See also:

Myanmar country programme extended and plan agreed

Naypyitaw (Myanmar), 17 February 2016
- UNODC's country programme in Myanmar has been extended and its annual plan agreed at a meeting that reaffirmed its strategic importance and direction. The decision made in the second meeting of the Programme Governance Committee (PGC) highlights the expectation that the challenges addressed by the Country Programme will continue to be prioritized by the incoming Government.

Myanmar faces a number of challenges relating to drugs, crime and criminal justice. It is the largest producer of synthetic drugs in Southeast Asia, and the world's second largest opium producer. Drug trafficking routes which cross isolated border areas to move drugs to markets outside the country are used in reverse to smuggle precursor chemicals in. Porous borders are also vulnerable to migrant smuggling and human, wildlife and timber trafficking. The significant financial proceeds generated by different forms of trafficking in Myanmar are laundered and distort the legitimate economy, corrupt public officials, and undermine stability.

Acknowledging the challenges faced by the country, the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development highlighted the need for a more coordinated approach from the international community, and suggested that the Country Programme should be used as an umbrella for the coordination of the areas that it covers. UNODC's Country Manager in Myanmar, Troels Vester, also acknowledged the need for more coordination, and agreed to organize a first coordination meeting in the 2nd quarter of 2016.

UNODC's work in the country seeks to tackle the most pressing drug and crime challenges, including the interrelated issues of corruption, weak law enforcement and criminal justice. It does so by providing advisory services to assist Myanmar in the adaptation of international norms into national legislation and policy; enhancing data collection and analysis to increase knowledge and understanding of drugs and crime issues; and offering specialized expertise at the regional level to address challenges that are often better dealt with using a common regional or sub-regional approach.

Jeremy Douglas United Nations UN UNODC

The Chief of the Myanmar Police Force (MPF), Major General Zaw Win, highlighted the importance of continuing and expanding the cooperation between UNODC and the MPF, and pointed to the importance of active engagement in regional forums for border control and trafficking in the Mekong region.

The Attorney General and the Supreme Court commented that the foreseen work in the CP is in line with and supports their own priorities. The meeting was jointly chaired by Deputy Minster of Home Affairs Brigadier General Kyaw Kyaw Tun, and UNODC's Regional Representative Jeremy Douglas, with presentations by UNODC's Country Manager Troels Vester and 75 participants from 15 ministries in attendance.