UNODC and Drug Control Agency of Tajikistan: 20 Years of Cooperation

22 February 2019, Dushanbe, Tajikistan - Ms. Ashita Mittal, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Representative for Central Asia, and Lt. General Sherkhon Salimzoda, the Director of the Drug Control Agency under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan (DCA), met to discuss upcoming events and initiatives dedicated to the 20th anniversary of partnership between UNODC and DCA. During the meeting, Mr. Sherkhon Salimzoda briefed Ms. Mittal on the drug control situation in Tajikistan, highlighting drug seizure, dismantled organized criminal groups, crime statistics, as well as drug addiction data in 2018.

Aiming to boost the fight against illicit drug trafficking and related threats, the Republic of Tajikistan and the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention signed a protocol on the creation of a specialized Drug Control Agency on 27 April 1999, in Vienna, Austria. Same year, based on the protocol, and as a part of the "Institution Building, Strategy Development and Improvement of Drug and Crime Control Measures in Tajikistan" project, the Government established the Drug Control Agency.  Considering the positive achievements of DCA on law enforcement area during 2000-2003, the second phase of the DCA Tajikistan project was initiated and it was under implementation through 2017, supporting DCA initiatives.

Since 1999, the DCA has signed 43 national and international agreements which include 22 inter-agency, 18 bilateral inter-government and 3 multilateral inter-government   agreements to enhance cooperation in the area of fight against drug trafficking. As a result, of DCA efforts 17 tons 902 kg of drugs from 2000 to 2018 were seized, including: 7 tons 613 kg of hashish/cannabis, 4 tons 656 kg of opium, 5 tons 621 kg of heroin and 12 kg of other types of drugs.

As a highlight to this cooperation for over 20 years, the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan in cooperation with the United Nations, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe is planning to conduct the High-Level Conference on "International and Regional Cooperation on Countering Terrorism and its Financing Through Illicit Drug Trafficking and Organized Crime" on 16-17 May 2019 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

Ms. Mittal emphasized the critical role of Tajikistan and DCA, in particular, in fighting the illicit drugs, especially in view of high opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan and stressed that UNODC will further support DCA's capacity through its Programme for Central Asia.

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