Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe 2012-2015
The Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe (2012-2015) focuses on the so-called "Balkan Route" region, the major route for the illicit trafficking of heroin from West Asia into Europe. UNODC estimates that, in 2009, about 60 tons of heroin, with a market value of some USD 13 billion, were smuggled through South Eastern Europe. This illicit trade has fuelled drug abuse, corruption and the establishment of transnational criminal networks dealing with smuggling of weapons, counterfeit goods and human beings.
In response to this multi-faceted threat, UNODC has elaborated, in close consultations with participating countries in the region, a comprehensive and coherent approach that seeks to address the issue in its entirety and that has resulted in the preparation and launch of the Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe (2012-2015). Endorsed by the participating countries and officially launched by UNODC's Executive Director on 23 May 2012, the Programme aims at providing technical assistance to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, including Kosovo under UNSCR 1244, while also partnering with Croatia. Some other countries of the neighborhood region have also expressed interest in partnering with UNODC on this Programme.
The Programme builds upon previous successful action and lessons learneds. By focusing on a major route for the illicit trafficking of heroin, it introduces strong linkages with other relevant UNODC programmes, notably the Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries and UNODC's ongoing efforts in Central Asia. Synergies are also being pursued with the Paris Pact Initiative, especially with regard to relevant data gathering and analysis.
The participating countries have formed a Programme Steering Committee, which is the key body providing strategic guidance to the Regional Programme. The first meeting of the Steering Committee took place in June 2012 and approved the Regional Programme Workplan for 2012 as well as the initial plans for 2013. The second meeting of the Steering Committee took place in December 2012 and approved the final workplan for 2013.
On 15th March 2013, on the margins of the 56th Session of Commission on Narcotic Drugs, UNODC Regional Section for Europe organised 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 Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe is structured around three sub-programmes:
Sub-Programme 1: Illicit Drug Trafficking and Organized Crime:
Interdiction and prosecutions against illicit trafficking and organized crime
Sub-Programme 2: Enhancement of Integrity and Justice:
Institutional and operational capacities for anti-corruption institutions and the justice system
Sub-Programme 3: Prevention, Treatment and Care:
Prevention, treatment and care for drug users and HIV/AIDS patients.