The availability and use of quality forensic science services, data and information is an essential element supporting the operational work of law enforcement, effective and fair criminal justice systems, and evidence-based policy-making.

UNODC will provide assistance where necessary to align the performance and procedures of the national entities' drug testing and forensic laboratories towards internationally accepted standards, and harmonize the quality of forensic science services in the region with a fit-for-purpose approach to ensure national and regional ownership and sustainability.

UNODC will provide technical and quality assurance support, guidance and training (including sensitization to the need for continuous quality improvement), relevant tools, equipment and infrastructure, and support the establishment of new laboratories where appropriate, including the improvement of capacities to recognize and prevent the work of illegal drug production laboratories.

UNODC will support the involvement of forensic scientists in national interagency working groups and improve the knowledge and cooperation among interagency experts and relevant national and regional counterparts; UNODC will also facilitate collaborative activities of the regional forensic science community, by organizing multidisciplinary workshops, strengthening regional cooperation and benefiting from the establishment of links with existing international networks and exchange of experience and expertise.

Consideration will be also given to the availability and contribution of toxicology laboratories in the region (i.e. those laboratories that analyse drugs in body fluids) with regard to monitor compliance with drug treatment and rehabilitation programmes (see also Sub-Programme III), parole / probation programmes (including so-called drug courts), hospital emergency room examinations, roadside testing programmes, etc. and/or for court purposes (i.e. forensic toxicology).

UNODC can actively contribute to strengthening the forensic capabilities of states in the region, the following activities are planned within the framework of the Regional Programme in 2010:

  • Assistance will be provided for the purpose of harmonizing the performance and procedures of the region's drug testing and forensic laboratories; and
  • UNODC will help to facilitate regional cooperation on the exchange of expertise, as well as the sharing of forensic data and information.