragujevac) aimed to the development of recovery services for drug dependent clients.
Participants shared challenges they face when dealing with drug dependence matters and were presented with good practices achieved in this field.
During the workshop the drug dependence treatment quality standards assessment report has been presented as a result of cooperation between UNODC and Republican expert committee on prevention and drug abuse control. Two regions Kragujevac and Novi Sad were assessed during the process.
The workshop helped participants to understand the challenges in the field of sustained recovery management and highlighted the examples of good practices both locally and regionally.
UNODC National Capacity Building Workshop for Criminal Justice Practitioners on Trafficking in Persons held in Montenegro
Podgorica, 26-27 November 2013 : The UNODC delivered atwo-day multi-disciplinary training workshop on trafficking in persons in Podgorica to enhance national stakeholders capacity for deterring human trafficking affecting the Western Balkans region.
Representatives of investigative law enforcement agencies, judiciary, civil society as well members of the National Coordinator's Unit were exposed to relevant international legal framework and human trafficking dynamics in the region. Importantly, the workshop emphasized also the victims' perspectives through presentations of complex study cases to shed light on the traumas and practical matters faced by trafficked persons. Non criminalization of the victims was a key element of the training which highlighted the critical role played by civil society organizations to ensure the pursuance of human rights-based policies to address human trafficking.
The growing need to apply a regional approach when dealing with transnational issues of trafficking in persons was reflected through the training. To support this element of the workshop, , in addition to UNDOC experts, a representative of the Serbian Ministry of Justice and the Director of a Romania-based NGO with expertise in victims trauma contributed to the training. Furthermore, participants from the National Coordinator's Unit of Montenegro illustrated national patterns and responses followed by an actual case of trafficking in the country presented by a prosecutor.
This initiative was implemented under the framework of the Global Programme against Smuggling of Migrants and the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe. During 2014, it will be followed by a regional-level workshop for the central authorities for international legal cooperation to address trafficking in persons and support the development of a regional anti-human trafficking curriculum within the partnership of the judicial training institutions of the South Eastern Europe countries.
Fourth meeting of the Steering Committee of
the UNODC Regional
Programme for South Eastern Europe
Vienna, 21 November 2013: the fourth meeting of the Steering Committee of UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe (2012-2015) took place in Vienna on 21 November 2013 to assess the Programme's implementation and results achieved in 2013 and to review the priorities for 2014.
Programme Steering Committee members and representatives of the countries covered by the Programme (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia), the partner country (Croatia) and donor community (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Romania, the Russian Federation, the Slovak Republic, Switzerland, Turkey and the EU) attended the meeting.
Director of the UNODC Division for Operations, addressing the meeting on behalf of the UNODC Executive Director, stressed the guiding principles of the UNODC work in the region: impact orientation, integration, strategic approach, non-duplication, operational and practical approach, cost-efficiency and inter-regional drug control approach. Importance of the European Union integration process was also noted, inter alia, by the Ambassador of the EU to the UN in Vienna.
The Programme Steering Committee members expressed appreciation for the positive results the Regional Programme has achieved in 2013, highlighting the impact made in the region, and endorsed the workplan for 2014 which will continue building up on the results achieved so far and focus next year on the following areas:
- Countering illicit trafficking (in drugs and human beings);
- Anti-money laundering;
- Drug abuse prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.
Such important initiatives as the Container Control Programme, Studies "Business, corruption and crime in the Western Balkans", Regional Anti-Corruption Conference (Sarajevo, 9-10 December 2014) and follow up thereto, Review of the influence of illicit financial flows on the countries along the Balkan route of heroin trafficking, the UNODC Treatnet programme, the UNODC programme on prevention of drug abuse and strengthening families, cooperation with the Turkish International Academy on Drugs and Organized Crime and "Networking the Networks", were supported by the Programme Steering Committee members. These and other initiatives, including for instance those aimed at countering human trafficking, will be pursued in the remaining month of 2013 and in 2014.
The donor countries have also expressed its support to UNODC in the implementation of the Regional Programme. The representative of the Russian Federation has announced the first financial contribution to the Programme.
The meeting also endorsed the continuation of the ongoing communication, coordination and reporting mechanism and agreed to convene the meeting next time in Vienna in mid-2014.
UNODC is launching survey reports assessing Corruption and Crime impact in South Eastern Europe
Pristina/Sarajevo, November 2013: Following the launch of the UNODC survey 'Business, Corruption and Crime in the western Balkans: The impact of bribery and other crime on private enterprise', UNODC presented reports on Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo under the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 designed to assess the impact of corruption on private enterprises.
The survey publication encompassing the whole Western Balkans region revealed that corruption pervades daily routine of countries' private initiatives hugely affecting foreign investments as well as public sector. The most common purpose for paying bribes is to speed up business-related procedures. In particular, 12.2 per cent of the interviewees among buildings and constructions entrepreneurs across the region said they had to bribe public officials. More generally, 18.1 per cent of the survey respondents from the six countries and Kosovo under the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 are reported to have paid bribes to "groome" public officials for future interactions.
The publications on Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo under the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 - where most expensive bribes are being paid - are the first of a series of country/territory reports released.
The entire programme was undertaken by UNODC in co-operation with the European Commission and the Governments in the region, including the Statistical offices. The research addressed various stakeholders from governments agencies, civil society and media giving an opportunity to exchange views with UNODC experts and EU representatives.
Findings of the regional surveys will be illustrated at the South Eastern European Anti-Corruption Conference that will take place in Sarajevo on 9-10 December 2013 marking the 10 th anniversary of the United Nations Convention against Corruption. The Sarajevo Conference will be the first anti-corruption event after the Fifth Session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention in Panama City (for more on this topic: http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/frontpage/2013/November/corruption-is-the-thief-of-economic-and-social-development-says-unodc-chief-at-anti-corruption-opening-in-panama.html?ref=fs3)
UNODC-WCO organize a presentation meeting on Container Control Program in Albania
Tirana, 22 October 2013: A presentation meeting on the achievements of the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme (CCP) in Albania was organized by UNODC and WCO in Tirana to inform the Development Center of Armed Forces (DCAF) based in Geneva, Switzerland, on the main results and challenges of the CCP implementation in the Durres Port in Albania. The meeting was organized jointly with the office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Tirana whose contribution to the implementation of the Programme has been instrumental. Apart from the DCAF representatives, the meeting was attended by the Deputy General Director of the Albanian State Police, Deputy General Director of Customs, Deputy General Director of the Border Police and Migration, Chief of the National Anti-Drug Service, UN Resident Coordinator in Albania, representatives of the German and Italian embassies in Tirana and the Head of PAMECA, as well as the UNODC Global CCP Coordinator, UNODC Head of Office in Tirana and the WCO focal point on CCP.
UNODC and WCO informed the participants on the main elements of the CCP, its objectives and strategy. Statistics provided by the speakers taken from the governmental agencies and other well established organizations involved in the matter provided solid information to the audience. The presentations also provided an overview of the challenges that the CCP faces in various countries, including Albania. A video presentation on the work of the joint team operating at Durres Port could add another dimension to the presentations and held the interest of the audience.
The meeting was followed by a field visit to Durres Port where the DCAF representatives could visit the joint refurbished premises and attended a presentation made by the head of the joint team. The team also exercised a control on an identified container. Identification was done by using risk profiling elements.
