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 UNODC participates in the Bled Strategic Forum

1-2 September 2014, Bled, Slovenia: UNODC has, for the first time, participated in the annual meeting of the Bled Strategic Forum.

Over the past nine years, the Bled Strategic Forum, organized jointly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia and the Centre for European Perspective, has grown into a successful platform for high-level strategic dialogue among leaders from the private and public sectors on key issues facing Europe and the world in the 21st century.

The agenda of the Bled Strategic Forum and further information thereon are available at http://www.bledstrategicforum.org/bsf_2014/agenda

               

 Photo: Blejski strateški forum 2014 - panel o povezovanju Zahodnega Balkana. Tamino Petelinšek/STA

UNODC - Lions Quest "Skills for adolescence"pilot workshops to tackle a variety of risk factors including substance use held in Serbia

20-22 and 23-25 August 2014, Belgrade, Serbia: The first and second pilot workshops on drug use prevention among school children were organized in Belgrade by UNODC and the Lions Club International Foundation in accordance with the recently signed cooperation agreement between the two agencies which avails prevention programmes in Serbian elementary schools  in order to tackle a variety of risk factors including substance use.

The participants of the workshops (15 in each) came from different backgrounds, including pedagogical and psychological. The events were attended also by representatives of the Belgrade city municipalities and Ministry of education, science and technological development that have made the selection of the participants from the schools where this programme will be continued in the course of the 2014-2015 school year.

The participants demonstrated keen interest in the Lions Quest materials "Skills for Adolescence" (SFA). The methods and the teaching strategies of the programme and the link with Social and Emotional Learning and the prevention for students of ages 10-14 were well received by the trainees (for more information: http://www.lions-quest.org/ ).

All participants successfully completed the trainings and were granted with the title of educators for the programme..

                

                

The workplan for the future is as follows:
· three additional workshops  resulting in 15 trained educators per workshop;

· trained educators will continue with the implementation in their elementary schools, working with the group of approximately 20 students during the entire academic year;

· as part of a parallel training of trainers process, trainer candidates will be gradually engaged in the process of conducting workshops with a Senior trainer monitoring, evaluation and supervision; 

· the 2014-2015 school year's programme will follow the 40 session implementation cycle, while respecting the Serbian school year period of 36 weeks. The programme will be implemented with a group of adolescence in the elementary schools in the city municipalities of New Belgrade and Zvezdara from September to June 2014. The next, third, workshop is planned for 9-11 September 2014 with 15 new educators to be trained.

 

               

               

             

UNODC and the Lions Club International Foundation launch a pilot "LionsQuest - Skills for adolescence" programme in Serbia 

15 July 2014, Belgrade, Serbia:  As a result of the collaboration between United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Lions Club International Foundation, a strong evidence based prevention tool will be added to the prevention programming of Serbia. This programme called LionsQuest (Skills for Adolescents) is a school based programme delivered by teachers that works on improving the social and life skills of students in order to prevent a variety of risk factors including substance use.

Through this programme, Serbian students, families, schools and communities are further engaging in supporting a community that cares and works on promoting positive behaviour. The programme also provides opportunities for young people to learn the essential skills needed to lead a healthy and productive life. It promotes a healthy approach to life free from the harms of alcohol and other drugs. Serbia will be the first country in the South Eastern European region to benefit from the piloting of LionsQuest. Many countries in the region are already involved in the UNODC global project "Prevention of drug use, HIV/AIDS and crime among young people through family skills training programmes in low- and middle-income countries".

The launch of the LionsQuest programme took place on 15 July 2014 in Belgrade and was attended by a delegation representing the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, Republican expert committee for prevention and control of drug addiction, Institute of public health of Serbia and the city municipalities Zvezdara and Novi Beograd, as well as NGOs.  

The launch included a description of the value added and the international knowledge and expertise of the LionsQuest Skills for Adolescents by the LionsQuest main office in Chicago, USA. It also covered a presentation on how this programme moves the Serbian national prevention programming closer in line with the International Standards on Drug Use Prevention promoted by UNODC. At the launch, UNODC presented the International Standards and how the family skills programme (SFP 10-14) and the coming LionsQuest programme fit within the matrix of evidence based programmes recommended by the standards.

The first of a series of five trainings of Serbian teachers on Skills for Adolescents will commence in August 2014. This training will lead to a direct implementation of the 40 sessions of this programme in 20 elementary schools in the municipalities of New Belgrade and Zvezdara during the following academic year. Over 75 teachers will be trained, over 1000 students are expected to benefit from the sessions.

This programme was made possible through the financial and technical support from Lions Club International Foundation and will be coordinated by UNODC.

http://rs.one.un.org/news.php?id=475

           

 

Bosnia and Herzegovina formally joins UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme

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.

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.

          

 

UNODC conducts a country visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina in the context of reviewing the implementation of UNCAC

1-3 July 2014, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina: UNODC conducted a country visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina in the context of reviewing the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (fourth year of the first review cycle on the implementation of the Convention).
The round-table discussions in the context of this country visit were held in Sarajevo, involving Hungary and Portugal as reviewing States parties and UNODC as the Secretariat of the Mechanism for the Review of Implementation of UNCAC. The objective of the country visit was for the reviewing States parties to engage in direct dialogue on the review of implementation of the Convention at the domestic level with the relevant experts and representatives from national institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, both at the state and entities levels. The institutions from the state level and of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Brcko District were present, while the authorities from the Republika Srpska were unable to attend the discussions.
During the country visit, the visiting experts had meetings with officials from national institutions, both at the state and entities levels, involved in the implementation of anti-corruption measures and policies, as well as with representatives from Transparency International in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the NGO Anti-corruption Network ACCOUNT.
As a result of the country visit, and after receiving additional material, as agreed with the national authorities, a country review report, based on the exchange of information and views during the country visit, is to be drafted to reflect the conclusions and findings of the round-table discussions. The draft executive summary of the country review report will be prioritized and eventually finalized in consultations with the national authorities. Upon finalization of the executive summary, the country review report will be adjusted and completed accordingly. The report will identify successes, good practices and challenges and make observations for the implementation of the Convention. Where appropriate, the report will include the identification of technical assistance needs for the purpose of improving the implementation of the Convention. The executive summary of the report will be translated in all United Nations official languages. The country review report itself shall remain confidential, unless the country under review decides to make it available in the public domain.

