Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries

West and Central Asian Countries join efforts to counter New Psychoactive Substances

 

On 22 June 2021, the UNODC Regional Program for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries (RP- ANC) convened an online meeting jointly with the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre (CARICC) to discuss the plans of the operation "REFLEX-2021”.

In opening the meeting, Col. Aziz Dolosbaev, highlighted the importance of the Operation:

“the regional operation REFLEX, organized and carried out in 2017, 2018 and 2019 with the coordinating role of CARICC, clearly demonstrated the urgency of the growing problem of NPS and other synthetic narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances”.

CARICC, as the main coordinating body, presented the plans of the operation "REFLEX-2021 discussing the steps required to successfully conduct the regional operation in 2021. Several stages will be conducted including: initial collection of background information including any new laws, regulations and substances detected; analysis and exchange of information based on this and pertinent to the operation; the active stage of the operation in which countries will work simultaneously; and, reporting and support methods.

In this joint meeting, 24 senior experts on illicit drug control from law enforcement agencies, customs services, and forensic units of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan as well as representatives from CARICC and UNODC were brought together to comment on the plans for upcoming operation and discuss ways to refine and strengthen the operation. Mongolia joined the meeting for the first time as an observer.

Following discussions, recommendations of the meeting were developed and shared with participants. All participating countries agreed on the importance of a unified response to the threats caused by NPS and have expressed their support for conducting regional operation "REFLEX-2021" under the coordination of CARICC with support from the UNODC Regional Programme.

Operation REFLEX since its launch in 2017 has been playing an important role in combating trafficking of illicit New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) and synthetic drugs by strengthening regional cooperation across the Western and Central Asia region. Over its successive implementation in three years, Operation REFLEX has been instrumental in the seizure of about 18.6 tons of NPS and other synthetic narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.