Paris Pact Expert Working Groups held in Almaty and Bishkek

This year, all four Expert Working Groups (EWGs) of the Paris Pact Initiative areas of focus took place in the Central Asia region. These events were in line with the Vienna Declaration, the roadmap of the partnership and outcome document of the Third Ministerial Conference of the Paris Pact Partners, which was held in 2012.

The Paris Pact Initiative aims to organise yearly expert meetings on each of its four thematic pillars:

I. strengthening and implementing regional initiatives;

II. detecting and blocking financial flows linked to illicit traffic in opiates;

III. preventing the diversion of precursor chemicals used in illicit opiates manufacturing; and

IV. reducing drug abuse and dependence through a comprehensive approach.

At the Tri-Fold EWGs hosted by CARICC in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on 1-5 June, 2015, discussions on the illicit financial flows, precursors, and cross-border cooperation were consecutively held in addition to joint sessions aimed at exploring cross-cutting topics. Each meeting gathered around 60 participants representing approximately 25 countries and 10 international organizations, including for the first time, representatives from Africa (Kenya) and the Persian Gulf (Oman and Qatar). Discussions built on and further operationalized conclusions of the previous meetings under the Paris Pact framework. Among the key objectives of the EWGs was the identification of concrete actions required to address priority gaps under each of the three Vienna Declaration pillars, culminating in a set of recommended activities for the partnership's implementation.

The fourth event, corresponding with the fourth pillar of the Vienna Declaration - the Expert Working Group on Community-based and Outpatient Treatment - was held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on 25-26 June, 2015, and was hosted by the Government of Kyrgyzstan. The event took place on June 26, which coincides with the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The meeting was aimed at exploring ways to increase the availability of treatment services in the community and improve their effectiveness through the utilization of the best scientific knowledge in the area of treatment of drug use disorders.

The recommended activities and conclusions resulting from all four expert meetings will be brought to the forthcoming Paris Pact Policy Consultative Group Meeting scheduled for October 2015, where they will be subject to further discussion and eventual endorsement by the partnership.

Details on these events can be found on the Initiative's online information hub ADAM,