 

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 Ambassads 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.

                   

UNODC subsequently highlighted in which ways the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) addressed the subject of reporting acts of corruption and referred to other international recommendations on the subject of whistle-blower protection and good practice examples.

The workshop was a follow-up event to a previous UNODC workshop on "Women and Corruption in Albania: Encouraging Reports of Corruption and Protecting Whistleblowers", held on 10 April 2014, as the result of which a list of proposals and recommendations was drafted with regard to measures which should be taken to ensure that women are able to come forward when affected by corruption.

Against the backdrop of these recommendations, in particular the recommendations on the protection of whistleblowers, the workshop participants now screened the draft legislation and discussed how it addressed the priorities and concerns of women's groups. As a result, a report is being drafted, which includes the comments raised by the workshop participants and which will be presented to the Government during the planned consultative process.

                   

The workshop was part of a series of Women and Corruption events, taken forward by UNODC in Albania aimed at encouraging women to come forward with reports of acts of corruption. It was supported by the UN Coherence Fund through the financial contribution of the Swedish Government.

 

Regional pilot training on trafficking in persons for criminal justice professionals of South Eastern Europe

24-25 June 2014, Belgrade, Serbia: UNODC andthe Judicial Academy  of the Republic of Serbia organized a Regional pilot training on trafficking in persons for criminal justice professionals of South Eastern Europe.

The initiative to develop and pilot the South Eastern Europe Trafficking in Persons Curriculum (SEE TiP Curriculum) is based on the results of the Regional Conference on criminal justice response to trafficking in persons which was organized by UNODC in Belgrade in October 2012 and one of its conclusions (i.e. that South Eastern European Judicial Training Institutions will initiate work on a regional curriculum on anti-human trafficking).

The aim of the SEE TiP Curriculum is to enhance harmonisation of training and subsequent practical work of criminal justice professionals on trafficking in persons cases in South Eastern Europe, with a focus on the issues that are identified as important in judicial and training practice of the region.

After the regional workshop in Budva, Montenegro, on 27-29 May 2014 which gathered focal points nominated by Judicial Training Institutions from the South Eastern Europe (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, as well as Kosovo under the UNSCR 1244) and supported the concept of development of the SEE TiP Curriculum, training methodology and materials, the two-day training event in Belgrade tested practical implementation and effectiveness of the SEE TiP Curriculum. The Belgrade training was very practical, reviewed case studies and presented information in an interactive way ensuring hands-on approach.

 

UNODC presents the report 'The Illicit Drug Trade through South-Eastern Europe' to senior counterparts in Serbia

18 June 2014, Belgrade, Serbia: UNODC held a presentation of the report 'The Illicit Drug Trade through South-Eastern Europe' at the Ministry of Interior in Belgrade.

The presentation was attended by senior law enforcement officers and managers of the Serbian Ministry of Interior and the Customs Administration, Assistant Minister of Justice and officials from the Ministry of Health.

The report was prepared by UNODC and the countries of the South Eastern European region with the generous contribution of Turkey and launched in Vienna at the margins of the 57 th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. The report can be reached through the following link: http://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/Studies/Illicit_DT_through_SEE_REPORT_2014_web.pdf

Subsequently, the report was unofficially partially translated into some of the languages of the region and its presentations are being organized in Podgorica, Belgrade and Sarajevo.  

In Belgrade, the UNODC officer presented the main findings of the report with the focus on heroin trafficking and the position of Serbia on the Balkan Route. The participants agreed with the findings of the report that 'heroin seizures in Serbia have dropped in the recent period, which is in line with the overall trend in South-Eastern Europe' that cannabis is increasingly becoming a major problem, and also that 'larger Serbian trafficking groups have moved away from heroin towards cocaine smuggling from South America to Europe'. The participants thanked UNODC for the report and said that it gives a good overall insight into the issue of illicit drugs in the region and in Serbia.

The participants of the meeting also discussed methodologies of data collection in South Eastern European countries in general, as well as other drug control related topics - from operational work and sharing operational data with international police bodies to strategy and policy in this field. Furthermore, the topic of the upcoming first drug survey in Serbia was raised, as well as the issue of increasing drug consumption in the country. Finally, the question of verdicts in drug-related cases was also mentioned. The meeting also recalled the UNODC-led Paris Pact Initiative, including its Drug Monitoring Platform.

http://www.mup.gov.rs/cms_lat/aktivnosti.nsf/180614-prezentacija.h

http://rs.one.un.org/news.php?id=469

          

UNODC and WCO hand over equipment to the Joint Port Control Unit and Anti-Drug Service in Albania 

17 June 2014, Tirana, Albania: In partnership with the Office of the General Director of the Albanian State Police, UNODC organized a hand-over ceremony of 13,200 Mercury Evidence Bags of various sizes. The evidence bags are an essential component of any crime scene investigation and forensic supplies and ensure correct collection, storing and documentation of seized drugs and other types of evidence which will then be used in court. The provided evidence bags bear the logo of the Albanian State Police.

