The Government of Japan allocated 296,000,000 Yens for strengthening the cross-border cooperation in Central Asia

10 March 2016. Bishkek. The Government of Japan provided a new funding in the amount of 296,000,000Japanese Yens (approx. 2,264,000 USD) to the project of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) aimed at enhancing cross-border cooperation and the establishment of four new Border Liaison Offices on the Kyrgyz‑Kazakh and Kyrgyz-Tajik border, as well as providing further support to 12 Border Liaison Offices in the Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Tajikistan and Republic of Uzbekistan previously established within the UNODC project.

The official signing ceremony of the Exchange Notes between the Embassy of Japan to the Kyrgyz Republic and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) took place today at the State Service on Drug Control under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic with participation of high-level representatives of the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic and UNODC.

Mr. Kazuya Harada, Charge d'affaires a.i. of the Embassy of Japan in the Kyrgyz Republic stressed: "Japan is glad to have this opportunity of providing support to implementation of the project, which received high appraisal of the beneficiary countries for successful accomplishment of the concrete results."

Colonel Rafik Mambetaliev, Chairman of the State Service on Drug Control under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, attended the ceremony and emphasized that "The Kyrgyz Republic highly prioritizes the issue of cooperation among law enforcement agencies of the XAC/K22 project participating countries, and thus declares its commitment to consolidation of efforts in fighting challenges and threats to the regional security and stability". He concluded his speech by expressing hope that "Border Liaison Offices operations will further contribute to the further development of anti-narcotics cooperation between the competent authorities both within the country and at the international level."

Communication, coordination and cooperation between law enforcement agencies are key elements in countering drug trafficking. It remains crucial to build capacities at Border Crossing Points; enhance the level of expertise of officers at crossings; establish intelligence sharing and communication mechanisms between state agencies within a Border Liaison Office; draft legal and binding documents for inter-agency and cross-border cooperation.

The establishment of BLOs equipped with an adequate enforcement mandate, resources and the capacity to move quickly along the shared borders is a prerequisite to effectively turning intelligence and inter-agency cooperation into successful interdictions. In this manner, BLOs in are intended to form a regional response against all forms of smuggling, including drugs, arms and human trafficking.

Project implementation has started in 2011 on the Uzbek-Tajik border. The Government of Norway was the main donor for that phase of the project. In 2012, the Government of Japan has allocated 1,270,000 USD for the project, what allowed expanding project activities and establish four new Border Liaison Offices along the Tajik-Kyrgyz border.

The concept of Border Liaison Offices is new to the region and requires special attention both by the UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia and relevant national counterparts from participating countries.