The Annual Programme Steering Committee Meeting of the UNODC Programme for Central Asia 2022-2025 was held in Almaty.

On 26 October 2022, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Regional Office for Central Asia (UNODC ROCA) organized the Annual Programme Steering Committee Meeting of UNODC Programme for Central Asia 2022-2025 (in a hybrid format) in Almaty, Kazakhstan.   The meeting was cohosted by the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and inaugurated by the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan.    

H.E. Mr. Kairat Umarov, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan in his opening speech said: “Strengthening security and stability in Central Asia is one of the key priorities of Kazakhstan's foreign policy. We welcome the active and constructive role of UNODC and all UN agencies in the region, especially considering the deteriorating situation around Afghanistan and, in general, in the world. Kazakhstan fully supports the implementation of the Programme for Central Asia, which was approved last year during the visit of the Executive Director of UNODC Ms. Ghada Waly to the region”.

Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative to Central Asia addressing the PSC Meeting participants noted: “Today, we have gathered to discuss the major results of our cooperation over the past year and agree on our priorities and plans for 2023 on all three pillars of UNODC’s work – peace, security, and sustainable development”.

The meeting,  brought together over 150 participants, including representatives from Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Internal Affairs, Justice, Health, Education, Drug Control Agencies, the Supreme Courts, General Prosecutor’s Offices, State Customs Committees, State Security Services, State Border Guard Committees, and other Agencies and Government bodies working in close partnership with UNODC in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, donors, UN Resident Coordinators, UN Family in Central Asian States, CSOs, along with UNODC staff.

Ms. Mittal also expressed her appreciation to the engagement and openness of the Governments in Central Asia in cooperating with UNODC. “Thanks to a fruitful cooperation between UNODC and the national governments and the civil society, we are on track to successful delivery of results within the Programme for Central Asia”, - she said.  

 Implementation process and intermediary achievements of the UNODC Programme for Central Asia 2022-2025 were discussed. These aim to deliver effective, efficient, and accountable technical assistance to Member States, to support peace, security, human rights, and development by making the region safer from drugs, crime, corruption, and terrorism.  Programme Coordinators presented the Work Plan for 2023 for implementation of the five pillars of the UNODC Programme for Central Asia 2022-2025.     


Michaela Friberg-Storey, UN Resident Coordinator for Kazakhstan welcoming the PSC meeting participants, mentioned: “UN Office on Drugs and Crime is one of the 27 agencies representing UN system in Kazakhstan with a strong mandate to contribute to global peace and security, human rights and development by making the world safer from drugs, crime, corruption and terrorism; and by working for and with Member States to promote justice and the rule of law and build resilient societies”.

The issue of effective regional cooperation for countering transnational threats was undoubtedly one of the priority matters of discussions at the meeting. The role of the UNODC Programme for Central Asia for further enhancing the effectiveness of the interaction in combating the multifaceted problem of transnational threats was articulated.

Country delegations discussed the impact of UNODC in the region through the lens of five pillars of the Programme for Central Asia 2022-2025. The discussion on the first pillar covered the results and plans particularly on countering transnational and organized crime, illicit trafficking; pillar two  on  Crime Prevention, Access to Justice and Rule of Law, Preventing and Addressing Corruption, ; pillar three on Prevention and Treatment of Drug Use Disorders and HIV/AIDS Prevention, pillar four on Preventing and Countering Terrorism, Violent Extremism and Radicalization Leading to Violence, Research; and pillar five on  Trend Analysis, Policy, Advocacy and Forensics. Cross-cutting issues on gender mainstreaming, human rights, disability inclusion, youth empowerment, Sustainable Development Goals were also one of the core subjects of discussion. 


«UN Country Team in collaboration with the government of Tajikistan signed on June 2022 a new UN Strategy for Tajikistan for the next four years. One of the pillars in that Strategy is all about governance and security, peace, and related topics. UNODC accepted to be a cochair for that very important pillar. And it covers all we do under SDG 16, but even more than that, including countering terrorism, border management, etc. UNODC is taking leadership role in cooperation in that Strategic Framework», - emphasized Sezin Sinanoglu, UN Resident Coordinator for Tajikistan in her online appeal.

The participants and heads of delegations presented and reported on the major impacts of cooperation with UNODC, including, advisory support, capacity development for the specialists of the competent authorities in the region. Moreover, the country representatives provided a number of proposals for future cooperation. The importance of interaction through the expansion of international cooperation, the exchange of positive experience and the further development of relations was emphasized. 


