EU and UNODC hold Strategic Dialogue on Africa

7 December 2021

The European External Action Service (EEAS) and the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have organised an EU-UNODC Strategic Dialogue on Africa on 2 December 2021. The online event, co-chaired by EEAS Managing Director for Africa, Rita Laranjinha, and UNODC Director for Operations, Miwa Kato, gathered EU and UNODC representatives from Headquarters and across the African continent.
The meeting took place in the context of the annual meeting of Senior Officials and the launch of UNODC’s Strategic Vision for Africa 2030 earlier this year. The UNODC Vision was developed with and brought together African countries, donors including the EU, civil society organizations and other stakeholders to spark renewed momentum to address drugs, crime, corruption and terrorism on the continent. In their Joint Communiqué of October 2021, the EU and AU Foreign Affairs Ministers confirmed their interest to promote multilateralism, with the UN at its core, for the benefit of regional and global peace, security, stability, human rights, and inclusive sustainable development.

The overarching objective of the Dialogue was to strengthen the strategic cooperation between the EU and UNODC in support of Africa’s progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals and the AU’s Agenda 2063. Participants from the EEAS, European Commission, EU Delegations, UNODC Headquarters, and Field Offices discussed priorities and challenges identified in respective strategies for the continent. They exchanged on sub-regional trends and priorities covering youth, health, gender, digitalization, protection of natural resources, livelihoods and employment, and gave particular attention to innovative ways to further cooperate on balanced drug control, human trafficking and migrant smuggling, illicit financial flows and corruption, terrorism, and maritime crime and piracy. 

<em>Ms Rita Laranjina, EEAS Managing Director for Africa</em>
Ms Rita Laranjina, EEAS Managing Director for Africa
<em>Ms. Miwa Kato, UNODC Director of Operations</em>
Ms. Miwa Kato, UNODC Director of Operations
Rita Laranjinha, Director for Africa of the EEAS, underlined that multilateralism was at the heart of EU policy, and expressed the importance of EU-UNODC cooperation in the region, given the complex nature of the ever-evolving threats in Africa. UNODC  Director of Operations, Miwa Kato, expressed the same sentiment, and highlighted that as challenges become more complex, increasing joint cooperation by focusing on action-oriented initiatives and maximising impact on the ground are imperative steps for the future.
UNODC and the EU work closely together across all UNODC’s mandate areas and are long-standing partners for cooperation on the African continent. The security concerns in the continent continue to present threats to the people and hamper development aspirations. Organised crime, terrorism, illicit drugs, and corruption are a detriment to security, development, and resilience of the African continent, its regions, and its countries, with no exceptions.