The ceremony took place at the Headquarters of the State Police and was attended by the General Director of the State Police, the Chargé d'affaires of Switzerland / Head of the Swiss Development Cooperation in Albania, the UN Resident Coordinator in Albania, representatives of the Albanian State Police, donors and other partners, as well as media.

In his address, the General Director of the State Police stated that Albania is seeing tangible improvements in the fight against illicit trafficking in drugs. He mentioned that the UNODC-WCO contribution comes at the right time and referred to recent police operations to suppress illicit cultivation of Cannabis Sativa. The General Director also acknowledged long-standing practical cooperation with UNODC in enhancing control measures and capacities of the State Police.  

 

                   

                                 

The representative of Switzerland noted that the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme is assessed as an effective mechanism, and the UN Resident Coordinator pointed out that the UNODC assistance takes into consideration Albania's accession to the European Union by fulfilling the main conditions set to the Government: integrated border management, fight against organized crime and countering corruption.

The hand-over protocol was signed by the General Director of the State Police and the UN Resident Coordinator on behalf of UNODC. This contribution is part of the support offered to the Albanian Government under the Container Control Programme generously funded by the Swiss Development Cooperation.

  

Helpline in support of victims of crime launched in Albania

16 June 2014, Tirana, Albania: A 24-hour free telephone line, 116 006 , was set up and launched for victims of crime. This national helpline offers support and services to victims of crime, primarily victims and potential victims of trafficking, and is supported by UNODC as part of its continued partnership with the Office of the National Coordinator on Human Trafficking Issues. The ultimate goal of the helpline is to curb the number of trafficked women and children in Albania.

The ceremony, which also marked the launch of the application Report and Save, supported also by World Vision International organization, was attended by the Prime Minister of Albania H.E. Mr. Edi Rama, the Minister of Interior, the Ambassador of the USA in Tirana, the UN Resident Coordinator in Albania, the Acting Head of the EU Delegation and other dignitaries.

UNODC in close partnership with the Office of the National Coordinator on Human Trafficking Issues has carefully examined all elements of the helpline, in particular the needs of the victims and the involvement of the local communities in the reporting of offenses. This approach was specifically adapted to ensure the sustainability of the helpline and to prioritize prevention over prosecution and protection.

                   

                   

Speaking on behalf of UNODC, the UN Resident Coordinator in Albania stated that the free helpline for victims of crime was a significant practical achievement. The line will be not only help victims but also become a tool in support of law enforcement agencies and researchers assessing the criminality rate, as well as the performance of the police in addressing the reported cases. The Resident Coordinator noted that the UN believed that the new line would be synonymous with trust, ethics, advice and service.

UNODC in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior of Albania will be engaged in an active public awareness campaign basing on the premise that fight against human trafficking, drug trafficking and other forms of crime are critical issues impacting the overall situation in the country.

Setting up the helpline is an excellent example of UNODC's partnership with other international agencies in Albania in areas of mutual interest.

For further information: 

www.un.org.al

www.facebook.com/UnitedNationsAlbania    

www.twitter.com/UN_Albania

 

Albanian law enforcement officers meet with Montenegro counterparts

10 June 2014, Podgorica, Montenegro: A delegation from the Department of the Fight against Organized Crime of the General Directorate of the State Police of Albania accompanied by the Head of the Joint Port Control Unit of Durres visited Podgorica on an official visit organized with the support of UNODC. The visit followed the recent successful seizure of 250 kilograms of cocaine by Montenegro authorities supposedly destined for Albania.  

                   

                   

The visit was aimed at discussing details of the recent operation as well as exploring new ways of exchanging and sharing of information and undertaking of joint operations.

In the course of meetings between senior officials from the police and customs authorities of the two countries it was agreed that sharing information is critical in delivering efficient results of work. Enhancement of cooperation among different levels of law enforcement agencies was also reviewed and the parties agreed to consider application of specialized police techniques, such as undercover methods and controlled deliveries.

Under the Container Control Programme, UNODC and WCO provide technical support and advice on better port security in both Albania and Montenegro.

 

UNODC and the Ministry of Interior of Austria convene talks 

6 June 2014, Vienna: The UNODC Deputy Executive Director and the Head of the Criminal Intelligence Service of the Republic of Austria led today talks between the experts in the areas of human trafficking, organized crime, corruption and money laundering. The talks were resulting from the meeting between the UNODC Executive Director and the Minister of Interior of the Republic of Austria which took place two months earlier. The parties have briefed each other on the UNODC work in South Eastern Europe and in other parts of the world and agreed to keep contact in the future for the coordination of law enforcement work and mutual support.

 

           

The copyright belongs to the BMI            
 

UNODC and RACVIAC convene talks 

5 June 2014, Vienna: The UNODC Deputy Executive Director and the Director of RACVIAC - Centre for Security Cooperation in South Eastern Europe - convened talks in Vienna in order to review the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two agencies at the end of 2013. UNODC and RACVIAC agreed to continue coordinating their efforts in order to ensure non-duplication.

In particular, RACVIAC has invited UNODC to join their planned activities in the areas of countering human trafficking and prevention of corruption. RACVIAC has already started coordinating these activities with other relevant regional organizations, including the Regional Anti-Corruption Initiative (RAI) and the Migration, Asylum, Refugees Regional Initiative (MARRI). Combination of regional and global expertise will allow to maximize the practical output of the activities.

