India: UNODC calls for enhanced law enforcement coordination and evidence-based responses to counter organised crime at the 18th World Security Congress

Jaipur, Rajasthan/23 February 2023: Countering organised crime and illicit trafficking in persons, drugs and other contraband requires multi-stakeholder cooperation with an integrated and holistic approach. This can be achieved by creating joint frameworks of action, facilitating exchange of information and good practices and identifying immediate priority actions with knowledge sharing and research.

In this backdrop, UNODC presented critical insights on emerging security challenges, trends and innovations at the 18th World Security Congress, hosted by the International Union of Railways (UIC) and the Railway Protection Force, India from 21-23 February in Jaipur. UNODC Regional Representative for South Asia, Mr. Marco Teixeira and Drug Law Enforcement Expert, Mr. Jayant Misra, participated in the discussions.

Opened by the Director General of India’s Railway Protection Force, Mr. Sanjay Chander, the three-day Congress bought together law enforcement and government agencies and experts from 22 countries to exchange good practices on strengthening railway security and counter crime, drugs and human trafficking.

In the discussions, UNODC joined experts in emphasizing the importance of investing in advanced technologies, cross-border cooperation, and proactive measures to mitigate security risks, to enable safer railways in future.

Presenting global trends on drugs and crime, Mr. Teixeira reflected on ways to enhance passenger safety and freight security--focusing on countering drug trafficking and organised crime. "Let's put coordination, communication and cooperation on track," he said.

Mr. Teixeira also called for stronger evidence-based responses, law enforcement cooperation, investment in capacity-building and enhanced drug identification methodologies and tools.

Mr. Pankaj Kumar Singh, Deputy National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister of India highlighted the exceptional role played by Railway Protection Force towards enhancing passenger security in lndia, through various initiatives such as Operation Nanhe Farishte for rescue of children.

Mr. Francois Davenne, Director General of the UIC, emphasized that ensuring the security of freight, passengers and railways assets requires innovative approaches which can foresee the future challenges and accordingly develop a robust security infrastructure.

Participants also emphasised the need to adopt new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things among others to develop comprehensive solutions for Railway Security that covers all aspects of the railway system, including infrastructure, operations, and passenger experience.

The Congress concluded with the “Jaipur declaration”, which outlines an actionable agenda for stakeholders to explore innovative approaches that can help global Railway organizations achieve their long-term goal of safety and security.

This activity contributed to SDG 16: