Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries

The Regional Programme Concludes the 6th Annual Programme Steering Committee Meeting 

6 April 2017, Astana, Kazakhstan

The 6th Steering Committee Meeting of the Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries was hosted by the Government of Kazakhstan in Astana on 6 April 2017. The Steering Committee Meeting was held back to back with the Steering Committee Meeting of the Central Asia Programme. Mr.Rashid Zhakupov, Deputy Minister of the Interior of Kazakhstan and Mr. Alexandre Schmidt, Chief of the UNODC Regional Section for Europe, West and Central Asia, HQ Vienna opened the meeting.


During the meeting, senior representatives from the drug control agencies, Ministries of Interior and Foreign Affairs from the eight Regional Programme Countries (Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Republic of Uzbekistan) , as well as donors, international partners and organizations reviewed the achievements made under the programmes in 2016 and identified and adopted the priorities for 2017.   

On this occasion, UNODC's Executive Director, Mr. Yury Fedotov, in his video message to the participants informed that UNODC has delivered over 29 million USD technical assistance across West and Central Asia in 2016 to bolster law enforcement cooperation, ensure fair, effective and humane criminal justice systems, prevent drug use, HIV and treatment as well as support  research and advocacy to ensure responses based on evidence and scientific data. Mr.Fedotov urged that more than ever before it is important for the states to work together on drugs, crime and terrorism issues given the increase in poppy cultivation in Afghanistan and emerging concerns on security and violent extremism.  

Mr. Andrey Avetisyan, Regional Representative for Afghanistan and the Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries, noted that strengthened regional cooperation and joint responses to countering illicit drugs and transnational organized crime was having a positive impact in the West and Central Asia region. He thanked the Member States, donor countries and stakeholders for their unwavering commitment to work together to address the shared challenges.