 

Presentation of the UNODC report 'The Illicit Drug Trade Through South-Eastern Europe' in Montenegro

3 June 2014, Podgorica, Montenegro: The presentation of the UNODC report 'The Illicit Drug Trade Through South-Eastern Europe' took place in the Ministry of Interior of Montenegro / Police Directorate and was facilitated by the member of the Steering Committee of the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe.

Attendees of the Podgorica presentation were senior law enforcement officials from the national authorities, including the Police Directorate, the Border Police, the Administration for Prevention of Money Laundering, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, the Appellate Court and the office of the State Prosecutor.

The national counterparts have welcomed the report and emphasized its usefulness. The UNODC expert has handed out 20 copies of the partial unofficial translation of the report and presented its main findings. It was noted that in addition to other public reports that could be found on this subject, the UNODC report was the most comprehensive one so far to treat the Balkan route in its entire context. It was also stressed that the report was useful for anyone interested in getting a better understanding of the dynamics along the entire Balkan route.

Montenegro's position in the Balkan route was also discussed and the participants agreed with the findings of the Report that 'a decline in heroin business is observable' and that 'in contrast, cannabis shipments transported through the country and continuing northward are on the increase.'

The launch of the report took place in Vienna on 18 March 2014 and it is available in 

http://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/Studies/Illicit_DT_through_SEE_REPORT_2014_web.pdf

 

                                                                               

 

Regional Workshop on developing the regional curriculum on trafficking in persons for criminal justice professionals of South Eastern Europe

Przno/Budva, Montenegro, 27-29 May 2014: UNODC and the Judicial Training Centre of Montenegro organized a Regional Workshop on developing the regional curriculum on trafficking in persons for criminal justice professionals of South Eastern Europe.

The initiative to develop the South Eastern European trafficking in persons (TiP) Curriculum is based on the results of the Regional Conference on criminal justice response to trafficking in persons organized by UNODC in Belgrade in October 2012. Among the decisions of the Conference was the initiation of work with Judicial Training Institutions from South Eastern Europe on a regional curriculum on anti-human trafficking.

The aim of the South Eastern European TiP Curriculum is to enhance harmonisation of training and subsequent practical work of criminal justice professionals on trafficking in persons cases in the region, with a focus on issues identified as important in judicial and training practice of the South Eastern European countries.

The Budva Regional Workshop gathered focal points nominated by Judicial Training Institutions from South Eastern Europe (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo under the UNSCR 1244, as well as Croatia) to develop the TiP Curriculum, to elaborate training methodology and materials and to plan a two-day pilot training in June 2014, based on the South Eastern European TiP Curriculum with the aim of testing its practical implementation and effectiveness.

Participants of the Regional Workshop studied human trafficking cases and addressed such topics as

  • risk assessment;
  • investigation - objectives, forms, and opportunities;
  • specialist techniques;
  • crime scene examination;
  • countering defence strategies and others.
    
                                                              
 
                                                                                                                          

 

UNODC participates in the 8 th Meeting of the SELEC Council

29 May 2014, Bucharest, Romania: UNODC participated in the 8 th Meeting of the Council of the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC) along with over 60 representatives of the law enforcement institutions from the SELEC Member States and guests from INTERPOL, RCC, Italy, UK and USA.

In the course of the meeting, the SELEC Council examined and approved the Annual Activity Report for 2013, the Audit Report for 2013 and the Budget for 2015, and discussed cooperation agreements with the USA and INTERPOL. The Council members granted the Operational Partner status both to USA and INTERPOL and mandated the Director General of SELEC to sign the agreements.

UNODC and SELEC have a Memorandum of Understanding signed in December 2012. The next meeting of the two organizations is planned to take place in Vienna on 30 June 2014 at the margins of the 5 th meeting of the Steering Committee of the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe.

 

UNODC participates in the Meeting of SEECP states' Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs

29 May 2014, Bucharest, Romania: UNODC participated in the meeting of Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs of the South East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) states, organized by the Romanian Chairmanship of the SEECP. In addition to the Ministers and senior representatives of the SEECP states, the meeting was attended by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, the Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council, the Vice-President of EUROJUST, and the Director General of SELEC. On the occasion, the SEECP Chairman in Office conveyed a message on the importance of strengthening regional cooperation in South Eastern Europe, as a decisive element for the candidate states or states aspiring to EU accession to continue drawing closer to the Union. The Romanian official underscored the fact that the meeting is one of the actions meant to contribute to implementing the priorities of the Romanian Chairmanship in Office of SEECP. The Romanian official expressed the belief that the ministerial meeting in Bucharest would contribute to developing a comprehensive Regional Action Plan addressing such key areas as fighting corruption and organized crime, migration management and confiscation of the proceeds of crime.

The UNODC Regional Representative for South Eastern Europe informed the meeting of the UNODC ongoing and planned work in the region, inter alia, in the above areas. 

The SEECP is a non-institutionalized regional cooperation structure established in 1996 and managed by the states of the region. Its objects are:

  • consolidating stability, security and good neighbourly relations;
  • strengthening the multilateral economic cooperation of the region, with a special accent on the cross-border cooperation, modernization of the transport, communications and energy infrastructure, the promotion of trade and investments;
  • promoting cooperation in humanitarian, social and cultural fields;
  • cooperation in the field of justice, fighting organised crime and illicit trafficking of drugs and weapons, as well as fighting terrorism.

