UNODC Outlines Its Strategy for Regional Cross Border Cooperation for Central Asia for 2020-2021

The Steering Committees established under the Border Component of UNODC Programme for Central Asia came together for a working meeting to discuss a Work Plan focused on further promoting Border Liaison Offices (BLOs)’ concept and the development of Information and communication networks for Border Agencies on 13-14 March 2020, in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The meeting was organized by the UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia (UNODC ROCA) and the National Information and Analytical Center on Drug Control under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

“We hope to see strengthened coordination among all five countries of the region in terms of border management and countering narcotic drugs. We hope that amount of seizures will increase, and cross-border organized crimes will decrease thanks to the initiative and the commitment of all the parties.” – said Ms. Yoko Yamoto, First Secretary of the Embassy of Japan in Uzbekistan.

On 27 February this year, the Government of Japan and UNODC have signed a grant agreement and  the amount of  $4.5mln. will be directed to  strengthening of the capacities of international border-crossing points in Central Asia through setting up new Border Liaison Offices, to support the enhancement of the analytical capacity of border law enforcement agencies, as well as  assistance in setting up a Situation Centre in Uzbekistan and the strengthening of those in place in other countries.

“Development and expansion of interagency and cross-border cooperation in the field of combatting illicit drug trafficking through strengthening the capacities of the main BCPs and establishing new BLOs is key to achieving our common goals in ensuring effective border control.”- noted Mr. Sarvar Jabbarov, Leading Expert of International Department, National Information and Analytical Center on Drug Control under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

“We are here today to present our overall work plan for review and approval under a Regional Border Cooperation Component of the UNODC Programme for Central Asia. We also have national coordinators from each country here today with us to make presentations on the achievements made in 2019 and assist in drafting the strategies for 2020-2021 for each country.” – highlighted Mr. Yusuf Kurbonov, UNODC ROCA International Programme Coordinator.

The UNODC ROCA experts presented on the achievements of the Component in 2019. In particular, 185 law enforcement officers have undergone training courses to enhance their capacity on topics such as risks profiling, planning and implementation of joint operative activities at the border areas, drug interdiction and information sharing at BCPs and etc throughout the year. UNODC also supported the inauguration of a new BLO located at “Kordai” BCP on the Kazakh-Kyrgyz border.  To date, UNODC assisted in establishing 15 BLOs in geographically remote and potentially vulnerable checkpoints on the Kazakh-Kyrgyz (2), Uzbek-Tajik (4), Kyrgyz-Tajik (4), Kyrgyz-Uzbek (2), Uzbek-Afghan (1) and Tajik-Afghan (2) borders. The offices are equipped with the necessary high-tech and specialized analytical software enabling the analysis of the database information.

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