The Container Control Programme aims at establishing Joint Container Control Units (JCCU) comprising of the Police, Customs and relevant law enforcement authorities in key regional container ports. The members of the JCCUs improve their knowledge and receive equipment under the CCP. Risk-based profiling of containers and improved information exchange at the national, regional and international levels on container crime is introduced. At the start of the programme, the units receive basic training, followed by a more advanced training on more subject specific issues related to security and countering terrorism and trafficking in nuclear materials, weapons and other illicit activities.
As of 1 October 2013, DCAF / the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is generously supporting the UNODC work in South Eastern Europe through providing funding to the Container Control Programme in Albania, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Strengthening cooperation among countries of origin, transit and destination in combating irregular migration and related transnational organized crime with particular focus on South Eastern Europe
Vienna, 31 October 2013: UNODC, IOM and the OSCE co-organised a Mapping Seminar on the above topic to better structure the understanding and assistance to the South Eastern European countries in their response to illicit migration.
Representatives from the countries of South Eastern Europe and international experts shared their views and discussed ways to increase international action in addressing various aspects of the challenge of smuggling of migrants, including the protection of human rights, implementation of international legal instruments, data collection and others. Improving preparedness of the countries' detection capabilities, implementation of readmission agreements, access to justice for irregular migrants and ways to improve prosecution capacities of crime perpetrators were mentioned as strategic priorities for the region.
In order to support countries' policies to tackle organized crime in this field, the UNODC is continuing its joint efforts with IOM and the OSCE to map irregular migration in South Eastern Europe. As part of these efforts, a desk review will be prepared and a report, presenting current trends of illicit activities profiting over migrants in the region, will be launched in the first half of 2014.
UN Day celebrated in the region of South Eastern Europe. UN-Albania video: We The People
Tirana, 24 October 2013: Senior government officials, Members of Parliament, representatives of international organization, diplomatic corps, non-governmental organizations, scholars, philanthropists, business, media and citizens joined the United Nations Agencies in Albania to celebrate United Nations Day.This United Nations Day came at a special moment-as Albania has renewed energy in pursuit of two objectives, to complete its unfinished development agenda; and set the country on a path towards EU accession and the global post 2015 development agenda.
The event was greeted by the Albanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Ditmir Bushati who amongst other highlighted:"It is a privilege for me, on behalf of the Government, to extend my thanks to the United Nations for their work in promoting peace and security in the world, as well as a more fair society. Also, allow me to extend my gratitude to all those who during these years, with their work, effort and sacrifice, often even risking their lives, have transformed the United Nations Organization in the personification of hope for a better future around the world.
Albania is proud of its achievements in meeting the Millennium Development Goals and its contribution to the reform of the organization, taking active part in the "One UN" program. We want - relying on these achievements - to qualitatively improve our representation within the UN, aiming the membership in the Council for Human Rights (2015-2017) and the Security Council (2022-2023). For the Albanian government, cooperation with the UN is an ongoing process, depending on the objectives and progress of the country in the path of economic development and democratic transformation".
The UN Resident Coordinator in Albania Ms. Zineb Toumi - Benjelloun, who spoke on behalf of the United Nations Agencies in Albania amongst others said: "Tonight, I want to express my gratitude to those often forgotten voices who shared their stories, concerns, expectations and priorities about the world they want for themselves and their children. They clearly voiced their priorities in Albania: they asked for more employment opportunities, better education, and better health services. More importantly, they asked for new and more equitable ways of doing things. Change is inevitable. Leadership makes the difference and I want to pay tribute to our main partner- the Government of Albania for the leadership, vision and drive to action and for the trust they have extended to the United Nations in Albania".
Participants at the event had the opportunity to also watch a video presentation called "We the People of Albania" which highlights some key interventions undertaken by the UN Agencies in Albania and advocates for issues that the UN is strong about such as good governance, environment and social inclusion.
What made the UN Day very special was the United Nations Fair which provided an opportunity for the UN agencies to show their work through several displays. The Fair highlighted UN's work in the area of social inclusion, children, corruption and crime, environment, gender equality, democratic governance, health and migrants, human rights, food security, safety at work and many more. It also served to convey strong advocacy messages around those issues.
The UN Day event also served to convey the gratitude to UN's development partners for their cooperation with United Nations Agencies in Albania.
Paris Pact Expert Working Group on Effective Drug Demand Reduction Interventions for Children, Adolescents and Families
Vienna, 23 October 2013: During the meeting of the Paris Pact Expert Working Group on Effective Drug Demand Reduction Interventions for Children, Adolescents and Families (Vienna, 22-23 October 2013), a representative of the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe gave a presentation on Drug demand reduction activities and challenges in the region.
A detailed overview on the current situation with regard to drug consumption among the general and young population of each country of the region was presented, including results from different surveys, which were conducted in this field. Furthermore, the presentation pointed out specific approaches and main actors from the six countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, including Kosovo under the UNSCR 1244) active in the field of drug prevention and treatment.
Some of the main challenges of drug demand reduction were described, as well as the UNODC interventions aimed at supporting the countries in addressing these challenges. Inter alia, the topic of interest of Roma children exposed to drugs for the purpose of their exploitation in the region of South Eastern Europe was brought to attention and the participants of the meeting were invited to take this challenge into consideration in the spirit of shared responsibility and future actions.
Finally, the importance of further presence of Paris Pact Initiative activities in the region was underlined.
Briefing in advance of the launch of the UNODC report "Business, Corruption and Crime in the Western Balkans: the impact of bribery and other crime on private enterprise"
Vienna, 22 October 2013: On 22 October 2013, UNODC undertook a closed-door briefing to the Permanent Missions of the countries of the region in advance of the launch of a new UNODC report "Business, Corruption and Crime in the Western Balkans: the impact of bribery and other crime on private enterprise".
The report is the result of the valuable partnership of UNODC with the EU which funded it allowing scientific findings on the impact of bribery on private enterprise across the Western Balkans countries to be built. The EU Ambassador attending the briefing noted the usefulness of the undertaken research and the importance of the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe which is complementing the efforts of other actors in the region, including the EU.
The launch of the report will take place in Brussels on 24 October 2013. Additional information will be posted on this page thereafter.
UNODC-RACVIAC Memorandum of Understanding to increase regional cooperation against crime in South Eastern Europe
Vienna, 21 October 2013: UNODC and the South Eastern European Centre for Security Cooperation (RACVIAC) cleared the way for joint activities through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in Vienna on 21 st October 2013.
The MOU represents a framework agreement aimed at results-oriented and practical cooperation in the region taking advantage of the UNODC's and RACVIAC's respective mandates and expertise and complementing each other, thus avoiding duplication. The MOU is part of the efforts for building up networks and partnerships in the region within the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe.
In accordance with the MOU, the main areas of cooperation between UNODC and RACVIAC are communication and coordination, terrorism prevention and countering its financing, preventing transnational organized crime, including trafficking in persons, illegal migration and illegal firearms, as well as preventing and fighting emerging forms of crime, such as cybercrime. This list is not exhaustive and the two agencies agreed to maintain dialogue on these and other fields for cooperation.
The signing ceremony was followed by expert consultations in the course of which a cooperation workplan for 2013-2014 has been agreed upon. The representatives of both agencies stressed the necessity to facilitate regional joint efforts to address illicit trafficking and security-related matters comprehensively and agreed to pursue joint initiatives in each of the MOU areas mentioned above.
UNODC Promotes the International Legal Framework against Terrorism and its Financing in Montenegro
A National Workshop on the International Legal Framework against Terrorism and its Financing, organised by the Government of Montenegro with the support of the UNODC, was held in Podgorica from 8 to 10 of October 2013.
The main purpose of the Workshop, which was made possible by the generous financial support of the Government of Slovakia, was to strengthen the capacity of the criminal justice and law enforcement officials of Montenegro to implement the international legal framework against terrorism including the most relevant aspects pertaining to the prevention and suppression of terrorist financing.
During the Workshop, UNODC experts presented the international legal framework against terrorism and its financing. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) addressed the challenges in countering the financing of terrorism in the region, while practitioners from Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Spain shared their respective national experience in matters related to the investigation and prosecution of cases involving terrorism and its financing.
The support in organizing this Workshop was particularly appreciated by the Government of Montenegro as it was one of the first steps in the implementation of the recently adopted Action Plan for the Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, prepared with the assistance of UNODC. Montenegro officials encouraged UNODC to continue providing technical legal assistance on counter-terrorism matters, in particular to judges and prosecutors.
UNODC-WCO Container Control efforts
Cooperation achievements under the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe and the Global Container Control Programme (CCP) implemented jointly by UNODC and the World Customs Organization (WCO)
10 th meeting of the Expert Working Group of the Police Cooperation Convention for Southeast Europe
UNODC participated in the 10 th meeting of the Expert Working Group of the Police Cooperation Convention for Southeast Europe (Vienna, 16 - 17 September 2013). The meeting was hosted by the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior under the umbrella of the current Austrian Chairmanship of the PCC SEE.
The meeting discussed preparations to the 10 th Meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the PCC SEE which is to take place in Bucharest, Romania, on 18 October 2013, reviewed PCC SEE operational and organizational matters, including new initiatives for the police agencies in the region and common operations. The PCC SEE Secretariat briefed participants on its future projects. UNODC will cooperate with the PCC SEE in one of these projects aimed at broadening the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro (funding for this project is provided by Switzerland).
At the side of the meeting, UNODC conducted consultations with the Head of PCC SEE Secretariat, as well as with the Director of the Migration, Asylum, Refugees Regional Initiative (MARRI) on possible future cooperation.
The PCC SEE is founded on the desire of Southeast European countries to join forces and address in a more effective and comprehensive manner the challenges posed to the region by serious and organised crime. The Government of Austria facilitated the process by proposing a multilateral treaty to enhance border security and regional police cooperation. The treaty adopted as the PCC SEE was signed in Vienna on 5 May 2006. It represents a milestone in that it is the first multilateral agreement on sensitive security issues among the signatory countries since the conflicts of the 1990s. The main objectives of PCC SEE are "to cooperate in order to pursue common security interests" and "to effectively combat cross-border threats to public order and security, and international crime." It follows much of the language from the police cooperation provisions contained in the EU acquis in the area of Justice and Home Affairs. Its full implementation will help those signatory countries not members of the EU to accelerate their eventual accession.
The focus of the PCC SEE is on enhancing cooperation and information exchange. The modalities require ongoing exchanges of basic data on criminal activities, joint threat analyses and cooperation with partner law enforcement authorities upon request. Crucial to the successful implementation of the PCC SEE is the establishment of National Central Units, which shall enable an effective exchange of sensitive information in accordance with EU data protection safeguards. The PCC SEE also regulates specific means for cooperation, and includes provisions to undertake hot pursuit, to conduct cross-border surveillance, controlled deliveries and undercover operations, to establish joint investigations teams, common centres, and to conduct mixed patrols along the state borders
10 th Annual Meeting of Heads of National Law Enforcement Agencies of the European region (HONLEA-Europe)
Vienna, 2 July 2013 - The tenth annual meeting of Heads of National Law Enforcement Agencies of the European region (HONLEA-Europe) has started on 2 July in UNODC Headquarters in Vienna.
The meeting is attended by heads and representatives of national law enforcements agencies and Permanent Missions of the Member States, as well as by international and inter-governmental organizations.
At its 1 st and 2 nd sessions, held on 2 July, the Meeting considered item 3 of the agenda, entitled "Current situation with respect to regional and sub-regional cooperation". Representatives of UNODC introduced the item and gave audio-visual presentations that provided an overview of the support provided by UNODC through its trends in the region and worldwide, as well as through such tools as the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe and initiatives in Eastern Europe. The Meeting discussed current drug trafficking trends in Europe and approaches to countering them, with reference to particular cases and important seizures made.
Report of the meeting will be prepared in the course of the coming months and available in the UNODC web-page where other conference materials can be found at: http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/commissions/HONEUR/01-HONEUR-10-documents.html
Marking 26 th June, International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, in Albania and Serbia
26 June 2013 - On the occasion of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, UNODC organized several activities in the region of South Eastern Europe.
In Albania, a series of events has taken place.
1000 copies of the Guide to Treatment Services in Albania were distributed to general population, NGOs and other interested parties on this occasion. The Guide was distributed with the help of NGO Aksion Plus volunteers who were dressed in T-shirts and caps designed especially for this purpose. The volunteers were active in Durres where they organized multiple sports activities on the beach conveying the message of the campaign. The sports activities were supported by UNODC.
Furthermore, Albanian national health professionals were interviewed by the National Television where they spoke about the UNODC-WHO Strengthening Families Programme, with special attention being given to the referral system.
Finally, a brochure providing an overview of treatment services in Tirana was launched. The brochure was produced in the framework of the UNODC-WHO Programme in collaboration with national counterparts, including the specialized treatment service at the university hospital of Mother Theresa, the NGO Aksion Plus, NGO Stop AIDS and Emanuel community - residential treatment and therapeutic community. The brochure is being widely disseminated to national services, polyclinics and health services.
Moving on to Serbia, UNODC participated in the expert meting organized by the Institute of Public Health (IPH) and presented the project and results of UNODC programmes implemented in the country. Special attention was given to the UNODC World Drug Report with a few snapshots related to South Eastern Europe and Serbia. The official message of the UN Secretary General was translated into Serbian and shared at the event. Finally, IPH used the visual identity and theme of the this year's UNODC campaign translated into Serbian.
Furthermore, UNODC participates in the 3 rd Conference of People living with HIV organised by an NGO Youth of JAZAS which is the primary recipient for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM). Besides UNODC, representatives of the EU Delegation in Serbia, Ministry of Health of Serbia and the GFATM participated in the Conference. Here as well, the message from the UN Secretary General was transmitted to the audience with special emphasis on the HIV issues.Background: By resolution 42/112 of 7 December 1987, the United Nations General Assembly decided to observe 26 June as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse. This resolution recommended further action with regard to the report and conclusions of the 1987 International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The end of the first century of drug control (it all started in Shanghai in 1909) coincided with the closing of the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs decade (launched in 1998). These anniversaries stimulated reflection on the effectiveness, and the limitations, of drug policy. The review resulted in the reaffirmation that illicit drugs continue to pose a health danger to humanity. That's why drugs are, and should remain, controlled. With this sanction in mind, Member States confirmed unequivocal support for the UN Conventions that have established the world drug control system. The UN General Assembly recognized that despite continued and increased efforts by the international community, the world drug problem continues to constitute a serious threat to public health, the safety and well-being of humanity, in particular young people, and the national security and sovereignty of States, and that it undermines socio-economic and political stability and sustainable development. It encouraged the Commission and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to continue their work on international drug control and urged all Governments to provide the fullest possible financial and political support to enable UNODC to continue, expand and strengthen its operational and technical cooperation activities, within its mandates.
UNODC organizes a briefing to the Permanent Missions of the Member States to the United Nations in Vienna
Vienna, 21 June 2013 - On the fifth day of the Annual Field Representative Meeting, which is taking place on 17-21 June 2013 in Vienna, UNODC Regional Section for Europe convened a briefing on the UNODC work in South Eastern Europe and Eastern Europe to the Permanent Mission of Member States to the United Nations in Vienna. The meeting was attended by the Member States from this wide region and other countries.
UNODC updated the Permanent Missions on the recent developments with regard to the delivery of the Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe and ongoing and planned initiatives in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine as well as provided them with an opportunity to share their views.
It was agreed that UNODC continues to meet with the Permanent Missions in Vienna on a regular basis and keep updating them on the work in the region. The participants reiterated their commitment to strengthening partnerships, delivering the Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe, upgrading the work in Eastern Europe, ensuring further resource mobilisation, identification of new cooperation opportunities and promoting regional and inter-regional dialogue.
UNODC and WHO organize a series of national training sessions on drug treatment and care in Albania
Albania, May-June 2013 - During the period May-mid June 2013, 174 professionals from the health care community centres participated in a series of TREATNET training sessions. Different profiles of participants, such as family doctors and nurses, social workers, psychologists, NGOs staff, toxicologists and psychiatrists, attended the trainings organized in the cities of Tirana, Shkodra and Lezha by the UNODC and World Health Organization (WHO) and coordinated in close cooperation with the Ministry of Health of Albania. Each of the training sessions lasted two days, and was conducted by a pool of local trainers who had previously benefited from the UNODC-WHO Training of Trainers (ToT) held in Zlatibor, Serbia.
The participants were provided with an opportunity to improve their knowledge on drug treatment and care. Participants made questions and shared experiences about their own practices in the community. Training materials in hard copies in Albanian language were disseminated to all participants.
All the participants were eager to gain more knowledge on drug treatment and care interventions, especially on medical treatment, assessment and evaluation of substance abuse. Therefore, more training like these were recommended to be organized in the future.
UNODC and WHO finds particularly important the cooperation with the civil society. Therefore, upon the request of a local NGO active in the area of harm reduction Aksion Plus, a TREATNET training on Volume A was organized on 10-11 June 2013. Professionals working with the local branches of Aksion Plus in the cities of Vlora, Korca, Shkodra and Elbasan also participated in the training.
Certificates of attendance were delivered to all the participants at the end of each training session. Differently from Volume A and B, Volume C is accredited with 9 credits by the Albanian Centre of Continued Education.
On its first anniversary, UNODC SEE Regional Programme proves worth, shows road ahead
Vienna, 23 May 2013 - Speaking on the first anniversary of the launch of the Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe, UNODC Chief Yury Fedotov said: "The positive impact of this integrated programme extends far beyond the borders of South Eastern Europe. The Regional Programme links Europe to UNODC's work in West and Central Asia and is a strong platform for countering the heroin moving along the Balkan corridor from Afghanistan to the markets of Western and Central Europe."
The Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe includes Croatia (as a partner), Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo under UN Security Council Resolution 1244. Since its launch, on 23 May 2012, and covering the period up to 2015, UNODC's Regional Programme has undertaken an aggressive range of activities to assist in countering illicit drug trafficking, as well as confronting transnational organized crime, corruption, money laundering and drug abuse. In the Albanian port of Durres, the Programme established a Container Control Unit to apply modern risk assessment methods to increase the detection of illicit trafficking. A similar unit is also being established in the Montenegrin port of Bar.
Anti-corruption is another important focus area for the SEE Regional Programme. With support of the EU, in-depth surveys on corruption have been conducted among the population and businesses community in the region. Support has also been offered on the implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption.
Several drug dependence prevention, treatment and care programmes have been offered to the countries of the region. The prevention programme has reached more than 840 families in the region, enabling them to mitigate the risks of drug abuse among children and youth. In addition, some 1,400 practitioners have benefited from a programme promoting advanced treatment standards (known as "TREATNET").
The SEE Regional Programme has been a prime mover in the UNODC core strategy of "networking the networks". By focusing on a series of key bodies both in Afghanistan and its neighbouring countries, and along the main drug routes out of the country, UNODC is seeking to promote effective and efficient cooperation, joint operations and the sharing of information about illicit trafficking. The networked bodies include both UNODC-led initiatives such as the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre, the Joint Planning Cell of the Triangular Initiative, as well as the South East Law Enforcement Centre and others.
"The underlying principle driving the SEE Regional Programme is shared responsibility among nations, as well as among other bodies and organizations. To successfully counter illicit drugs flowing from Afghanistan, we need to halt the trafficking of drugs, both inside and outside the country, while also offering the necessary treatment and prevention programmes," said Mr. Fedotov.
"I am very grateful to the donors of the SEE Programme. The Programme has taken enormous strides forward over the last twelve months, and it will make an even greater impact in the years to come as it continues to grow its portfolio and deliver on its core activities," Mr. Fedotov continued.
Based on UNODC's estimates, around 60 tons of heroin, worth US$13 billion, moves along the Balkan route to west and central Europe. For this reason, the Balkan route remains one of the main trafficking routes for illicit drugs connecting Afghanistan to European markets.
UNODC-WCO offer training on the Use of Search Equipment
22 May 2013 - Following the donation to the port of Durres in Albania of the search equipment CT-K30 Kits on 20-22May 2013, UNODC organized a three day training on the use of the search equipment for the Joint Container Control Unit established with the UNODC support in Durres.
The training was conducted by two local trainers who had benefited from the UNODC Training Techniques Course in Turkey and Car Search Techniques by HM Revenue Customs in Dover, UK (support by UNODC).
UNODC assisted the trainers with the preparation of their module and oversaw the training. In advance of the training, the trainers prepared a module and issued instructions (in the Albanian language) on the use of specialized equipment, such as endoscope.
In addition to the classroom training, last daily sessions were dedicated to practical exercises at the Container Terminal. The Port authorities also made available the new hydraulic car lift which the students were able to use to examine a vehicle. Instructions were also given on how to use the endoscope, the "Buster" sonic device and other equipment.
The trained personnel have provided very positive feedback and confirmed that the training was very useful for their work and for stopping illicit trafficking in the port of Durres, the method of delivery was excellent, the personnel remained motivated and trainers were well prepared.
Certificates were delivered at the end of the training.
Tangible results of the work of the Joint Container Control Unit in the Albanian port of Durres
Durres, 21 May 2013 - Under the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe (2012-2015) and the Global Container Control Programme (CCP) implemented jointly by UNODC and the World Customs Organization (WCO), a Joint Container Control Unit (JCCU) was established in February 2013 in the port of Durres, Albania. First tangible results of operational work of the JCCU is already visible.
The Regional Anti-Drug Unit in Durres in cooperation with the JCCU conducted an operation of heroin seizure on 21 May 2013. In the course of this operation, a suspect was arrested and a total amount of 7kg 939.75gr of substance resembling heroin was seized. The operational data indicate that the destination country for the drugs was Italy and that the drugs originated from Turkey, were trafficked along the Balkan route and possibly entered Albania either through Montenegro or Kosovo under UNSCR 1244.
UNODC expresses sincere appreciation and congratulates the relevant authorities in Albania, including the Customs Administration and State Police, for successfully conducting this operation. UNODC is very pleased with the tangible results of the work of the Joint Container Control Unit, which UNODC and WCO have helped to establish.
Two new schools in Shkodra offer training on Strengthening Family Programme to parents and children
Shkodra, April-May 2013 - Under the umbrella of the UNODC Global Project on Prevention of Crime, Drug Abuse and HIV/AIDS and the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe, two new trainings were offered to "Mati Logoreci" and "Deshmoret e Prishtines" Schools in Shkodra city. During the course of the training provided by UNODC, the main message is to help parents and children understand the root causes of drug abuse and to prevent its onset. Drug abuse has serious consequences in our homes, schools and community. Prevention programmes have been scarce in Albania and the UNODC training is considered by the beneficiaries as effective intervention with younger population to prevent risk behaviors before drug abuse occurs. The interaction between parents and children during the sessions of the training is considered an advantage and increases children's responsiveness and openness before the problems becomes more difficult.
The sessions were conducted by six facilitators and monitored by two coordinators per each school who had formerly benefited from a UNODC ToT. Twenty families were trained with a total of 60 parents and children. During the implementation of the Global Project on Prevention of Crime, Drug Abuse and HIV/AIDS and the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe, UNODC has succeeded in covering 20 schools in Tirana and Shkodra cities with a total of 200 families with 600 parents and children.
The training has been well received by the participants. Majlinda Rama, parent from the 'Mati Logoreci' school says: " During the 7 th sessions, I had a very good experience that will contribute to a better education and well-being of my children. I am impressed by the free communication and conversation established between parents and our children. Such training help us communicate with our children in an appropriate way".
TREATNET Training of Trainers for health professionals from Serbia and Albania
Zlatibor, Serbia, 21 April 2013 - Under the joint global UNODC-WHO Programme on Drug Dependence Treatment and Care, UNODC organized a TREATNET Training of Trainers on Drug Dependence Treatment in Zlatibor, Serbia from 08-21 April 2013. The focus of the training was to educate participants from Serbia and Albania (psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists, social workers and nurses) in order to apply the new knowledge and skills in their everyday jobs.
Total number of participants who attended and successfully completed the training was 20 (10 from Serbia, 10 from Albania). Participants of the training were trained on three volumes of the TREATNET educational package - Volume A: Screening, Assessment and Treatment Planning; Volume B: Elements of Psychosocial Treatment; and Volume C: Addiction Medications and Special Populations.
Continuation of the Strengthening Families Programme in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Skopje, 29 March 2013 - Under the global UNODC Programme "Prevention of drug use, HIV/AIDS and crime among young people through family skills training programmes in low- and middle-income countries", UNODC continues with implementation of the Strengthening Families Programme for Parents and Youth 10-14 (SFP 10-14) through conducting the second training cycle to a selected group of families recruited from five elementary schools in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). Within the second cycle of implementation of the SFP 10-14, a Training of facilitators was organized from 25-29 March 2013 in Skopje, the FYROM, with help of the Ministry of Education and Science and NGO H.O.P.S.
The training was attended and successfully completed by 24 participants from five schools. These elementary schools delegated for the piloting of the programme were provided with the presentational technique (lap tops, projectors and flip charts) in order to support the qualitative implementation of the training sessions and sustainability of the project realization in the future.
New schools in Albania benefit from UNODC Strengthening Families Programme Trainings
Tirana, February-March 2013 - UNODC activities in regard to Strengthening Families Program (SFP) are being expanded to new schools in Albania. With the primary objective to prevent or delay the use of drugs among adolescents, the seventh sessions of SFP were organized at "Vasil Shanto" and "Edith Durham" schools in Tirana during February - March 2013.
Twenty families with a total number of 58 parents and children were trained by the facilitators previously trained by UNODC. The training demonstrated that drug prevention program works, is cost-effective and efficient, and represents one of the best investments in long term.
Feedback from participants was very positive. Ms. Anila Salihi, Director and Coordinator of the SFP Training at "Vasil Shanto" school said: "At the very beginning, I was concerned about the attendance, especially of the parents, but I was wrong. They all attended the seventh sessions and were thankful to our school for its organization. The parents concluded that prevention leads to reduction of violence, child abuse, injuries, loss of productivity, etc. while one parent stated that "Prevention is not Vaccination but we have to reinforce "the no - use" message to our children consistently".
The same training is presently going on with two new schools in Shkodra city.
Presentation event on Container Control in Port of Bar, Montenegro
Bar, 26 March 2013 - Customs Administration and Police Directorate organized a presentation event "Border Control Partnership on Montenegro's path to the EU: Container Control" , for representatives of diplomatic core in the port of Bar in Montenegro.
One of the priorities of the accession process of Montenegro to the EU is strengthening the inter-agency cooperation in countering organised crime. In line with this, representatives of Customs Administration and Police Directorate of Montenegro presented the joint operational activities whose aim is to strengthen the border control, as well as to conduct an efficient container control on the basis of risk analysis. Complex container transport industry proved to be appropriate for illicit drugs, arms, goods and humans trafficking. For that reason, the need for constant reinforcement of container traffic control is reiterated once again.
Director of Customs Administration, Mr. Vladan Joković, said that the customs service is responsible for prevention of illicit drug trafficking, trafficking of arms, goods that violate the right to intellectual property and other illegal and prohibited goods. For that reason, Customs Administration is intensively working on reinforcing the operational, administrative and technical capacity in order to harmonize its procedure on the border with the EU regulations and standards, jointly with other state institutions.
Director of Police Directorate, Slavko Stojanović, stressed the determination in creating the strong and uncompromising response to all challenges the Police Directorate is facing with. He emphasised that Police Directorate and Customs Administration are reaching very good results through their joint activities on the border crossings.
In this respect, they presented the attendees their modus operandi, the equipment being used in detecting the illegally trafficked goods, as well as results achieved through joint activities. During 2012 and first two months of 2013, there were 53 cases of detaining the illegal drug trafficking (seized 1359 kg of skunk, 15,5 kg of heroin and 686 grams of cocaine), and discovered and detained smuggling of other types of illegal goods.
Programme Coordinator of UNODC Global Container Control Programme, Mr. Ketil Ottersen, and Chief of UNODC Regional Section for Europe, Mr. Tullio Santini, emphasized that the joint efforts and impressive results of work of two agencies have been recognized and that these successes deserve full attention and readiness for further assistance and support.
At the end of the event, there has been organized a presentation of scanners at the Customs Branch Office in Bar for all diplomatic representatives present at the event.
Source: Website of Customs Administration of Montenegro (link: http://bit.ly/14KgS27).
