Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries

Member States shared the results on the Operation REFLEX 2019 conducted under the Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries

On 18 November 2020, an online Debrief meeting on Operation REFLEX 2019 (REgional Forensic and Law enforcement EXercise) was conducted within the framework of the Sub-Programme 1 “Regional Law Enforcement Cooperation” of the UNODC Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring countries (Regional Programme) in partnership with the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre (CARICC)  .

Operation REFLEX launched in 2017 and coordinated by CARICC, aims to strengthen inter-agency and international cooperation in combatting trafficking of illicit new psychoactive substances (NPS) and synthetic drugs, to enhance information exchange and to provide support to trends analysis.

            In the opening session of the meeting, Mr. Rustam Miralizoda, CARICC Director, thanked the Regional Programme for the “opportunity to unite our efforts, experience and knowledge to resolve the common problem of proliferation of NPS and other synthetic drugs in the region”. He pointed out that “the Operation REFLEX is an important initiative which will serve as a foundation for building a systematic response to the fight against NPS in the participating countries”. Mr. Jeremy Milsom, UNODC Representative & Senior Coordinator of the Regional Programme stated that “The types of drugs available and the methods used by traffickers are constantly evolving. Countering the problem requires strong commitment and close regional cooperation. UNODC stands ready to support all joint initiatives against illicit trafficking of any sort in the region, and continuation of regional operations including the Operation REFLEX”.

Law enforcement officials from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, I.R. Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and CARICC were brought together to share, review and analyze the results of the Operation REFLEX 2019 which took place from 21 October to 21 November 2019. The results were presented by CARICC, followed by discussions, comments and recommendations of participating countries.

The prevalence and diversity of NPS and other synthetic narcotic drugs is steadily increasing in many parts of the region. Operation REFLEX has been run three times now and there has been a steady increase in seizures over successive years of its implementation. There was strong support from participating countries to continue to run the Operation in future years as it serves as an important instrument to build and strengthen regional cooperation to tackle illicit drug trafficking.  Participants discussed and agreed on recommendations for the future activities in the field, which will be taken into account and should strengthen work during the next round of the Operation.  

UNODC thanks the Government of Finland and the European Union for financing and support in organizing the meeting.