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Bosnia and Herzegovina formally joins UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme

Delivery of joint UNODC/World Customs Organization (WCO) Programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina further strengthens country's commitment to fight illicit container and other cargo trafficking

10 July 2014, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina: The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), between the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Bosnia and Herzegovina, on container control took place in Sarajevo, assembling commitments of the UNODC, Ministry of Security, Indirect Taxation Authority and Border Police BiH.

The MoU signing is bringing the global UNODC/World Customs Organization (WCO) Programme to Bosnia and Herzegovina to contribute to country's efforts to fight illicit container trafficking and suppress activities of organized crime groups. This activity coincides with the recent re-opening of UNODC National Programme Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina, strengthening Agency's presence in the South-Eastern Europe region, and implementation of activities related to prevention of organized crime and illicit drug trade, counter-terrorism, anti-corruption, human trafficking and other.

UNODC Director of the Division for Treaty Affairs, Mr. John Sandage, in his opening remarks said: " Container Control Programme is uniquely placed to assist Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina to create sustainable enforcement structures in order to minimize the risk of shipping containers being exploited for illicit trafficking and other forms of black market activity."

Through cooperation of the UNODC Regional Programme for South-Eastern Europe 2012-2015, the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina has expressed its strong interest in participating in the CCP through establishment of a Joint Port Control Unit at the border port / customs point Bijača.

" It is our hope that this Programme will further strengthen the system in Bosnia and Herzegovina to successfully fight transnational crime and provide condition for better security in the whole region", said Mr. Samir Rizvo, Assistant Minister of Security.

Drug trafficking and other forms of organized crime and increasing levels of violence continue to pose major challenges for countries in South Eastern Europe. Large volumes of heroin (and some cocaine) pass through the region, representing a major threat to national economic development.

Introduction of Bosnia and Herzegovina into the Container Control Programme will provide a good opportunity for countries of the region to discuss priorities and needs in the field of container control and share experiences and best practices on "profiling" high risk containers.

 

UNODC and UNDP present an Assessment on Judicial Integrity in Kosovo*

4 July 2014, Pristina: UNDP Project Support to Anti-Corruption Efforts in Kosovo (SAEK), supported generously by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), in cooperation with UNODC is supporting the enhancement of the internal capacities and mechanisms of the judiciary in Kosovo for investigating internal cases of corruption and disciplining judges and prosecutors with regard to corruption offences, and increase the ability of the judiciary to investigate and prosecute cases of corruption externally.

In March 2014, UNODC and UNDP conducted an on-site assessment mission, which included meetings with a broad range of stakeholders, including: judges, prosecutors, government officials, civil society groups, and regional and international agencies, aimed at identifying the core capacity building and training needs of the judiciary, prosecution services and other bodies, including, in particular, the Office of the Disciplinary Prosecutor (ODP). The purpose of the on-site assessment mission was to produce a draft-report on Judicial Integrity, with the main findings and recommendations for concrete activities in support of the enhancement of capacities.

The main findings, challenges and recommendations of the report were presented at the third task force meeting, held on 3 July 2014, involving all relevant stakeholders from government, independent institutions, civil society, and representatives of international organizations in Kosovo, such as: Ministry of Justice, Supreme Court of Kosovo, Kosovo Judicial Council, Office of the Disciplinary Prosecutor, State Prosecution Office, Kosovo Prosecutorial Institute, Anti-Corruption Agency, Kosovo Bar Association, EULEX, OSCE, EU Office in Kosovo, GIZ, US Embassy, USAID, Council of Europe, Internews Kosova, and KDI.

The presentation of the report, conducted by the Chief and Expert of the UNODC Corruption and Economic Crime Branch, was considered useful for setting a solid foundation for the implementation of the Project's activities on judicial integrity, which are planned to start at the beginning of September 2014. All comments and suggestions will be incorporated in the final report on the Judicial Integrity which will be published soon.

* All references to Kosovo should be understood in the context of Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).

www.ks.undp.org/content/kosovo/en/home/presscenter/articles/2014/07/04/undp-unodc-present-the-assessment-on-kosovo-s-judicial-integrity/  

 

UNODC assessment mission on prison-based rehabilitation programmes in Albania

30 June - 4 July 2014, Tirana, Albania: In the context of the programme on social inclusion implemented by the Albania One UN Coherence Fund, and in close coordination with the Albanian Prison Administration, UNODC is implementing a programme's component focused on enhancing the prospects of a successful reintegration of prisoners upon release, in particular by means of strengthening respective rehabilitation services and programmes in Albanian prisons.

