Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries

Regional Programme promotes cooperation of LE agencies and strengthens forensic laboratories through the RWGFD

On 22 October 2020, an online meeting of the Regional Working Group on Forensics and Illicit Drugs (RWGFD) was convened within the framework of the Sub-Programme 1 “Regional Law Enforcement Cooperation” of the UNODC Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighboring countries (Regional Programme).

 

The RWGFD provides a regional platform for law enforcement investigators and forensic laboratory experts to recognize and benefit from each other’s capabilities to utilise forensic based evidence and develop investigations accordingly. This working group further supports the forensic laboratories by setting goals to standardize the forensic laboratories in terms of both equipment and capacities in the region. Moreover, regional strategies are set, and operations are developed through the meetings of this working group.

Thirty-five senior officials from the law enforcement agencies and forensic laboratories of eight member states, including Afghanistan, I.R. Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan took part in the meeting.

During the meeting participants made presentations on their respective country situations since the COVID-19 pandemic began, shared information on New Psycho-active Substances, new trends in drug trafficking, concealment methods, recent illicit drug seizures, and work of forensic laboratories. Representatives from CARICC, INCB, UNODC/Laboratory and Scientific Section, and UNODC/COAFG also participated in the event, provided expert assistance and shared their best practices.

“To provide safer communities, crime-free environments, and better criminal justice systems during and after the pandemic, developing counterstrategies against the threats of transnational organized crime groups is a shared responsibility of all countries and involved  international organisations” stated by Mr. Jeremy Milsom, UNODC Representative in Pakistan, and Senior Coordinator of the UNODC Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries.

Following the discussions, the group developed recommendations, set target cases for upcoming Drug Case Meetings and expressed support to continue Operation REFLEX, which is planned to be held in 2021.

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