 

UNODC supports the drafting of a new Strategy on the fight against human trafficking and trafficking in children in Albania 

5-6 May 2014, Durres, Albania: UNODC supports the Ministry of Interior of Albania in drafting of a new Strategy on the fight against human trafficking and trafficking in children (2014-2017). As part of these efforts, UNODC, in cooperation with the Office of the National Coordinator on Anti-Human Trafficking Issues, organized a retreat (workshop) in Durres on 5-6 May 2014. The objectives of the retreat were:

-     to provide information which could be used as background for the Strategy document;

-     to discuss the framework for drafting the document;

-     to assign tasks to the different collaborators; and

-     to begin the process of drafting with information collected by the participants on identified knowledge gaps.

                    

 

                    

     
               

                 

 

The retreat was attended by 40 participants from various government departments, civil society and international organizations and partners, including OSCE, IOM, PAMECA, ICITAP and ICMPD.

The Deputy Minister of Interior / National Coordinator on Anti-Human Trafficking Issues welcomed the participants, noted that the retreat was the first practical stage of drafting the new Strategy and its Plan of Action, and underscored the need for a consistent approach in this process.            

Participants agreed that the new Strategy should be built on four pillars: prevention, prosecution, protection and coordination. Furthermore, working in groups, in accordance with their areas of expertise, the experts agreed on the need to streamline the roles and processes across government departments and agencies.

At the end of the two-day retreat, the participants confirmed that it has helped with streamlining the drafting process for both the Strategy and its Plan of Action.

The presentations delivered during the retreat and key notes from the audience and group discussions are being consolidated into a report and peer-reviewed.

 Regional workshop on effective protection of victims and witnesses of trafficking in persons in criminal proceedings in the South Eastern Europe

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 29-30 April 2014: The Workshop on Strengthening International Cooperation in Criminal Matters in the South Eastern European (SEE) Countries was held 27-28 November 2012, Serbia, with representatives of the Central Authorities from the SEE countries and regional organizations. Since one of the main conclusions from the workshop was "...to organize a special workshop on improving the position of victims in criminal proceedings in the SEE through focus on avoiding secondary victimization and analyzing possibilities for compensation of victims", the workshop that took place in Sarajevo on 29-30 April 2014, is perceived as a continuation of the exchange of experiences and consultations among criminal justice professionals on a regional level. The conclusions of the Sarajevo regional workshop will be taken into consideration in the drafting of a background paper to a workshop of the Thirteenth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice that will be held in Doha, Qatar, 12-19 April 2015, pursuant to General Assembly resolution 67/184 of 20 December 2012.

The regional workshop was held by UNODC in partnership with the Ministry of Justice of Bosnia and Herzegovina, thanks to financial contribution from France to the UNODC Global Programme against Human Trafficking. The regional workshop has built upon lessons learned and expertise developed as a result of UNODC's field presence in SEE and activities that UNODC carried out under previous projects and also complements on-going UNODC projects and other efforts against human trafficking in the SEE region.

The objective of the workshop was to improve the position of victims in criminal proceedings in the SEE through effective international cooperation with focus on avoiding secondary victimization and analyzing possibilities for compensation of victims.

 The main topics of the workshop were as follows:

  • Compensation for victims of trafficking in persons and related crimes (money laundering, online sexual exploitation of children, corruption of public officials, etc.) - best practices, methods and strategies;
  • Improving the situation of victims of trafficking in persons and related crimes in
    criminal proceedings, especially of minors, including avoiding revictimization;
  • International cooperation in cases of trafficking in persons and related crimes
    (legal framework, trends, patterns and best practices), including the role of competent authorities in obtaining victim or witness evidence from other countries in a manner that ensures their protection and security.

The regional workshop has gathered representatives of central authorities and focal points in prosecution offices for UNTOC and other international legal instruments from SEE, namely from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. Regional organisations and institutions and NGO's from SEE that are active in the field of criminal justice were also represented, namely the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC); the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC); the Secretariat of the Police Cooperation Convention for Southeast Europe (PCC SEE), the Migration, Asylum, Refugees Regional Initiative (MARRI), the SEE Prosecutors' Network (GIZ ORF, EU funded project) and NGO International Forum of Solidarity - EMMAUS (Bosnia and Herzegovina).

The workshop has adopted a list of practical recommendations and conclusions.

                    
  

     

UNODC - WCO Container Control Programme: Technical Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina, 23-24 April 2014: UNODC-WCO mission drew a positive conclusion from the two-day technical mission and meetings with officials of the state-level law enforcement agencies participating in the global Container Control Programme (CCP).

The joint team of the UNODC and WCO officials visited Border Crossing/Customs Point in Bijača, designated site for the future work of the CCP Joint Unit, familiarizing itself with the current state of art developments towards construction of the final premises of the Unit, as well as general situation on prospects of the container traffic through this border crossing between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia (EU).

Furthermore, UNODC-WCO team observed front line level cooperation between border police and customs officers of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia at Bijača that provides a good foundation for further exploring of cooperation modalities through implementation of CCP in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

 

The mission team discussed establishment of the profiling team, its operationalization and follow up arrangements of cooperation with the stakeholders in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Furthermore, the UNODC-WCO team visited Indirect Taxation Authority (ITA) Regional Center in Mostar, observing technical, theoretical and practical work of the law enforcement sector staff of ITA, considering future work and aspects of engagement within the CCP Joint Team.

The CCP received strong backing for the current and future engagement in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as expressed by senior managers of ITA, and continued commitment of all partners to implement programme.

The technical mission will produce a report providing recommendation and guidelines on particular aspects of the CCP implementation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, to be presented to the partners. The engagement of CCP in Bosnia and Herzegovina is funded by the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) / the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). A representative of DCAF participated in the mission.