To this end, a UNODC expert mission visited Albania with the goal of assessing the principle objective of identifying the necessary contribution to the successful reintegration of prisoners into society upon release. During the stay, the mission met with the senior officials of Prison Administration, representatives of the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth, civil society organizations and visited six prisons setting across the country including a female prison.

The mission also attended a National Conference on Prison Reform in Albania organized by the General Directorate of Prison Administration and had a meeting with the UN Resident Coordinator in Albania.

A comprehensive 'social reintegration' assessment report will be drafted and launched in Tirana at the end of September 2014 which is expected to include a range of different measures in order to have maximum effect, including diversion from the criminal justice process, non-custodial sanctions and interventions to support former prisoners following release, and purposeful activities and rehabilitation programmes in prisons, including assisting with the planning and implementation of continuum of care and support in the community.

This programme component implemented by UNODC is generously supported by the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) through UN Coherence Fund.

 

Fifth meeting of the Steering Committee of the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe takes place in Vienna

30 June 2014, Vienna: The fifth meeting of the Steering Committee of the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe (2012-2015) was held in the Vienna International Centre.

The meeting was opened by Mr. Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of UNODC, who noted in his speech that the participation of many senior representatives and Ambassadors demonstrated the commitment displayed by all partners in furthering cooperation in South Eastern Europe. Mr. Fedotov appreciated support of the countries of the region in the delivery of the Regional Programme, as well as the donor contributions. He noted the tangible results with regard to the implementation of the Programme, in an integrated manner, based on effective and efficient action, as well as leveraging the experience and expertise in the region. In particular, he recalled the UNODC report on South Eastern European trafficking routes which is now widely used by countries in the region and beyond, the UNODC-WCO Global Container Control Programme in Albania and Montenegro, and now in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the UNODC work to confront corruption, especially in the context of the EU accession processes in the region, the good cooperation in the areas of human trafficking and migrant smuggling, as well as the outcomes of the implementation of drug use prevention and treatment programmes. The Executive Director also referred to new areas of work in the region, including anti-money laundering, social inclusion and fostering gender perspective. Mr. Fedotov underscore the UNODC's Inter-Regional Drug Control Approach, the "Networking the Networks" initiative and welcomed the participation of representatives of the regional organizations in the meeting - for the first time in the Steering Committee history. Finally, the Executive Director noted that in maintaining the Regional Programme in Vienna, UNODC is proving to be cost effective and efficient. He welcomed further cooperation of all partners under the Regional Programme's umbrella.

The Ambassadors and senior representatives of the countries of the region, partner and donor countries have also provided their opening remarks and welcomed the Regional Programme, underscoring that UNODC has managed to integrate itself into the plethora of initiatives undertaken by other partners without duplication. The countries of the region confirmed the ownership of the Regional Programme which is extremely important for UNODC. The representatives have underlined different thematic areas which were active in their countries and results of this work. They have also expressed appreciation to the donors of the Regional Programme and encouraged the continuation of their support.

UNODC has presented progress of the Regional Programme in the first half of 2014, by Sub-Programme, and demonstrated the delivery of the workplan which was approved by the last PSC meeting in November 2013.

In the session on the review of partnership opportunities, the regional organizations have made their statements and presented their work and their cooperation with UNODC. Statements were delivered by senior officials from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC), Secretariat of the Police Cooperation Convention for South Eastern Europe (PCC SEE), Centre for Security Cooperation (RACVIAC), Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), as well as on behalf of the Pompidou Group of the Council of Europe.

The next meeting of the Steering Committee is to be held in November 2014.

          

 

RACVIAC holds Seminar on Effective Practices of the Implementation of UNSCR 1540

26-28 June, Rakitje, Zagreb, Croatia: RACVIAC - Centre for Security Cooperation, in cooperation with the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) and the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, organized a seminar on Effective Practices of the Implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 (UNSCR 1540). Around 30 participants took part in the seminar, including the RACVIAC member countries and representatives of relevant international bodies such as the 1540 Committee, UNODC, International Atomic Energy Agency, Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, WHO and OSCE.

