Bangladesh: Government of Bangladesh and UNODC forge strategic path forward with National Consultation to Develop 'The Dhaka Roadmap' Cooperation Framework

Dhaka, Bangladesh/30 August 2023: Bangladesh, on line with the progress of its graduation from least developed country status and linked with strides in human development and economic growth, is primed for a new phase of comprehensive progress as envisaged in its ‘Smart Bangladesh’ vision 2041. This requires effectively strengthening security, health and the rule of law--and addressing risks posed by issues such as the drug challenge, human trafficking, smuggling of migrants, terrorism and violent extremism and corruption, to consolidate and sustain its achievements.

In this spirit, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Bangladesh and UNODC convened a landmark national consultation to develop a cooperation framework - 'The Dhaka Roadmap'– a first-of-its kind framework of partnership to guide UNODC initiatives in Bangladesh within the purview of the new Regional Programme for South Asia 2023-2027.

Over 41 national entities and government stakeholders from Bangladesh engaged in extensive deliberations on the contours of The Dhaka Roadmap, identifying key policy priorities, gaps, challenges and opportunities for the country. The intensive discussions helped gather focused recommendations and inputs on key areas of cooperation pertaining to the drug problem, organized crime and criminal justice. These were also aimed at aligning UNODC initiatives on security, the rule of law and health, with broader policy frameworks at the national and international levels.

Foreign Secretary Mr. Masud Bin Momen opened the national consultation, in presence of senior officials including the Senior Secretary of the Public Security Division of Ministry of Home Affairs, Secretary of the Security Service Division of Ministry of Home Affairs, the Secretary of the Law and Justice Division of Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, the Secretary of the Anti-Corruption Commission and the UN Resident Coordinator.

Foreign Secretary Mr. Momen highlighted the need for stronger collaboration in the areas of capacity building, intelligence sharing and research, saying, “Enhanced collaboration and partnership will complement the robust efforts already undertaken by the Government of Bangladesh to combat the organized crimes.”

“Across South Asia, including Bangladesh, transnational organized crime groups and their networks profit from illicit activities that range from drugs and precursor trafficking to human trafficking and migrant smuggling, to the trade of endangered species. These have serious implications for the legal, political, economic, and social stability of the region. The Dhaka Roadmap will be the first cooperation framework between the Government of Bangladesh and UNODC,” said Mr. Marco Teixeira, UNODC Regional Representative for South Asia.

By anchoring the roadmap to the UNODC Strategy 2021-2025 and harmonizing it with the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) 2022-2026 for Bangladesh, the workshop set the stage for a concerted effort to fortify national and regional responses against drugs and organized crime, and their intricate web of challenges.

The activity contributed to SDG 16 and SDG 17: