Central Asia: new regional cooperation platform against organized crime, illicit drugs
8 May 2015 - In the past days, UNODC and five countries of Central Asia signed a new Programme of partnership for the period 2015-2019. The agreement represents the key strategic framework under which UNODC provides technical assistance and advisory services in the region.
The Programme agreement was signed by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic, Erlan Abdyldayev, the Republic of Tajikistan, Sirojidin Aslov, and Turkmenistan, Rashid Meredov, by the Special Envoy of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Yerbolat Sembaev, the Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan to Turkmenistan, Djavhar Izamov, and UNODC Deputy Executive Director Aldo Lale-Demoz.
At the signing ceremony, Mr. Lale-Demoz said that transnational organized crime and drug trafficking, in particular, represent a threat to national, regional and international peace, security and stability. He mentioned that opiates production and drug trafficking are at the centre of a multi-billion dollar illicit business which affects the rule of law, human rights, as well as sustainable development. "The UNODC Programme for Central Asia, while supporting national capacity building, will actively contribute to a regional response to address drugs and crime challenges and better achieve the sustainable development goals, especially in regard to good governance and rule of law."
It builds on previous UNODC assistance and aims to deliver an integrated, comprehensive programme to address transnational organized crime, drugs and terrorism. With a budget of $70 million for a five-year period, the Programme for Central Asia supports both national capacity building, and further promotes sub-regional and regional cooperation. The Programme is a building block of UNODC's inter-regional drug control approach that provides a harmonized response to the existing and emerging issues faced by Central Asia and the wider region.
The transition of the security responsibilities to Afghan authorities and record Afghan opium crop harvests harvests present two distinct but inter-related challenges to the region and beyond. These require enhanced cooperation and comprehensive measures at regional and international levels to counter drug trafficking and the smuggling of precursor chemicals necessary for the production of drugs. The Programme was developed in an inclusive and participatory process through national and a regional consultation mechanism.
The signing Parties expressed their strongest commitment to mutually address challenges linked to transnational organized crime and trafficking, including drugs, and reduce adverse effects on health, based on the principle of shared responsibility.