UNSCR 1540 requires every state to criminalize the involvement of various forms of non-state actors in weapons of mass destruction and related activities in their national legislation and to enforce such legislation. The Committee established pursuant to the UNSCR 1540 is tasked to report on the implementation of UNSCR 1540 and to identify effective practices, templates and guidance to be used by States on a voluntary basis in implementing the Resolution.

UNSCR 1540 can be downloaded here.

The implementation UNSCR 1540 has received special attention in the European region where the states made efforts in preparation and submission of voluntary National Implementation Action Plans to the 1540 Committee, while Croatia and Poland conducted the first 1540 Peer Review in October 2013.

Following a successful execution of a pilot project activity on this topic in September last year, RACVIAC organized a similar event to support the implementation of UNSCR 1540. The two-day seminar was a good opportunity for national officials and representatives of intergovernmental organizations to discuss and share their practices in the implementation of UNSCR 1540. The purpose of the seminar was to present the Peer Review as an effective practices in its implementation.

http://www.racviac.org/news/index.html

 

UNODC supports regional seminar on prevention of corruption-trends and successful practices in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

26-27 June 2014, Tirana, Albania: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development ( OECD) in cooperation with OSCE, UNDP and UNODC organized the regional expert seminar "Prevention of Corruption - trends and successful practices in Eastern Europe and Central Asia", which brought together more than 40 participants from 20 countries (government and civil society) plus more than 10 experts working for international organizations. The seminar was hosted by the Albanian Minister of State on Local Issues. The participants shared experiences of different national departments in the prevention of corruption and discussed initiatives which worked well and others which had lesser effects. Examples and presentations reached from the public service halls in Georgia and Azerbaijan and State finances as open data in Estonia to various research initiatives from civil society organizations.

 

The seminar was part of the OECD Thematic Cross-Country Review on Prevention of Corruption in Eastern Europe and Central Asia in 2013-2015 (which included another workshop held in Latvia in June 2013). The review will produce a comparative analytical report on corruption prevention in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The preliminary findings were presented at the seminar in Tirana and further inputs were sought from the participants for the finalization of the report (which will be released towards the end of this year/early next year).

The event is in line with the principles of the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe, in particular the Inter-Regional Drug Control Approach. The UNODC representative presented the developments under the UNCAC Review Mechanism, including its upcoming second cycle, as well as led the topics of prevention of corruption, inter alia through improving access to public services and reducing regulatory burden.

 

 UNODC participates in marking of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Serbia

26 June 2014, Belgrade, Serbia: UNODC participated in a conference which presented results, achievements and recommendations of an EU Project 'Implementation of Strategy for Fight against Drugs (supply and reduction component)'. The conference was planned and became the key event in Serbia related to the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, having been attended by the Minister of Interior, Minister of Health, senior representatives of national institutions, Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Ambassadors of European states and others.

The message of the UNODC Executive Director has been read out by a UNODC expert and reference to the release of the World Drug Report was made. UNODC experts also distributed the World Drug Report press release in English and in Serbian.

http://rs.one.un.org/news.php?id=472
http://rs.one.un.org/news.php?id=470

 

Marking the 2014 International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Skopje

26 June 2014, Skopje, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: The UNODC Office in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has marked the United Nations International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

The message of the UNODC Executive Director and the United Nations Secretary-General were published on the UNDP web page in English

http://www.mk.undp.org/content/the_former_yugoslav_republic_of_macedonia/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2014/06/26/statement-from-mr-yury-fedotov-executive-director-of-unodc-on-international-day-against-drug-abuse-and-illicit-trafficking-/

http://www.mk.undp.org/content/the_former_yugoslav_republic_of_macedonia/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2014/06/26/message-of-the-un-secretary-general-on-the-international-day-against-drug-abuse-and-illicit-trafficking-/

The word on the Day was tweeted on https://twitter.com/UNDPMK

 

Marking of 26 June and Presentation of the UNODC Report on Illicit Drug Trade through South Eastern Europe in Bosnia and Herzegovina

26 June 2014, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina: Following the official presentation in Vienna in March 2014, a presentation of the UNODC Report on Illicit Drug Trade through South Eastern Europe was held inSarajevo on 26 June 2014.