 

UNODC and WHO facilitate the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Health and Civil Society in Albania

Tirana, 11 April 2014: The signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Albanian Ministry of Health and civil society organizations offering services in the area of drug treatment and care took place in Tirana.

During the ceremony, speeches were delivered by the Deputy Minister of Health, Chief the Addiction Clinic at the Mother Teresa University Hospital Centre and the Presidents of the non-governmental organizations "Aksion Plus", "STOP AIDS" and "Komuniteti Emanuel-Albania". The ceremony was attended by health professionals, civil society activists, UN agencies and media.

The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding is a result of cooperation of national governmental and non-governmental partners in a one-year-long initiative of UNODC and WHO within the framework of a Joint Project on Drug Treatment and Care implemented with a view to support the efforts of Albanian authorities in this area.

Through this partnership and cooperation Memorandum, each entity seeks to improve several important elements of work related to drug treatment, such as the skills of health and social workers; the participation in joint training programmes; and the exchange of professionals, treatment materials and medicaments between them for mutual enhancement of service quality.

The Memorandum is the first cooperation agreement formalized by the Albanian Ministry of Health with the civil society in this area.

                   

               

 

UNODC brings together civil society and government in Albania to support women in reporting corruption 

Tirana, 10 April 2014: UNODC in close cooperation with the Office of the National Coordinator on Anti-Corruption hosted a roundtable workshop bringing together civil society organizations, women's groups, UNDP, UNWOMEN, police and government departments, to identify and discuss ways in which Albanian women can be best supported in coming forward with reports of corruption.

At the opening the workshop, Deputy Minister of Labor, Social Welfare and Youth and the UN Resident Coordinator in Albania underlined how women are more likely to be exposed to bribery and corruption due to their traditional role as the key interface between the family unit and public administration, particularly in sectors such as health, education and social services.

Building on the key conclusions of an earlier UNODC anticorruption conference held in Tirana by UNODC in late 2012, participants held detailed discussions on the current obstacles preventing women from coming forward with reports of acts of corruption and considered how legislative and institutional frameworks can be improved in Albania so as to increase the reporting by women.

              Corruption workshop

Participants were facilitated by UNODC in addressing core themes including reporting tools and mechanisms, awareness-raising activities and the protection of reporting persons. In relation to each of these areas participants agreed upon a set of key observations and recommendations, to be finalized and agreed in an upcoming UNODC report. 

The workshop is a part of UNODC work currently being taken forward in Albania aimed at encouraging women to come forward with reports of acts of corruption. This work was designed to provide a voice to women in the context of the development of a new whistleblower protection law by the Albanian government.

Participants from both government and civil society organizations noted that the workshop and associated follow-up activities will ensure that the views and concerns of women will be reflected in the upcoming legislative reforms.

The series of Women and Corruption workshops is supported by the UN Coherence Fund through the financial contribution of the Swedish Government.

The workshop was widely covered by the media. Top News TV and Ora News TV offered a live broadcast of the event.

              Photo2

 

Partners of UNODC: The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) encourages cooperation between police forces in the Balkans

Opatija, Croatia, 8 April 2014: Since 1999, the SDC has been supporting cross-border cooperation initiatives between the police forces of Western Balkans. Representatives from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo under UNSCR 1244 and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia as well as Switzerland and the Secretariat of the Police Cooperation Convention for South Eastern Europe met on 8 April 2014 at a Ministerial Conference designed to share good practices on the issue.

On the occasion of the Conference, the SDC webpage has published an interview with an Albanian customs officer participating in the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme in Albania, supported by the SDC. The interview can be found under the following link: http://www.deza.admin.ch/en/Home/News/Close_up?itemID=230089 

 

Albanian INSTAT and UNODC Launch Findings of the Survey on Impact of Bribery and Crime on Private Enterprises in Albania 

Tirana, 7 April 2014: The Institute of Statistics of Albania (INSTAT) and UNODC have launched the Survey on Impact of Bribery and Crime on Private Enterprises in the country. The study was prepared by INSTAT and UNODC with the financial support of the EU as part of a broader research project on corruption in Western Balkans which has been previously reported on (please refer to articles below).

The launch was attended by the Director of INSTAT as well as senior officials and representatives of the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice, Economy, Industry and Entrepreneurship, Ministry of Integration, Customs Administration, Taxation Directorate, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the EU Delegation in Tirana, international organizations and media.

The survey was developed using a common and solid methodology which has been developed together with the national partners. The survey reports that corruption is the second most significant obstacle to doing business in Albania, after high taxes. Among other findings based on around 2,000 responses were:

  • The bribery prevalence rate among businesses is 15.7 per cent.
  • Bribe-paying businesses paid an average of 4.6 bribes to public officials in the 12 months prior to the survey.
  • There are some variations in the prevalence of bribery across business sectors in Albania: Accommodation and Food service activities (20.3 per cent); Transportation and Storage (20.1 per cent); Building and Construction (18.7 per cent); Manufacturing, Electricity, Gas and Water supply (14.1 per cent) and Wholesale trade and Retail trade (14 per cent).
  • In Albania, 35.7 per cent of bribes are paid in cash. The mean amount paid per bribe is 53,000 Leke which corresponds to 904 EUR-PPP.
  • The main purposes of paying bribes are to speed up a procedure (39.1 per cent), to make the finalization of a procedure possible (16.8 per cent) and receiving better treatment (7.2 per cent). In addition, 13.5 per cent of bribes paid served no specific immediate purpose.
  • The prevalence rate of bribes paid to public officials is highest for police officers (12.5 per cent), customs officers (12.3 per cent), tax/revenues officers (10.7 per cent) and municipal or provincial officers (10.2 per cent).
  • Only 2.2 per cent of the businesses paying bribes had reported bribery incidents to official authorities in Albania. Over one third (36.2 per cent) of business representatives did not report bribery because they consider there is no need to report bribery as it is common practice to pay or give gifts to public officials. In addition, almost one quarter (23.6 per cent) of respondents stated they did not report bribery because it would be pointless to report it as nobody would care about it.