UNODC Executive Director Fedotov visits Bosnia and Herzegovina
Sarajevo, 22 March 2013 - UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov completed a two-day mission today to meet the head and senior officials of ministries and agencies in Bosnia and Herzegovina. UNODC's work in the region is delivered through UNODC's Regional Programme for South-Eastern Europe. Launched last year, the regional programme is at the forefront of UNODC's efforts to counter the trafficking of illicit opiates from Afghanistan to the lucrative markets in western Europe via the so-called Balkan route.
During his visit, Mr. Fedotov said: "UNODC is building a coherent response to drugs, crime and terrorism, which views them as global phenomena needing global solutions. To achieve this we are introducing integrated programmes that deliver effective assistance. As we continue with this strategy we will use our core strengths in analysis, technical assistance and helping to build capacities to support the Member States who confront these challenges."
Based on UNODC's estimates, around 60 tons of heroin, worth US$13 billion, moves along the Balkan route to west and central Europe. For this reason, the Balkan route remains the main trafficking route for illicit drugs connecting Afghanistan to Europe. Largely a transit country for illicit drugs, in 2011, the Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities reported the following seizures: 10.2 kg of heroin, 444 kg of marijuana, 0.3 kg of cocaine and 9.2 kg of amphetamines.
UNODC provides technical assistance and helps build capacities in Bosnia and Herzegovina in a number of areas. Regarding drug prevention, UNODC has provided training for experts from the country, particularly in the use of quality standards. UNODC has also published surveys on corruption in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the region. A new survey on how corruption and crime affects the business sector is currently being drafted.
To help stem the flow of illicit drugs, UNODC is also seeking to extend the joint UNODC/World Customs Organization Global Container Control Programme to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The programme would include a Bosnian port.
Towards the end of the mission, Mr. Fedotov said: "Our goal in South Eastern Europe is to work closely with Member States to counter transnational organized crime, corruption, money laundering, terrorism and drug abuse. I am very glad that Bosnia and Herzegovina continues to be such a strong partner for UNODC in all these areas."
UNODC and WCO continue to provide capacity building for Joint Container Control Units of Durres Port (Albania) and Bar Port (Montenegro)
Bucharest, March 2013 - A one week basic classroom training to 6 participants from Customs, Border Police and the Anti-drug Police from Dures Port (Albania) and Bar Port (Montenegro) took place at the World Customs Organization (WCO) Regional Training Center in Budapest, Romania on March 04 - 08 and March 18 - 22, 2013.
The training covered various aspects on different types of smuggling via maritime containerized traffic, such as risk analysis on commercial documents, risk indicators, advanced container search techniques, different types of concealments, ContainerComm, as well as practical exercises.
Ad-hoc meeting of the Programme Steering Committee of the Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe
Vienna, 15 March 2013 - On the margins of the 56th Session of Commission on Narcotic Drugs, UNODC Regional Section for Europe convened an Ad-hoc meeting of the Programme Steering Committee. The meeting was hosted by the Director-General/Executive Director Mr. Yury Fedotov. Beside the representatives of Permanent Missions to the United Nations in Vienna and various institutions of participating countries of the Regional Programme, the meeting was attended by representatives of donor countries, partner countries and the European Union.
The meeting was convened to brief all key stakeholders on the developments occurred since the last Programme Steering Committee in December 2012 and to provide them with the possibility of sharing their efforts and views in support of the Regional Programme. After the introduction by the Executive Director and brief statements by delegations of each of participating countries, delegations of donor and partner countries expressed their views and contributions to the Regional Programme, reaffirming once again their political will and commitment to continuous support to the Programme. At the end, Chief of Regional Section for Europe presented the update on the Regional Programme's progress, initial results in and plans for 2013, as well as on the funding situation and ongoing resource mobilisation efforts.
It was agreed that UNODC continues to meet with the Permanent Missions in Vienna on a regular basis and/or keep contact with them. UNODC officers in each of the countries will continue to meet with the PSC members when possible and to keep them informed of any activities under the RP. On the basis of recommendations from the last PSC meeting convened in December 2012, all participants once again reaffirmed its strong commitment to strengthening the partnerships in local resource mobilisation, strengthening the existing partnerships and identification of new partnership opportunities, as well building partnerships with regional and inter-regional agencies.
UNODC and WCO organize training for the Joint Container Control Units of Durres Port (Albania) and Bar Port (Montenegro)
Vlore, 15 March 2013 - A one week joint training for the 6 participants from Durres Port and 6 participants from Customs, Border Police and the Anti-drug Police from the Port of Bar (Montenegro) was organized in Vlore, Albania on March 11 - 15, 2013 by UNODC and World Customs Organization (WCO).
The training covered various WCO and UNODC conventions, including those on human rights and integrity, International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, also known as the Washington Convention (CITES), intellectual property rights (IPR) and precursors.
Likewise, a UNODC expert on Firearms provided training on the global, regional and national legal frameworks for transfer controls on controlled goods; review of the decision making process for issuance or denial of import/export licences and authorizations; licensing control and reporting; overview of the documentation requirements and data relevant to the export/import of controlled goods; and record-keeping for the purposes of investigation and tracing of seized firearms.
Remarks at the Briefing to Member States on the Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe
Vienna, March 6 th, 2013
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I welcome this opportunity to brief you on UNODC's Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe-2012 to 2015, which I launched in May last year.
The Regional Programme was created at the request of the Governments in the region.
Its goal is to counter illicit drug trafficking across the Balkans as well as confront transnational organized crime, corruption, money laundering and drug abuse.
At the programme's core is the need to deal with the heroin that flows out of Afghanistan and along the southern corridor towards the European markets.
This illicit flow creates corruption, other forms of crime, drug abuse and the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Around 60 tons of heroin, worth US$13 billion in West and Central Europe, is moved along the Balkans route.
Although the amount appears to be decreasing in recent years, it remains the main illicit trafficking route connecting Afghanistan to Europe.
The proceeds from illicit drugs can have a destabilizing effect on the economic and social development in this region and beyond it.
In South-Eastern Europe, there is a risk these threats could hinder countries on the path towards EU accession.
During the intervening months since it was launched, the Regional Programme has achieved much with very little.
The Programme has:
- Launched the Container Control Programme in the Balkans (Albania and Montenegro) and established a Container Control Unit in the Albanian Port of Durres;
- Conducted in-depth surveys on corruption, as experienced by the general population and the business sector;
- Drafted a new national Drug Strategy and a new Action Plan for Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Montenegro;
- Worked with 317 families from Albania, FYROM and Montenegro in the Prevention of Drug Abuse Programme which helps to strengthen families; and
- Trained 547 drug abuse treatment and care experts from the region.
And the list does not end here.
The Regional Programme has achieved an implementation rate of over 99 per cent in 2012.
I would like to thank the donors: Germany, Italy , France, Turkey, Belgium, EU, as well as Romania and Russia , who have offered in-kind contributions.
We have done much, but it is not enough, and we have raised considerable expectations in the region, and elsewhere.
I would, therefore, encourage you to remain engaged in the region. I would also like to encourage other donors to come forward.
There are excellent reasons for your continued support.
UNODC's networking, fostering of local ownership, and partnership building in the region, creates added value when combined with the delivery of solutions.
In addition, we must all work to counter the threat of opiates from Afghanistan.
As 2014 and the withdrawal of international forces draws close, we must place ourselves in the strongest possible position to assist and support Afghanistan.
