Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries

The Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network of West and Central Asia continues its operations during the global pandemic

1 March 2021

The first meeting of the Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network of West and Central Asia  (ARIN-WCA) Steering Group (SG) of 2021 was convened on 1st of March by the Network’s Secretariat under the new ARIN-WCA Presidency held by Uzbekistan for the current year, with technical support provided by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) under its Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries (RPANC). Focal points from Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan along with the new members of Steering Group from Afghanistan and the Iran (I.R.) met virtually to discuss and approve the 2020 Network's report and 2021 plan of activities and operations.   

Presidency for 2022 and 2023 was discussed among the members, and countries interested in assuming the role were invited to submit their expression of interest by June 2021 to be discussed in the next Steering Group meeting. The secretariat provided an update on ARIN-WCA contact members registration and a follow up was agreed to complete the list. ARIN-WCA membership was also discussed, and the possibility of granting member status to willing jurisdictions was considered under the guidance of UNODC experts. The group was updated by the Secretariat on the status of the Network’s webpage and various options were discussed to populate it. Mr. Danilo Campisi, Criminal Justice Advisor to the Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries updated the group on the status of the two peer review exercises that took place in 2020, that are currently under final review by the reviewees and expected to be finalised by the end of April. 2021 peer reviews were also discussed

Uzbek focal points informed the group about the legislative reform process currently ongoing in Uzbekistan and that it is likely to result in the amendment of few relevant legislative instruments. Furthermore, UNODC experts presented the second modules of the asset management and beneficial ownership training courses which will take place in the second half of 2021 which. In addition, the possibility to organize a training on international disposal of assets in 2021 was also considered. SG members also considered the possibility to design and produce a ARIN-WCA contact points module with input from other networks and technical support of RPANC.   

UNODC expressed appreciation to the government of Finland and the European Union for providing financial support to this meeting.