UNODC commended the Government of Albania for its excellent cooperation in the undertaking of the research and for acknowledging the need to conduct this evidence-based survey as part of an on-going effort to curb corruption. In her address, the UNODC officer noted: "With this study, it is possible to provide concrete informative elements about corruption; we now have a better understanding of the nature of corruption and its impact on the businesses, economic and social development of Albania". Appreciation was also expressed towards the EU which has provided funding for the project.

 

                                                                                                                        

 

                                                                                                                                                           

 

Officers of the Joint Container Control Unit at Durres Port seize 2.4 tonnes of cannabis

Durres, 7 April 2014:  The regional border police exercised a routine control on a "Scania" truck with Macedonian number plates at the ferry terminal of DurresPort. The verification in the Technology, Information and Management System demonstrated that the driver had multiple in and out entries in the territory of the Republic of Albania in the period of 2013-2014. During the interview, the driver could not provide clear responses. In his interview and as per the customs declaration, the driver declared that he was exporting sofas from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to Bari, Italy.

The information as well as the disordered answers made the border police request assistance of the anti-narcotics officers of the Joint Container Control Unit operating at the Port of Durres and established under the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme in February 2013. Equipped with rubber hammer, buster, fiberscope, ladders, key sets and assisted by the counter-narcotics sniffing dog, the officers could seize  2,365 kg 79 gr of Cannabis Sativa concealed inside the sofas to be trafficked to Bari. The case is still under investigation.

This is the second case of excellent results of the officers of the Joint Container Control Unit of the Durres Port. Last year, the Joint Team succeeded in seizing about 8 kg of heroin which was meant to be trafficked to Italy. UNODC and WCO continue to provide support to the Durres Joint Container Control Team under the Joint Global Container Control.

 

UNODC Container Control mission visits Montenegro

Podgorica and Bar, 3 April 2014: UNODC mission has visited Podgorica and Bar in order to meet with Montenegro law enforcement agencies to discuss the establishment of the Joint Port Unit in the port of Bar under the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme (CCP).

The establishing of the Joint Unit and making it operational was discussed. Setting of the Joint Unit will be followed by analysis of the container traffic, agreeing on arrangements for the operational work, and eventually conducting of a practical training at the end of September 2014.

UNODC briefed officials about the CCP developments in Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and possibilities to further explore cooperation with Croatia in this area. Since the port of Bar has a Memorandum of Understanding on the exchange of information with the port of Bari in Italy, ways to further strengthen cooperation with Italian colleagues will also be investigated. 

                                                                                                                            

 

Meeting between UNODC Chief and Austrian Interior Minister focuses on South Eastern Europe, Afghanistan

Vienna, 3 April 2014 (United Nations Information Service): The Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Yury Fedotov, met with the Austrian Minister of the Interior, Johanna Mikl-Leitner, today to discuss UNODC's activities in South Eastern Europe and elsewhere.

After the meeting, Mr. Fedotov said, "I welcome Austria's strong support for our work and UNODC is ready to continue our excellent cooperation in the Balkans under the umbrella of the South Eastern Europe Regional Programme."

"The importance of UNODC's Regional Programme extends far beyond the Balkans," Mr. Fedotov said. "The programme is tightly linked to other regional programmes, particularly in Afghanistan and neighbouring countries, where it is part of our overall integrated approach to drugs and crime."

The so-called Balkans route is one of the main conduits for heroin coming out of Afghanistan. UNODC estimates that around 60-65 tons of heroin, valued at some US$13 billion, moves along the Balkans route to destinations in Western and Central Europe.

Mr. Fedotov also informed the minister that, in West and Central Asia, drugs and crime remain a threat to sustainable development and healthy institutions. Last year, UNODC's Afghan Opium Survey found that cultivation of opium had risen by 36 per cent, and opium production by 49 per cent.

In late 2013, UNODC organized a founding meeting of international organizations in Istanbul to discuss how best to counter heroin's movement from Afghanistan to Europe.  

Known as "networking the networks" the initiative is a component of an inter-regional drug control approach that is based on shared responsibility and fully aligned with the Paris Pact Initiative - a coalition of over 70 countries united to confront opiates.

                

           

 

 

Start of the implementation of the third cycle of Strengthening Families Programme 10-14 in Montenegro

Podgorica, 24-28 March 2014: The third cycle of Strengthening Families Programme for children of age 10-14 years old (SFP 10-14) has started in Montenegro with a training of 15 facilitators and 5 trainers of facilitators.
The attendees being trained as facilitators were selected from five elementary schools from Podgorica, which were not previously involved in the SFP 10-14 delivery, thus increasing the  coverage of the programme in Montenegro. More specifically, participants of the training were delegates from elementary schools in Podgorica delegated by the Ministry of Education to be included in the third cycle of SFP 10-14: "Milan Vukotic", "Milorad Musa Burzan", "Savo Pejanovic", "Branko Bozovic" and "Vuk Karadzic". The purpose of the training was to strengthen their knowledge and skills to adequately prepare facilitators who would ensure the implementation  of the programme in their settings  onwards. Furthermore, the schools were provided with presentational equipment (laptops, projectors and flip charts) in order to support the qualitative implementation of the training sessions and sustainability of the project realization.
The training was organized with the help of the Ministry of Education of Montenegro and NGO CAZAS. This training will be followed by training sessions organised in elementary schools for families and children in April-May 2014.

