Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries

West and Central Asian countries agreed to focus their efforts on  effective control and countering illicit precursors

Tehran, 15 July 2019

On 15-16 July 2019 in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, the UNODC Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries (Regional Programme) within the scope of SP1 on Regional Law Enforcement Cooperation convened the 12 th meeting of the Regional Working Group on Precursors (RWGP) as well as a Precursors Case Meeting (PCM). 

The meeting of the Regional Working Group on Precursors was attended by 25 senior experts on illicit drug control from law enforcement agencies and customs services from Afghanistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan as well as representatives from China, CARICC and UNODC.

During the event, participating countries presented information on major precursor seizures in 2019 and reviewed the evolving situation with respect to illicit trafficking of precursors. Participating Regional Programme member countries expressed their strong support to the regional operation "Substitute" on countering illicit precursors and agreed to conduct the next phase of that operation. Countries proposed to develop and approve the plan and modalities for the operation "Substitute. Phase 3" at the next expert meeting and requested UNODC to convene the  next RWGP meeting in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Following the RWGP meeting, on 16 July 2019, a Precursor Case Meeting was conducted with participation of representatives of the law enforcement agencies from Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, China, as well as UNODC and INCB with the aim to review cases of precursor seizures from illicit trafficking and look into the feasibility of carrying out regional investigations. Participants informed on progress and action taken on precursor cases presented at the last PCM meeting conducted in July 2018 and expressed their readiness to share information on precursors cases as well as through timely submission of data into the PICS system.

Mr. Nematollah Moovandi, officer of the Customs Administration of the Islamic Republic of Iran, during his speech has given a very positive assessment if the communication and information sharing conducted between Regional Programme countries in the frame of Regional Working Group on Precursors and PCM meetings. He has informed that thanks to information exchange at these platforms on precursors trafficking including ways and methods of concealment used by criminals, Iranian customs authorities have revised their risk profiling indicators and succeeded to reveal several major cases of illicit precursors consignments.     

The meeting was organized under the funding from the European Union and Finland.