New UNODC Programme for Countries of Central Asia

On 10-12 December the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and representatives of the Member States of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Sub-Regional Drug Control Cooperation  met in Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan for the first regional expert level meeting. The MoU was signed on 4 May 1996 in Tashkent by the Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan,  Uzbekistan, Aga Khan Development Network and UNODC.

The overall aim of the meeting facilitated by UNODC was to develop a new UNODC programme for 2015-2019 which will support the efforts of Member States as well as regional organizations and civil society to develop and implement effective responses to crime, drugs and terrorism challenges. 

The meeting was attended by governmental experts on law enforcement, justice, drug and health and aimed at identifying common regional challenges and joint responses to drug trafficking, transnational organized crime, health as well as focusing on strengthening sub-regional drug control cooperation.

In particular, the draft document which was endorsed comprises of four areas: Countering transnational organized crime and illicit drug trafficking; Criminal justice and anti-corruption measures; Drug prevention and treatment, HIV/AIDS prevention and care; Research and trends analysis. The draft document represents the basis for discussion for an integrated and prioritized framework of actions in counter-narcotics and rule of law in Central Asia that will be complementary to the other UNODC ongoing Global, Regional and Country Programmes.

The meeting is one of the preparatory steps facilitated by UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia in order to convene a high-level segment meeting under the framework of the MoU early next year in Turkmenistan. On that occasion ROCA and the five Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) will launch a new ROCA Programme for 2015-2019 with the support of partners and donors.