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Commitment on cross-border cooperation grows fast in Cambodia

Phnom Penh (Cambodia), 8 November 2010
- In May 2010, the Government of Cambodia and UNODC conducted a fact-finding mission on the main training needs of selected officers guarding the borders of Cambodia.

The findings of the survey highlighted, among other things, the dire need to improve the understanding of the threats posed by various transnational crimes among the Cambodian border authorities, especially in the area of migrant smuggling and environmental crime.

Under the Partnership against Transnational Crime through Regional Organized Law Enforcement programme, the Government of Cambodia and UNODC held the first Cambodia national PATROL workshop in Phnom Penh on 27 and 28 October 2010.

The workshop represented an opportunity to discuss the results of the survey with relevant Cambodian border authorities and to propose integrated and effective responses.

Lt. Gen. Moek Dara, Secretary General of the National Authority for Combating Drugs, emphasized the importance of this event because: "A country cannot tackle transnational organized crime alone". Echoing this sentiment, Olivier Lermet, UNODC Country Manager in Cambodia, said: "Cooperation among law enforcement agencies within and across borders is vital to build a real interdiction to the trafficking of human beings, natural resources, drugs and counterfeit goods across borders."

During discussions among 15 different authorities, participants have recommended specific urgent interventions for 2011, such as the establishment of an inter-ministerial project advisory committee to monitor and evaluate progress made to implement the project, the setting up of two new border liaison offices along trafficking routes and the provision of pilot training programmes on selected topics.