This means working at the country level, at the regional level, and in an integrated manner, across the main routes of drug trafficking.
Such an approach includes South Eastern Europe.
The governments of those countries participating in this process view the Regional Programme as an excellent tool that complements the work of the EU and the OSCE, among others.
Considerable efforts have been made by UNODC to ensure the closest possible coordination with these valuable partners, both on the ground and at our headquarters.
UNODC is an organization that goes beyond national, regional, hemispheric borders.
We deliver our activities based on an integrated response between our different regional and thematic programmes.
The Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe is a key element in that approach.
It offers countries in the Balkans the opportunity to work with partners worldwide.
At present, most of the Programme's funding will end in mid-2013. The Regional Programme has a notional budget of just over US$14 million of which US$2.7 million has been raised. Of this figure, US$1.7 million has been spent leaving US$1 million available for 2013.
Therefore, to succeed, the Regional Programme needs urgent funding and the support of countries in the region. Without this, we will be unable to offer tangible results.
Indeed, after mid-2013, a date which is now close, a review of UNODC's presence in the region will be conducted.
Participating Governments have agreed to approach key donors and advocate for the support of the Regional Programme.
It is also hoped that participating countries can soon provide some concrete contributions to support the implementation of the Regional Programme, especially in financial terms.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The drug and crime problems of the Balkans are not in the past, they are here acting on the present.
Our joint work is to confront these issues now, and in doing so, to help guard the region's future.
A future within the European Union where the countries of the Balkans are the strong partners of the organization's existing members.
I call on all Member States present today to help UNODC turn this vision into a reality.
Consultations between UNODC and the Southeast European Law Enforcement Centre (SELEC)
Vienna, 27 February 2013 - UNODC and the Southeast European Law Enforcement Centre (SELEC) held a consultation meeting on the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the two agencies on 4 December 2012 in Bucharest, Romania. Experts from both organisations attended the meeting the purpose of which was to agree on the practical steps for cooperation in particular in the area of countering illicit trafficking.
Ms. Snejana Maleeva, Director for Legal and Internal Affairs, SELEC, presented the SELEC mission, thematic areas, activities, capacity, operation and cooperation on the local, regional and international level. The core of SELEC work represents the Convention of the Southeast European Law Enforcement Centre, which allows SELEC to:
- coordinate regional operations and support investigations and crime prevention activities of the Member States in trans-border cases;
- provide the Member States with the opportunity to exchange information and criminal intelligence and offer operational assistance in a quick and timely fashion;
- collect, collate, analyze, process and disseminate information and criminal intelligence;
- produce strategic analysis and threat assessments related to its objective;
- and establish, operate and maintain a computerized information system, which implies also to ensure the protection of personal data.
The agencies agreed to continue regular contacts and ensure close coordination in order to avoid any duplication of action. UNODC will participate in the meeting of the SELEC Task Force on Drug Trafficking on 21-22 May 2013, as well as in other events that are relevant to the UNODC mandated areas. The agencies will ensure a constant flow of information on ongoing and future initiatives in the region of South Eastern Europe with the goal of assisting the countries of the region in a complimentary manner. UNODC may also consider supporting SELEC in establishing a stronger inter-regional link between the Balkans and the countries and law enforcement institutions in West and Central Asia towards a more comprehensive response to illicit trafficking in Afghan heroin through the region.
Cooperation between UNODC and Center for Security Cooperation (RACVIAC)
Vienna, 25 February 2013 - Mr. Aldo Lale-Demoz, Director, Division for Operations, UNODC, hosted a meeting with the Director of the Centre for Security Cooperation (RACVIAC) Mr. Branimir Mandić.
RACVIAC - Centre for Security Cooperation (Zagreb, Croatia) - is a regional intergovernmental organization established in 2000 by Croatia and Germany with the initial focus on the training of verification experts in order to lay the groundwork for implementing arms control agreements such as the Dayton Agreement, Vienna Document, Open Skies Treaty, Chemical Weapons Convention and the Oslo Convention. In this way, RACVIAC significantly contributed to enhancing trust and cooperation among security forces in the region and beyond.
Today RACVIAC has a newly defined mission: to foster dialogue and cooperation on security matters in South Eastern Europe through a partnership between the countries of the region and their international partners. RACVIAC developed into a regional institution with a strong focus on capacity building activities within the area of security cooperation, which are supported by regional organizations and bi-lateral donors.
The Center organizes annually more than 30 regional conferences, which cover three main themes:
- Security Sector Reform,
- international relations and cooperation, with a special focus on the Euro-Atlantic integration and
- the establishment of cooperative security environment, with the focus on arms control.
UNODC and RACVIAC agreed to work together in the future towards result oriented and practical cooperation in the region of South Eastern Europe taking advantage of their respective mandates and expertise and complementing each other, thus avoiding duplication and contributing to more efficient and effective coordination on the regional level.
UNODC Director noted that the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe (2012-2015) represents a broad and solid basis for future cooperation between the two organizations. This specifically applies to the work in such areas as countering transnational organized crime, prevention of terrorism, fighting against drugs and human trafficking, illegal migration and cybercrime.
RACVIAC Director welcomed the readiness of UNODC to share its expertise with RACVIAC and agreed with the importance of avoiding duplication of work. Mr. Mandić acknowledged good cooperation of RACVIAC with governments in the region and their inclusion in the process of planning from its early stages, giving a priority to identifying and addressing the particular needs of the countries.
It was agreed that the two organizations will maintain regular communication and coordination in order to concretise mutual cooperation, and that they will coordinate between each other on any regional initiative under the above mentioned possible areas of cooperation.
UNODC donates search equipment to the Customs Branch Office in Port of Bar, Montenegro
Bar, 18 February 2013 - A ceremony of handing over the search equipment for the Customs Branch Office in the Port of Bar, Montenegro, was organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in cooperation with the National Coordinator for the UNODC Regional Programme in Montenegro on Monday, 18 February 2013. The search equipment was provided through the Container Control Programme run jointly by UNODC and the World Customs Organization (WCO). A ceremony on the premises of the Customs Branch Office in the Port of Bar was attended by representatives of Police Directorate, Customs Administration and Border Police.
The hand over protocol for the donated equipment was signed by Mr. Vojislav Marković, Police Directorate, Deputy Director of Criminal Police Sector, Mr. Dragan Lučić, Customs Administration, Head of Bar Customs Office Branch, and Ms. Ela Banaj, UNODC National Project Officer in Tirana, Albania.
The Container Control Programme, developed jointly by UNODC and WCO, helps countries to create sustainable law enforcement structures in selected seaports to minimize the exploitation of maritime containers for illicit drug trafficking and other transnational organized criminal activities.
The Programme creates strategic alliances between customs, police, trade and other relevant bodies to prevent criminal organizations from abusing legitimate commercial trade; establishes port control units comprising analysts and search teams from different law enforcement agencies; and introduces new tools and mechanisms for collecting, analyzing and sharing information and optimizing existing human, technical and logistical resources.
At the global level, the Container Control Programme supports enhanced collection, standardization and reporting of data on container crime for use in strategic analysis and information-sharing.
