Sustainable Developments Goals and UNODC work in South Eastern Europe

The Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe (RP SEE) outlines the proposed strategic scope of UNODC work, cooperation and partnership in the region. Designed as a roadmap through a comprehensive and participatory process, the Regional Programme is composed of distinct and inter-connected Sub-programmes and cross-cutting topics to support the Governments of South Eastern Europe in line with UNODC mandates and the EU accession requirements. This structure ensures a balanced approach and provides adequate responses and added value in UNODC mandated areas, namely the rule of law, organized crime, illicit trafficking and prevention and treatment of drug use disorders. UNODC presence and work in the Western Balkans rests on the principles of national ownership, effectiveness, partnership and sustainability and is fully aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In detail:

SDG 3 - Target 3.5 (Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol) is reflected in the RP SEE Sub-programme 3 focused on Enhancing Substance Use Prevention, Drug Use Disorders Treatment, and Reintegration and Care, including related Infectious Diseases, while ensuring Consistent Development of Gender Responsive Approaches. The efforts are aimed to prevent drug use among adolescents in schools by strengthening their social emotional learning skills and building resilience to prevent or delay the onset of drug use. This is achieved through the UNODC RP SEE programmes on parenting, children's social skills and family and life skills, specifically designed to enhance the refusal and coping skills of adolescents towards drug use. Focusing on families living in a low resource setting, the UNODC RP SEE family skills based programme is also being implemented with the refugee and migrant families in the region as a universal prevention intervention designed for families with children aged between 8 and 15 with the aim of improving parenting skills, child well-being and family mental health. UNODC RP SEE is also committed to supporting the region in the area of treatment of substance use disorders, capacity development activities, and targeting the enhancement of national coordination and data collection. In addition, substance use disorder treatment services and recovery management initiatives are prominently implemented as part of the SP3. The Programme activities are in line with the International Standards on drug use prevention and International standards for the treatment of substance use disorders.

SDG 5 - Targets 5.1 (discrimination against women) and 5.2 (violence against women) is a cross-cutting topic reflected in the RP SEE, including in its Sub-programme 1 and the outcomes related to countering illicit drug trafficking and transnational organized crime, as well as Sub-programme 3 on enhancing substance use prevention, drug use disorders treatment, and reintegration and care, including related infectious diseases, while ensuring consistent development of gender responsive approaches. UNODC RP SEE is committed to promoting gender mainstreaming in all areas of its work and keeps record of the representation of women in all capacity building events and encourages and promotes, to the extent possible, gender parity as a good practice. In addition, Sub-Programme 3 of RP SEE is actively committed to ensuring that the implemented interventions are effective and conducted in a gender-sensitive manner. Furthermore, UNODC RP SEE is actively engaged in strengthening the regional responses to effectively counter smuggling of migrants and trafficking of human beings, of which women and children constitute 70% of victims. Additionally, RP SEE addresses the gender topics through its interventions on money laundering and container control.

SDG 16 - Targets 16.1, 16.2, 16.3, 16.4, 16.5, 16.6, 16.7, 16.A: This Goal is at the core of UNODC mandate and is reflected throughout most UNODC activities and initiatives. The RP SEE is working towards this goal via its Sub-programmes 1 and 2 focused respectively on Countering Illicit Drug Trafficking and Transnational Organized Crime and Strengthening Criminal Justice, Integrity and Legal Cooperation. Sub-programmes 1 and 2 address most targets of SDG 16 by providing substantive efforts and assisting the Governments of South Eastern Europe in building capacity of the region to effectively counter drug trafficking, illicit financial flows, terrorism, human trafficking and smuggling of migrants and corruption through a series of projects and in line with the UNODC mandates and EU accession requirements. A number of UNODC initiatives conducted under the umbrella of the RP are designed to address the crime and security challenges in South Eastern Europe, including in the fields of countering transnational organized crime, money laundering, various forms of trafficking and others, as well as in the area of measuring and assessing organized crime in the region.

SDG 17 - Target 17.9 (capacity building) and 17.16 (global partnership) is reflected in Sub-programme 1 on Countering Illicit Drug Trafficking and Transnational Organized Crime and supplemented by the partnerships UNODC is building via the Rp SEE, in particular in the field of anti-money laundering. In the framework of its activities in South Eastern Europe, UNODC RP SEE reinforced cooperation with regional and national stakeholders including CEPOL, the Turkish International Academy Against Drugs and Organized Crime (TADOC) and the Federal Financial Monitoring Service of Russian Federation (Rosfinmonitoring) for the provision of capacity-building events to support the Governments of South Eastern Europe in implementing the SDGs. In addition, UNODC RP SEE contributes to enhancing regional and international cooperation and creating synergies between Europe and West and Central Asia, notably by organizing an inter-regional meeting involving stakeholders from both regions for a concerted and collective response in addressing illicit financial flows. Global Partnership remains the overarching element of UNODC work. Furthermore, UNODC RP SEE is closely working with the Secretariat of the Police Cooperation Cooperation Convention for South Eastern Europe, the Centre for Security Cooperation (RACVIAC), the South Eastern European Law Enforcement Centre (SELEC) and other regional organizations.