 

                                    

 

                     

                                                       

 UNODC and WHO support the first National Drug Treatment Conference in Albania

Tirana, 21 March 2014: The first National Drug Treatment Conference took place in Tirana and provided a platform for 140 primary care physicians, clinicians, toxicologists, psychiatrists, pharmaceutical professionals, internists and representatives of relevant civil society organizations to discuss important national drug treatment issues and new therapeutics.

                                                                                        

The conference was organized by the Clinic of Addiction at the Mother Teresa University Hospital Center in association with the Albanian Ministry of Health and was supported by UNODC and WHO.

The conference focused on the interdisciplinary fields of drug use, drug therapy and respective treatment, care and medicine. Furthermore, the conference became a forum where health professionals from various areas and civil society activists could present their work. In the course of the conference, the participants had an opportunity to network and be involved in inspiring and stimulating professional discussions. A large number of students from the Faculty of Medicine of the Tirana University also participated in the conference and assessed it as very educational.

The conference was a valuable opportunity for those, interested in the area of drug treatment and care, to gain knowledge from the contributions of eminent professionals.

A new publication entitled "The Multidisciplinary Treatment of Drug Use and Alcohol" was introduced at the conference.

                                                               

                                                                                                                                               

Launch of the UNODC Report 'The Illicit Drug Trade through South Eastern Europe'

Vienna, 18 March 2014: UNODC has launched a report "The Illicit Drug Trade through South Eastern Europe" prepared under the umbrella of the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe in close cooperation with the countries of the region and with support of the Government of Turkey.

The launch of the report took place at the margins of the 57 th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs as its side event and was attend by approximately 90 participants, including Ambassadors of the countries of South Eastern Europe, Turkey and the European Union.

In their speeches, Ambassadors highlighted common challenges faced by the region and the transnational nature of drug trafficking. They noted that this challenge affects the overall socio-economic development of the region and the EU accession process in the countries. All speakers expressed appreciation for the preparation of the report and agreed that a comprehensive assessment which it represents is a useful tool and should be taken into account by policy makers and law enforcers in their countries. In this context, the Ambassador of the European Union acknowledged the importance of the report, confirmed that UNODC and the EU are working in a complimentary manner and stressed that effective countering of drug trafficking is an important element of the EU integration and enhances peace, stability, security and freedom in South Eastern Europe.

The speakers also noted that it is important to ensure cooperation not only within the South Eastern European region (and stressed that this cooperation is already very advanced on bilateral and regional levels) but also at earlier and later stages of the Balkan drug trafficking route. In this context, they find the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe and the UNODC Inter-regional drug control approach very useful.

Talking about practical cooperation within the region, Ambassadors of Montenegro and Serbia referred to the operational example of joint work of the law enforcement agencies in the two countries in the case of Darko Saric who was arrested on the same day and will now be brought to justice under charges of trafficking in significant amounts of cocaine and large scale money laundering in the region.

Country representatives also expressed concern with regard to the situation with drug abuse in the region. While absolute figures may not be very high, the South Eastern European market is comparable with those in Western Europe, and this poses a significant risk for the countries.

In her remarks, the Ambassador of Turkey has informed about the proposed future cooperation with the Turkish International Academy against Drugs and Organized Crime (TADOC) which will be one of the practical follow-up actions to the report. UNODC will also foster the continuation of cooperation in this area, inter alia through the members of the Steering Committee of the Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe and its offices in the region.

The report is available under the following link:  http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/publications-by-date.html

 

UNODC-WCO Mentorship Visit to the Port of Durres, Albania

Durres, 3-7 March 2014: A UNODC-WCO mentorship visit was organized to the Port of Durres in the framework of the Container Control Programme implemented by the agencies in the country.

The purpose of the visit was to monitor and supervise the daily work of the Joint Port Control Unit (JPCU) in Durres which was established within the Programme. The visit was designed to positively impact the work of the JPCU by providing its officers with hands-on support and learning opportunities through practical observations, feedback, advice, sharing best practices and lessons learnt.

                
                                      
 

The visit started with a one day in-door theoretical session, in the course of which the officers could review and analyse all manifested data and profile risk containers. This was followed by outdoor practical experiences whereby the JPCU officers could examine containers previously identified and selected on the basis of risk indicators. At the end of the mentorship visit, the officers shared an opinion that such visits offer long-term benefits to the efficiency of their work.

                                                                                                           

      

 

                                                                                                                                                

                                                                                                                                        

                                                            

                                                                            

 

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:

http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/frontpage/2013/October/new-unodc-survey-highlights-corruption-as-one-of-the-major-obstacles-to-doing-business-in-the-western-balkans.html

http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/corruption/publications.html

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
  • cost-efficiency.

 

        

      

 

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;  
  • Anti-corruption;
  • 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 

Link to the video

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.

Source: https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/press/releases/2013/May/on-its-first-anniversary-unodc-see-regional-programme-proves-worth-shows-road-ahead.html

 

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.

 

 

Yury Fedotov

Director-General/Executive Director

Remarks at the Briefing to Member States on the Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe

Vienna, March 6 th, 2013

 

Excellencies,

Distinguished Guests,

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.

Excellencies,

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.

Thank you.

 

 

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.

 

THE PREMIERE

• 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.