Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries

The 14th Meeting of the Regional Working Group on Precursors

On 13 July 2021, the Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries (RP-ANC) convened the 14th online meeting of the Regional Working Group on Precursor (RWGP)  within its framework of Sub Programme 1 “ Regional Law Enforcement Cooperation” with participation of more than 30 senior law enforcement officials from Afghanistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, CARICC and INCB.

“Trends show that trafficking is continuing unabated despite the Covid-19 pandemic and the UNODC World Drug Report showed that traffickers have adjusted strategies including larger shipment sizes, new concealment methods, diversification of land and waterway routes, and with synthetic drugs, increased use of contactless methods,” said Jeremy Milsom, the senior coordinator of the Regional Programme and country representative of Pakistan, in his opening remarks

The meeting of the RWGP consisted of three sessions: i) an update on the situation with respect to precursors and seizures on a country by country basis; ii) a discussion of regional trends, with presentations by the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre (CARICC) and International Narcotics Control Board (INCB); and finally, iii) a discussion of outcomes, recommendations and next steps. All countries made presentations during the event. Some countries, notably the Iran, Pakistan and Kyrgyz Republic, presented important and significant seizures, which may be followed up further in subsequent meetings. While the meeting has largely focused on heroin precursors in the past, with the significant increases in the quantity and diversity of synthetic drugs being detected in the region, there was considerable discussion on synthetic drug precursors and strategies to address the growing problem.

The regular and case-based meetings of the RWGP have been instrumental in the significant sharing of information on precursor cases and have triggered backtracking investigations that have resulted in further seizures in source and destination countries. The Regional Programme continues supporting Member States in the West and Central Asia region to develop joint regional responses and strategies to curb the trafficking of precursor chemicals.

This meeting was supported financially by the Government of Finland and this meeting also supports the objectives of the Paris Pact Initiative.