During the ceremony, the Montenegrin counterparts welcomed the Container Control Programme and their willingness to continue working with UNODC in this and other areas of mutual interest. They expressed appreciation to UNODC for the donation of the equipment and noted good cooperation among national authorities operating in the area of border control. Seizure figures have increased in Montenegro, which is a clear indication of a pro-active response to the illicit trafficking of narcotics and smuggled goods. Furthermore, joint operational teams operate at the border control points and various inter-agency agreements have been signed.
Montenegrin counterparts highlighted that technical support and training for the joint container control unit should continue. They underlined that participation of Montenegrin officers from the joint container control units at the regional and global meetings should be considered and supported in future as well.
Joint Container Control Unit Established at Durres Port, Albania
Durres, 11 February 2013 - A Joint Container Control Unit of six officers from Customs Administration, Border Police and Anti Drug Unit was inaugurated in a ceremony organized at Durres Port, Albania on February 11, 2013. Durres Port, the largest in Albania, is one of the 17 selected ports across the world benefiting from the Global Programme on Container Control run jointly by UNODC and the World Customs Organization (WCO).
The ceremony was attended by the Albanian Minister of Interior, HE. Flamur Noka, Ambassadress of the Federal Republic of Germany in Tirana, HE. Carola Mueller-Holtkemper, Director General of the Albanian State Police, Director General of the Customs Administration, UN Resident Coordinator, UNODC Senior Programme Coordinator and other dignitaries.
In their greeting speeches, the dignitaries stated that the joint team will contribute to the improvement of the cooperation between customs police and other relevant bodies to prevent criminal organization from abusing legitimate commercial trade, as well as to the creation of new tools and mechanisms for collecting, analyzing and sharing information.
They reiterated that the event was another important milestone in the partnership among police and customs, and expressed their belief that they will continue to work accordingly with the ultimate goal of contributing to the order, security, prosperity and protection of citizens' health and welfare.
The attendees visited the newly refurbished premises, which are fully equipped to enable the joint unit to use risk analysis and other proactive techniques to systematically target high risk containers for scrutiny.
Control of transnational flow of goods along with protection and surveillance duties constitute the core elements of the management of the borders. Nowadays, transport by container is a typical example of a speedy mean of transport, which poses more complex and additional problems for the customs and other border control authorities. Consequently, preventive and specialized search techniques become a necessity.
The opening of the Joint Container Control Unit in Durres was supported by UNODC-WCO, through the financial contribution of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany.
UNODC and SELEC sign Memorandum of Understanding to counter illicit trafficking, crime and money laundering in Southeastern Europe
Bucharest, 4 December 2012 - On 4 December 2012, The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at furthering joint cooperation in countering illicit trafficking, crime and money laundering. The MoU is the first cooperation agreement between the two entities and was signed by UNODC Director for Operations, Mr. Aldo Lale-Demoz, and SELEC Director-General, Mr. Gürbüz Bahadir.
The MoU constitutes an important partnership-building step for UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe to strengthen cooperation within the Balkans and beyond. Speaking at the signing ceremony, the UNODC Director for Operations said the MoU will promote better coordination and joint initiatives between UNODC and SELEC in years to come, for the benefit of states within and outside Southeastern Europe. He also noted that both SELEC and UNODC understand that serious organized crime problems surfacing in one member state, if unchecked, will have direct negative consequences on states within and outside the region.
SELEC is a regional instrument for cooperation of law enforcement and intelligence agencies. It is located in Bucharest, Romania. SELEC is a successor of SECI (Southeast European Cooperative Initiative established in the late 1990's). It consists of 13 member states: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Turkey. The primary objective of SELEC is to provide a platform for law enforcement cooperation among member states to prevent and combat transnational crime. Its excellent facilities can deliver trainings, specialized task force meetings and conferences.
Successfully launched and implemented Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking in Serbia
Every year, only in Europe, criminal groups are involved in trafficking of several hundreds of thousands of people for the purpose of sexual and labour exploitation or organ trafficking. Serbia is part of this trafficking chain.
MEXICO - first country In the world to launch the "Blue Heart" campaign against Human trafficking, a pilot project of UNODC.
SERBIA - first country in Europe to launch its own national-led United Nations "Blue Heart" campaign against human trafficking.
On October 17 th, 2010, The European Anti-Trafficking Day, in Belgrade started shooting and promotion of movie "Sisters". The start of shooting on 17 th October, 2010 was marked by a public event, and was attended by Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic, Minister of Interior Ivica Dacic; EU Ambassador in Serbia Vincent Degert, and along with more than 20 media representatives.
"Sisters" campaign to prevent human trafficking promotes also the global campaign of the UNODC "Blue Heart". This action wasn't planned at the start of the project, but the project "grew" and accomplished all set objectives:
- Raising awareness of at-risk groups (especially youth);
- Raising awareness of potential clients and exploiters of trafficking victims;
- Raising awareness among parents, teachers and social workers;
- Engaging celebrities in the activities of raising broad public awareness about the issue of trafficking;
- Fulfillment and promotion of the social role of the media.
• At the premiere of the film in Belgrade it was explained to all the media what the Blue Heart represent, and that this is a UN campaign. All daily, weekly and monthly newspapers published that information. All TV stations in Serbia, too.
• Monte Royal Pictures produced the 4000 Blue Heart symbols which were pinned at the premiere of the film on 10 th April 2011 to the President of the Serbian Parliament, Serbian Prime Minister, Minister of Internal Affairs and Heads of EU delegations and the IOM, by actress and producer who is at the same time the face of the campaign "Blue Heart".
The essence of the campaign is showing the film "Sisters" in Serbian towns and then organizing public discussions on human trafficking, and broadcasting the film on TV.
The campaign is conducted in accordance with the principle of "public-private partnership" so that the main partner of the Ministry of Interior is the production company "Monte Royal Pictures" and the main promoter of a campaign is a well-known actress Bojana Maljević, which is the film's producer as well.
At the end of March 2011, simultaneous campaigns for the announcement of the film "Sisters" started with putting up 3000 posters were stick all over Belgrade, with the logo of MRP, EU, IOM, MUP and the UNODC campaign "Blue Heart".
An English version of posters for the film was made, and also film subtitles in English.
PROMO MATERIALS - MRPI PRODUCED:
Two large banners and the 6 roll-ups that follow the projections of"Sisters", panel discussions and in front of which press statements are being made - with the logo of EU, IOM, the Blue Heart and Serbian Government;
1000 information notebooks from the CD with the music from the film;
4000 notebooks of the film, the back side of the information notebook,containing information about the film "Sisters" and basic information on human trafficking problem;
3000 bookmarks with short information.Everyone who sees the film gets a blue heart pin, notebook or a boo k marker, with information, logo of the Blue Heart and contact telephone numbers where people can report cases of trafficking.
10,000 DVD copies of the film "SISTERS" was produced. On the front page of DVD there is a symbol of the Blue Heart, and on 3 movie trailers inside in DVD menu.
DVD copies that are made in order to continue prevention campaigns among young people and professionals, on the principle of "training-trainers" and peer's education, shall be distributed to all schools, local police, social welfare centers, prosecutors, courts, NGOs, the Red Cross and NGO, with the aim to implement prevention activities in local communities.
The main stakeholders who supported the realization of the project and promotion campaign of the film "Sisters" are Government of Republic of Serbia, EU Delegation in Serbia and IOM Country Office.