Ulan Baizhanov, Deputy Prosecutor General of the Republic of Kazakhstan noted: «Cooperation with UNODC is a priority area and participation in the UNODC Regional Programme for Central Asia 2022-2025 is of great interest to us. The Prosecutor General's Office, jointly with the Academy of Law Enforcement Agencies under the Prosecutor General's Office of the Republic of Kazakhstan, has already initiated the drafting of a long-term prospective Plan of cooperation for 2023. We plan to continue the work on projects on asset recovery, countering financial investigations and cybercrime, as well as on working with convicted for extremist crimes, within capacity building of law enforcement officers in Kazakhstan and Central Asia».


Nurbek Abdiev, Deputy Minister of the Interior of the Kyrgyz Republiс said: “The new UNODC Programme for Central Asia 2022-2025 has a significantly broad scope of activities, reflects the main postulates of the global UNODC Strategy until 2025, which is a guarantee of the success of our Programme. In this context, I would like to express my gratitude to the Donor States that have supported initiatives to launch both national and regional projects within the framework of the current Programme since the first days of its implementation”.

 "A political environment oriented towards expanding international relations and intensifying comprehensive cooperation with the countries of Central Asia, including on issues of countering the drug threat, is now evolving in Uzbekistan. In this context, we consider it important to strengthen the role of international and regional structures in the development and implementation of particular measures to address international drug trafficking. Cooperation with the UNODC plays a key role in this process", - said Olim Narzullaev, Director of the National Information- Analytical Center on Drug Control under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan

“Considering the active position of UNODC, several projects have been implemented in Tajikistan at harmonizing the legal and regulatory framework for the legal turnover of narcotic and psychotropic substances to monitor the legal market and increase the availability of narcotic and psychotropic substances for the treatment of patients. Also, measures have been taken to effectively implement replacement treatment for PWID, and the relevant components of the UNODC Programme for Central Asia 2022-2025 are being successfully implemented jointly in the country”, - mentioned Mahmadrahim Malakhov, Director of the State Institution ‘National Center for Monitoring and Prevention of Drug Abuse’ in Tajikistan

Dovran Amangeldiyev, Deputy Head of Legal and International Affairs Department of the MIA of Turkmenistan, Representative of Turkmenistan Delegation suggested: “Considering that UNODC reports on increase of drug seizures during the pandemic, new psychoactive substances are growing, international terrorist and extremist groups are activating, we have to enhance the cooperation among relevant authorities to combat these issues”.

As an outcome of the meeting, the joint workplan of the UNODC and the Central Asian States for 2023 was finalized and endorsed. The country delegations also discussed the work plan in detail with the UNODC ROCA subject matter experts and reviewed the possible areas of cooperation.

In particular, gender expert, head of the Board of "Center for the Study of Democratic Processes" Public Foundation in Kyrgyzstan Larisa Ilibezova made a proposal to continue the work and include the following areas into the work plan: Improving the quality of services provided by the Department of Internal Affairs, the Prosecutor's Office and forensics examination for women and girls who have been subjected to violence; Integration and institutionalization of international standards in the activities of the prosecutor's office, investigators, criminal investigation officers, patrol police, inspectors for children, district police officers to encourage victims of violence to contact the justice authorities to protect their rights; conducting trainings for trainers on countering gender inequality and violence against women and children; improving criminal law statistics on violence in relation women and children, on human trafficking; statistical collections on crime, narcotic substances and precursors; conducting victimological research to improve the preventive work carried out by law enforcement agencies; raising the quality of education to a new level by introducing simulation training programs, creating training videos for law enforcement officers; improving forensics examination process by continuing to conducts trainings and providing necessary equipment.


Focusing on country priorities, UNODC aims to improve the responsiveness, efficiency, and effectiveness of Programme implementation in cooperation with national governments bodies, stakeholders, donors, and international partners. UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia will continue to support Member States  in the field of combating transnational organized crime, drugs, terrorism prevention and anti-corruption  and advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development within the framework of the UNODC Programme for Central Asia 2022-2025.  

Web-story in Russian language here/Статья на русском языке здесь

For further information please contact:

Arifa Fatikhova 

Communications and External Relations Officer

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) 

Regional Office for Central Asia

Mobile: (+998 93) 505-05-58 | Email: arifa.fatikhova[at]