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European Union and UNODC exchange on strategic cooperation in Latin America and the Caribbean

Vienna, 08 June 2022. The European External Action Service (EEAS) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) organized a Strategic Dialogue on Latin America and the Caribbean aimed at discussing ongoing and potential collaboration in the LAC region in the context of the implementation of their strategies and programmes and the 2030 Agenda. The hybrid event, which took place on 7 June 2022, was co-chaired by the EEAS Head of Division for Regional Affairs Claudia Gintersdorfer, and the UNODC Deputy Director for Operations, Candice Welsch, gathering EU and UNODC representatives from respective Headquarters and the LAC region. EEAS Deputy Managing Director for the Americas, Javier Niño Pérez also attended the Dialogue.
The meeting was held exactly four months after the launch of the UNODC Strategic Vision for Latin America and the Caribbean 2022-2025, a new framework developed with and for the region, in coordination and consultation with other key stakeholders, with the objective of effectively addressing challenges posed by drugs, crime and corruption.
Through thematic and geographic discussions, the Strategic Dialogue on LAC offered the EU and UNODC a platform to highlight common priorities and challenges, identify opportunities to further align efforts and establish synergies and agree on follow-up actions to cooperate more strategically in the region. They exchanged on programmatic alignment, including the newly launched Team Europe Initiative on Justice and Security in the region, priorities in the Andean Region and the Southern Cone, border management, and EU drugs and crime-related initiatives. The participants also discussed ongoing and potential EU-UNODC cooperation in the Caribbean, alternative development, gender-based violence, as well as trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling.
Claudia Gintersdorfer, EEAS Head of Division for Regional Affairs, underlined the importance of collaboration in Latin America and the Caribbean, especially given the volume of interesting exchanges during this Dialogue, indicating that further cooperation in the field is needed. Candice Welsch, UNODC Deputy Director for Operations, recalled the consistent nature of the role and lengthy presence of UNODC in the region, and highlighted the shared interests with the EU from global programmes to bilateral work.
UNODC and the EU have established a long-standing partnership in the LAC region and will continue working together on a wide array of areas of the UNODC’s mandate with a view to promoting peace and development.