The event was hosted by the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina and gathered representatives of this ministry, as well as Ministry of Civil Affairs, Border Police, Indirect Taxation Authority, Direction for Coordination of Police Bodies, Brèko District Police Administration, Federal Prosecutor's Office of Federation Bosnia and Herzegovina, FBiH Ministry of Interior, RS Ministry of Interior, RS Ministry of Health and Social Policy, Prosecutor's Office of BiH, RS Prosecutor's Office. All participants were provided with copies of the report as well as its partial unofficial translation and other materials.

Preceding the presentation of the Report, the UNODC representative provided a presentation of the overview of the UNODC general mandate and areas of work, as well as past, current and future activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, highlighting the work under the Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe and the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme. Furthermore, importance of the regional cooperation was pointed out during the discussion on trafficking routes through Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the role and efforts of law enforcement agencies and aspects of successfulness vs. available reports.

In subsequent discussions, all participants agreed that the Report presents a very good summary of available information assembled throughout the South Eastern European region and that it reflects the realistic situation with illicit drugs trafficking in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the region. The importance of the link between the work of the police agencies in making seizures, analyses of the forensic laboratories and the quality of analyses provided to prosecution offices was also discussed.

The presentation was scheduled for 26 June to use an opportunity and mark the 2014 International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. In this context, part of the event was devoted to marking the International Day. Statements of the UNODC Executive Director and the UN Secretary General were read out. Participants' attention was also directed to the new World Drug Report 2014 released on the same day.

Furthermore, the information on marking of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking was posted at the UN BiH website and shared with all UN agencies represented in BiH for their information and further application:

http://www.un.ba/novost/10642/drug-abuse-still-responsible-for-the-loss-of-200000-lives-every-year

as well as at the website of the Ministry of Civil Affairs BiH (MoCA):

http://www.mcp.gov.ba/org_jedinice/sektor_zdravstvo/default.aspx?langTag=bs-BA&template_id=108&pageIndex=1

MoCA also provided an information package, including the UN statements and campaign logo to entities' and cantonal ministries of health for their further use and application. This information was further posted on their respective websites in some instances

http://www.zjzusk.com.ba/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=188:meunarodni-dan-borbe-protiv-zloupotrebe-droga-i-nezakonite-trgovine-drogama-26062014&catid=35:novosti&Itemid=37

Marking of 26 June in Bosnia and Herzegovina is evident also on the websites of the NGOs active in the field of drug prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, who are making their own important contribution for this International Day

http://www.rtvtk.ba/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&catid=81%3Aeurope&id=15228%3Au-tuzli-obiljeen-meunarodni-dan-borbe-protiv-droge&Itemid=197

http://proslavi-oporavak.ba/medjunarodni-dan-borbe-protiv-ovisnosti/

http://www.bhrt.ba/vijesti/bih/medunarodni-dan-borbe-protiv-zloupotrebe-krijumcarenja-droge/

The above approach allowed to bring together the elements of both supply and demand reduction into the marking of 26 June in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

 

 

4PRESS RELEASE UNDER EMBARGO 14.00. CET, 26 JUNE 2014  

Global drug use prevalence stable, says UNODC World Drug Report 2014 

26 June 2014, Vienna, Austria (UNODC): Drug use prevalence is stable around the world, according to the 2014 World Drug Report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), with around 243 million individuals, or 5 per cent of the world's population aged 15-64 having used an illicit drug in 2012.  Problem drug users meanwhile numbered about 27 million, roughly 0.6 per cent of the world's adult population, or 1 in every 200 people.

Launching the report in Vienna today, the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of UNODC, appealed for a stronger focus on the health and human rights of all drug users, but particularly those who inject drugs and are living with HIV.  "There remain serious gaps in service provision. In recent years only one in six drug users globally has had access to or received drug dependence treatment services each year", he said, stressing that some 200,000 drug-related deaths had occurred in 2012.

The UNODC chief said sustainable success in drug control required firm international commitment. A balanced and comprehensive approach addressing both supply and demand should be backed up by evidence-based responses focusing on prevention, treatment, social rehabilitation and integration. "This is particularly important as we move towards the Special Session of the General Assembly on the world drug problem in 2016", Mr. Fedotov stated. He also stressed that controlled substances should be made more widely available for medical purposes, including for ensuring access to pain medication, while preventing their misuse and diversion for illicit ends.

