UNODC and Uzbekistan agree on developing a Road Map of bilateral cooperation

On 1 November, 2017, during his mission to Tashkent the UNODC Executive Director, Mr. Yury Fedotov met with the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan H.E. Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

Uzbekistan is located in the heart of Central Asia and shares a 137 kilometer border with Afghanistan, which is the largest opium producing state in the world. An estimated quarter of the opium is trafficked through the Central Asian region.

This timely meeting was welcomed by the government of Uzbekistan given that the state considers security and peace as one of the key priorities of its national and international policy, and puts every effort towards countering organized crime, illicit drug trafficking and terrorism.

During the meeting, President Mirziyoyev stressed that peace, prosperity and people's interests are at the heart of the Government's reform agenda, which echoes with the pillars of the United Nations - Peace and Security, Development and Human Rights, also noting that the recently adopted Action Strategy for Development 2017-2021 is fully consistent with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Furthermore, the President noted, with deep satisfaction, the dynamically developing and mutually beneficial partnership of Uzbekistan and the UN, its structures and institutions. It was emphasized that Uzbekistan attaches great importance to deepening cooperation with UNODC in the sphere of countering illicit drug trafficking, transnational organized crime and international terrorism. He further noted that national and regional initiatives in these areas have been realized and are being implemented with the technical assistance of the Regional Office for Central Asia.

Mr. Fedotov highly appreciated the policy pursued by President Mirziyoyev on ensuring peace, stability and sustainable development in Central Asia, strengthening mutually beneficial cooperation with the countries of the region based on the principles of good-neighborliness, mutual understanding and consideration of common interests.

The Executive Director, while expressing his appreciation to the President for the ongoing support provided by the Uzbek Government to the UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia, including UNODC's Programme for Central Asia 2015-2019 as well as the Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries, further assured that UNODC is fully committed to supporting the Action Strategy, especially related to the mandates of the organization on the prevention of drugs, crime, terrorism and corruption.

The meeting resulted on an agreement to jointly develop a road map for further strengthening of partnership and ensure the adoption of coordinated measures on countering drug trafficking, transnational organized crime and terrorism.

The roadmap will be developed in line with the national priorities described in the Action Strategy of Uzbekistan and will identify concrete areas where UNODC could provide its technical assistance to Uzbekistan, particularly in the context of the ongoing reforms of law enforcement, criminal justice, anti-corruption and healthcare systems of the country. An annual review mechanism of the joint Action Plan implementation process for cooperation with UNODC will be established and it will be aligned with the overall UN roadmap, the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and the SDGs.

Moreover, the roadmap will contribute to the mutual efforts of the Central Asian states on countering illicit drugs trafficked from Afghanistan and its related consequences such as illicit financial flows, new psychotropic substances, and cybercrime.