Third Annual Steering Committee Meeting of UNODC Regional Programme with the Arab States (2016-2021)

07th November 2018 - Cairo, Egypt

UNODC and the League of Arab States held the third Steering and Follow-up Committee of the Regional Programme for the Arab States to Prevent and Combat Crime, Terrorism and Health Threats, and to Strengthen Criminal Justice Systems in Line with International Human Rights Standards (2016-2021), at the Headquarters of the League of Arab States (LAS) in Cairo between 7 - 8 November 2018.

Representatives of Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Health, Interior, and Justice from the Arab countries covered by the Regional Programme gathered for the third time since the launch of the new Regional Programme in 2016 to discuss progress in the implementation of the Regional Programme and to facilitate effective cooperation between UNODC, LAS and the concerned Member States. The discussions focused on countering organized crime, corruption and terrorism while enhancing the criminal justice and health response.

The two-days Meeting, jointly organized by UNODC and LAS, was opened by LAS Minister Plenipotentiary, Mr. Yasser Abd El Moneim (Head of Legal Affairs Department of the Legal Affairs Sector, General Secretariat), and the UNODC Regional Representative for the Middle East and North Africa, Ms. Cristina Albertin. Minister Plenipotentiary, Mr. Abd El Moneim highlighted the significance of this Meeting as it comes at a time when terrorism and organized crime in all its forms continue to destabilize the region. Stressing LAS support to UNODC in the implementation of its Regional Programme, Minister Plenipotentiary, Mr. Abd El Moneim stated, "Through this meeting, we look forward to complement and update strategies and mechanisms to combat criminal and terrorist threats and to strengthen criminal justice systems".

On her part, UNODC Regional Representative, Ms. Albertin, denoted the continuous grave threats to the region and the world posed by transnational organized crime and terrorism but also the increasing problem of drug use. She stated as well that "Many of UNODC mandates are interconnected and this has been increasingly recognized by the international community and also the UN Security Council, in particular with regard to the nexus between organized crime and terrorism and with regard to trafficking in persons in conflict and post-conflict situations".

The Regional Programme was elaborated through extensive consultations with national counterparts, drawing on 20 years of UNODC presence in the region, during which a number of the challenges posed by illicit trafficking, organized crime, terrorism, corruption, criminal justice, crime prevention, drug abuse and HIV/AIDS were addressed.

The Regional Programme for the Arab States (2016-2021) was developed at the request of the Arab States following the successful conclusion of UNODC first Regional Programme on Combating Drugs, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Reform for the Arab State (2011-2015). The Meeting concluded with an agreed set of recommendations by Member States for the implementation of the programme next year.

For more information, please read:

UNODC Regional Programme - Annual Progress Report 2018  

Opening Speech of UNODC Regional Representative