Mr. Yury Fedotov meets the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan to discuss the prospects of further cooperation

During his mission to Tashkent on 1 November, 2017, the UNODC Executive Director, Mr. Yury Fedotov met the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Mr. Abdulaziz Kamilov and discussed the prospects of strengthening relations between Uzbekistan and UNODC.

The UNODC Executive Director stressed that the increased opium poppy cultivation and illicit trafficking of opiates were creating multiple challenges for Afghanistan, fueling instability, insurgency and terrorist groups, as well as related health crises and can potentially negatively affect its neighbouring countries.

The Minister highlighted that Uzbekistan had adopted and was implementing a programme for comprehensive measures to counter drug abuse and illicit trafficking for 2016-2020, which pays special attention to improving the regulatory framework in the field of drug trafficking and providing treatment and rehabilitation services, improving the material and technical base, and human resources of law enforcement agencies as well as others.

Mr. Fedotov thanked the Government of Uzbekistan for its active participation in the 10th review meeting of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on sub-regional drug control cooperation, which took place in Astana, Kazakhstan and proposed that Uzbekistan hosts the next, 11th meeting of the MoU, in Uzbekistan in 2018. Likewise, the Executive Director thanked the government of Uzbekistan for hosting the UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia in Tashkent since 1996 and acknowledged the active participation of Uzbekistan in the UNODC Programme for Central Asia for (2015-2019).

The UNODC Executive Director also shared his view on the importance of the sub-regional cooperation on drug control, security and development and welcomed the initiative of the Uzbek Government to host the International Conference on Security and Sustainable Development in Central Asia under the auspices of the United Nations "Central Asia: One Past and a Common Future, Cooperation for Sustainable Development and Mutual Prosperity" to be held in Samarkand 10-11 November.