UNODC Regional Programme for Southeast Asia and the Pacific extended for two years

Bangkok (Thailand), 24 July 2017
- Following extensive consultations with member states and key partners, UNODC today announced an extension of its Regional Programme for Southeast Asia and the Pacific for two years - allowing it to build on regional progress in addressing transnational organised crime, illicit drugs and terrorism, and continuing to make a contribution to the sustainable development agenda.

The Regional Programme outlines the proposed scope and focus of UNODC's work in Southeast Asia. It provides a framework for delivering a coherent programme of work to give clear focus to supporting Member States and regional partners in achieving priority crime and drug outcomes in the region, and increase the responsiveness, efficiency and effectiveness of UNODC's support to the region.

Since its inception, the Regional Programme has seen tangible progress each year across its five thematic pillars: transnational organised crime, anti-corruption; terrorism prevention; criminal justice systems; and drugs and health, and alternative development.

The first few years of the programme has marked significant achievements. Activities organised through the RP ranged from the production and distribution of handbooks for border frontline officers to consultations regarding national laws, policies and regulations. Technical advice from UNODC in 2016 helped establish multi-national networks such as the Joint Human Trafficking Investigations Taskforce in Malaysia and the Mekong MOU on Drug Control. The regional office was also responsible for advocacy, playing active roles at the 2016 Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Drugs, and assisting countries in the region to reformulate drug policies that are holistic, balanced and put people first.

Last year was the most successful yet: 158 workshops, 61 training courses and 344 related activities were conducted, with more than 4000 from across 25 countries reached. Because of its design, implementation of the Regional Programme relies on close cooperation and cooperation with agencies at the regional and national level. During consultations with member states, the strength of this relationship was identified as a key platform through which successes could be achieved over the next two years.

The Regional Programme will continue to build on field-based technical cooperation projects to enhance the capacity of Member States to counteract illicit drugs, crime and terrorism. The next two years will also see more research and analytical work to increase knowledge and understanding of drugs and crime issues and expand the evidence base for policy and operational decisions. Finally, its normative work to assist States in the ratification and implementation of the relevant international treaties, the development of domestic legislation on drugs, crime and terrorism, and the provision of secretariat and substantive services to the treaty-based and governing bodies.

Having had support from a growing number of donors, a priority of the Regional Programme going forward will be to continue effectively directing resources towards key outcomes. UNODC has identified where additional work needs to be done in coming years and will continue to assist member states where needed.

The RP may have an end date in sight, but its outcomes have a long-term effect. Its knowledge-based assistance equips Southeast Asia with tools to combat and prevent both existing and new challenges. Importantly, it aligns with the wider development agenda, and makes a significant contribution to the sustainable development goals.

Annual Summary Monitoring Report - Regional Programme for Southeast Asia: 2016 | 2015 | 2014

Click here to learn more about the UNODC Regional Programme for Southeast Asia.