UNODC Executive Director concludes official visit to Japan
12 April 2013 - UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov paid an official visit to Japan this week. Asia-Pacific represents a key region for UNODC, and Japan is a crucial partner in the office's work against drugs, crime, corruption and terrorism. During his week-long visit, Mr. Fedotov met with several high-level national officials, including the Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Prosecutor General, Minister of Justice, and the Director of General of Japanese Customs, among others. Mr. Fedotov also gave a lecture at the University of Tokyo.
Japan has also provided strong support for UNODC's programme for Afghanistan and neighboring countries. As the world's largest producer of opiates, Afghanistan faces tremendous drug and crime challenges that require effective responses not only in the country, but also in the region. "Our partnership with Japan is crucial for stability and sustainable development in West and Central Asia, particularly in light of the post-2014 transition process in Afghanistan", Mr. Fedotov said.
During a lecture before hundreds of students at the University of Tokyo entitled: "Unholy Alliance: International Terrorism and Organized Crime after the attack in Algeria" Mr. Fedotov presented UNODC's work in this area, particularly in the Sahel region in light of recent terrorist attacks in Algeria. "Our greatest weapon against this scourge is the solidarity of the international community and our joint belief that terrorism has no place in any society", Mr. Fedotov said. He also presented UNODC's work in West, North and East Africa, as these are emerging priority regions for both UNODC and Japan.
Further meetings during his visit included discussions on Japan's continuing support to UNODC's health-centered approach to drug use and dependence in the drugs policy agenda, the challenge that amphetamine-type stimulants pose to the region - including new psychoactive substances - and the importance of data collection for effective interventions, as well as further cooperation related to the joint UNODC/World Customs Organization Container Control Programme.
Summing up his week-long visit, Mr. Fedotov thanked the Japanese government for its continuing support to key international issues. "All over the world drugs, crime and terrorism present challenges for nations and for regions. Japan remains a staunch and committed partner in our work to counter these threats in the Asia-Pacific region and elsewhere."