Deadly opioid substitutes, shrinking global cocaine supply and mixed picture of cannabis use

The surge in opium production in Afghanistan represented a setback, said Mr. Fedotov, since the world's largest opium poppy-grower had increased its area under cultivation by 36 per cent from 154,000 hectares in 2012 to 209,000 hectares in 2013.  With a crop yield of some 5,500 tons, Afghanistan accounted for up to 80 per cent of global opium production. In Myanmar, the area under opium poppy cultivation covered 57, 800 hectares, continuing the increase in cultivation begun after 2006. In 2013, the global production of heroin also rebounded to the high levels witnessed in 2008 and 2011.

The US, Oceania and some European and Asian countries have seen users switching between heroin and pharmaceutical opioids, a trend largely dictated by low prices and accessibility; but whereas dependent opioid users in the US are switching from  pharmaceutical opioids to  heroin, users in some European countries are replacing heroin with synthetic opioids.

The global availability of cocaine fell as production declined from 2007 to 2012.   Cocaine use remained high in North America, though decreasing since 2006. Whereas cocaine consumption and trafficking appear to be increasing in South America, Africa has already witnessed emerging cocaine use due to the rise in trafficking through that continent, while greater spending power has made some Asian countries vulnerable to cocaine use. 

Globally, cannabis use seems to be down but a perception of lower health risks has led to more consumption in North America. Although it is too early to understand the effects of new regulatory frameworks making the recreational use of cannabis legal in some states of the US and Uruguay under certain conditions, more people are seeking treatment for cannabis-related disorders in most regions in the world, including North America.

Seizures of methamphetamine more than doubled globally between 2010 and 2012. Methamphetamine manufacture expanded once again in North America, with a large increase in the number of meth laboratories dismantled in the US and Mexico. Of the 144 tons of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) seized globally, half were intercepted in North America and a quarter in East and South-East Asia.  The number of unregulated new psychoactive substances on the global market more than doubled to 348 from 2009 to 2013.

Controlling precursors, curtailing the supply of illicit drugs

The globalization of the chemical trade has made it easier to divert chemicals from legal to illegal uses.  However, the control of precursors, the chemicals needed to manufacture plant-based or synthetic drugs, has tangibly curbed such diversion.

Between 2007 and 2012, 15 per cent of diverted acetic anhydride, used to manufacture heroin, and 15 per cent of potassium permanganate, used to produce cocaine, were intercepted.  During that period, seizures of amphetamine and methamphetamine precursors were more than twice as high as seizures of the drugs themselves. Declines in the use of substances such as LSD and ecstasy in recent years can also be partly attributed to improvements in precursor control, which keeps the price of diverted chemicals high and raises the production costs of drugs.  In Afghanistan, acetic anhydride commanded up to $430 per litre in 2011, up from $8 in 2002, but it cost $1.50 per litre in the world's licit markets.

As progress has been made in tracking down precursors, criminals have turned to new tactics, such as creating front companies and diverting precursors within countries to circumvent international controls.  New unregulated "pre-precursors" have rapidly emerged as substitutes for the controlled precursors used to produce ATS.  Mr. Fedotov urged utmost vigilance: "Monitoring global chemical flows is especially important with the rising manufacture and trafficking of synthetic drugs, which cannot be controlled with traditional supply reduction approaches such as crop eradication", he said.  "A robust international control system must remain a key supply control strategy".

For information, please contact:

Preeta Bannerjee, Public Information Officer: UNODC

T: (+43-699) 1459-5764 | M: (+43-699) 1459-5764 | E: preeta.bannerjee {at} unodc.org

 

  http://rs.one.un.org/news.php?id=472

 

UNODC consults with women's groups on the draft of the new Law on Whistleblowers Protection

25 June 2014, Tirana, Albania: UNODC hosted today a roundtable workshop to discuss the draft Albanian whistleblower protection law 2014 and how it would facilitate the reporting of acts of corruption by women. The workshop brought together representatives from the Office of the National Coordinator on Anti-Corruption, police, women's groups, civil society organizations, academics, UNDP and UNWOMEN, to discuss the legal reform project and to draft recommendations in regard to the reform.

At the opening of the workshop, Director of Cabinet, Minister of State on Local Issues/National Coordinator on Anti-Corruption, explained the steps which had been taken in regard to the preparation of the draft law and the estimated timeline of the next steps, including a consultative meeting wit civil society around mid-July 2014.