Donors Establish a United Front in Central Asia

UNODC recognizes that there are a multitude of law enforcement projects in Central Asia, implemented through international agencies, organizations and the initiatives of individual nations, and it appreciates the need to coordinate these efforts with the common goal of eliminating regional corruption and interstate crime. With this concept in mind, UNODC chaired its first Law Enforcement Donor Coordination Meeting of 2011 on the 25th of March at the UN house in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. The meeting was attended by some of the most crucial players in Law Enforcement projects currently undertaken in Central Asia, including representatives of the French, German, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Turkish British and United States embassies, in addition to the EC Advice to National Coordination Unit, Europa House, GIZ, TIKA, UNDSS and UNODC.

The event served as a forum in which to discuss the activities that took place in the first quarter of 2011, along with those planned for the current quarter. It also allowed the discussion of challenges faced and their solutions, meaning participants could inform their colleagues of cross-cutting or relevant issues while sharing their experiences in handling common difficulties.

The meeting begun with remarks from the UNODC chair and International Project Coordinator Mr. Ercan Saka, who stressed the event's purpose of coordinating activities and preventing the duplication of efforts. Representatives then gave individual presentations concerning their organization's participation in ongoing projects addressing drugs, crime, money laundering, human trafficking, corruption, HIV/AIDS, justice matters and human rights, along with any other topics they wished to highlight. These statements were followed by question and answer sessions, during which the project's developments and plans were discussed. The items covered by the workshop included the British embassy-facilitated Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA) visit to Turkmenistan, the progress of the BOMCA and CADAP 5 programmes, developments in the EU/UNDP/OHCHR project 'Strengthening the regional capacity of Turkmenistan to promote and protect human rights', programmes undertaken by individual nations, and the involvement of international parties in UNODC projects. Following a lively discussion and exchange of information over drug and organized crime-related projects and activities, the UNODC was asked to hold a special session in which to present embassies and other relevant international organizations with an overview of the drug and crime situation in Afghanistan, Central Asia and Turkmenistan.

UNODC also presented the online Automated Donor Assistance Mechanism or ADAM, which provides Paris Pact partners with the information required to coordinate counter narcotics technical assistance in countries along the main opium trafficking routes from Afghanistan. There was also a demonstration of the ADAM system, outlining its benefits and explaining its registration process.

Law Enforcement Donor Coordination Meetings will be held on a quarterly basis throughout the remainder of 2011.