UNODC and the Government of Turkmenistan co-hosted a side event in the margins of the 64th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs

On 15 April 2021, the UNODC Regional Office in Central Asia and the Government of Turkmenistan co-hosted a side event “Fostering Sub-Regional Cooperation for Drugs and New Psychoactive Substances Control in Central Asia” in the margins of the 64th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs via video conferencing.

The event brought together over 80 participants, including high-level officials from drug control agencies, ministries of internal and foreign affairs of Central Asian countries, CARICC, OSCE, SCO, UNODC, representatives of the donor community and development agencies in Central Asia, as well as law enforcement experts to discuss and share up-to-date information and best practices on illicit drug trafficking and new psychoactive substances (NPS) abuse prevention in the region and showcase the progress made in this direction.

“I would like to stress UNODC’s continued commitment to work jointly with the Governments of Central Asian states to address the challenges of illicit drugs and the related transnational organized crime. UNODC is in the process of review of its programming in West and Central Asia, including the new cycle of the Programme for Central Asia for the period 2021-2025 which will aim to address the existing and emerging priorities of the Member States, established through the ongoing consultation process,” said Ms. Miwa Kato, Director, UNODC Division for Operations, in her welcome remarks.

“One of the main areas of activity of the Government of Turkmenistan is the improvement of preventive activities which aim to reduce the demand for drugs by preventing the illegal use of drugs. We established strong partnerships with UNODC - one of our key partners to implement strategic initiatives on countering transnational organized crime, drug trafficking, human trafficking, extremism and terrorism, as well as strengthening the international container control system,” said Ambassador Silapberdi Nurberdiev, Permanent Representative of Turkmenistan to the United Nations in Vienna, in his statement.

“CARICC has become a unique platform which allows formulating, strengthening and developing the effective mechanisms of counternarcotics cooperation both at regional and global levels. The rapid emergence of new types of psychoactive substances in the region requires close monitoring of situation dynamics. In this context, CARICC undertakes concrete measures aimed at minimizing the risks posed by NPS emergence,” said Mr. Rustam Aziz Miralizoda, Director of CARICC, in his statement.

Mr. Tofik Murshudlu, UNODC Chief, Implementation Support Section, Organized Crime and Illicit Trafficking Branch, Division of Treaty Affairs, highlighted that cooperation of law enforcement agencies must also involve cooperation with prosecutorial agencies and central authorities to make sure that the cases are investigated from all angles. He stressed and emphasized that backtracking of investigations must become an integral part of the cross-cutting and inclusive cooperation approach.

“There are many important cases of significant seizures of drugs within the region, but seizure itself is not the end of the story, there should be more coordinated activities in facilitating backtracking of investigations to identify and dismantle entire supply chains, as well as organized crime groups which are standing behind these supply chains,” said Mr. Tofik Murshudlu.

The side event also featured statements by Head Inspector, Department of Combating Drug Crime of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Executive Secretary of the State Committee for Drug Control, the State Service for Combating Drug Trafficking of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic, Director of the Drug Control Agency under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Turkmenistan, and Director of the National Information and Analytical Center on Drug Control under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The speakers unanimously voiced their concern over the rapid emergence of new psychoactive substances, new synthetic narcotic drugs, and increasing use of the internet, especially during the pandemic, to access controlled substances. They highlighted that a non-contact payment for narcotic drugs and NPS poses a significant challenge for the entire region and the need for reforms, including in legislation to effectively address these challenges. The speakers called for more strengthened counternarcotics cooperation between the law enforcement agencies in the region, including in tracking the new trafficking routes.

“The call for increased cooperation and support in strengthening national and sub-regional counternarcotics frameworks, strategies, policies, as well as capacities in addressing drug trafficking and new psychoactive substances is well noted. We also take note of the recommendations on emerging trends related to cybersecurity and darknet issues. It is important that we also put these as priorities for our programmes in the sub-region,” said Ms. Ashita Mittal, Regional Representative of UNODC to Central Asia, in her concluding remarks.

“It is my motto and belief - if we want to go far, we need to go together. I am confident that we all will go together to build a more inclusive and fairer future, to make the region safer from drugs and crime, as well as healthy for the benefit of our generation and for the next generations to come.”

During the side event, a short film capturing the partnership and the work that had been undertaken by UNODC and its partners in the Central Asian region, including as part of the UNODC Cross-Border Cooperation Component, Interagency Mobile Teams Project, Container Control Programme and CARICC Project to foster greater sub-regional cooperation on drugs and NPS was shown.


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For further information, please contact:

Nurangez Abdulhamidova

Communication and External Relations Officer

UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia (Dushanbe)

Email: nurangez.abdulhamidova[at]