Opening of the UNODC Regional Office for South-Eastern Europe in Istanbul

1 March 2023, Istanbul, Türkiye: With the arrival in Istanbul of Danilo Rizzi, UNODC Regional Representative for South-Eastern Europe and Ketil Ottersen, Head of the Global Container Control Programme, the new UNODC’s Regional Office for South-Eastern Europe (ROSEE) in Istanbul has been officially opened and become operational.  

In his meeting with the Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia at the United Nations Development Coordination Office (DCO) in Istanbul, Danilo Rizzi expressed enthusiasm to join DCO and other UN Regional Offices in Istanbul and thanked DCO and the Government of Türkiye, for hosting ROSEE and supporting UNODC presence in the country.

The establishment of the UNODC ROSEE comes at a very critical time for the region and Türkiye in particular as the country is slowly recovering from the devastating earthquake that claimed over 50,000 lives and left many more without homes and deeply traumatized. In response to the earthquake, UNODC made available online support resources and hosted a dedicated webpage on Earthquake response: Türkiye, Syria, Lebanon and neighbouring countries. These tools are aimed at supporting mental health in caregivers and their children and preventing negative social and health outcomes for both parties and are designed to reach caregivers via print dissemination but also to be mobile-friendly and shareable via phones or social media link with the support of relief teams.

In the following days, the Regional Representative paid his first official visit to key counterparts in the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Interior, Treasury and Finance as well as Police, Customs and other authorities in the Turkish capital, Ankara.

The meeting also provided the opportunity to introduce the Regional Office and to discuss topics of common interest, including the consolidation and expansion of UNODC presence in South-Eastern Europe.

Before relocating to Istanbul, the UNODC ROSEE was temporarily located in the UNODC Headquarters in Vienna. From the new Istanbul hub, ROSEE will be better positioned to deliver the UNODC Regional Programme for South-Eastern Europe (RPSEE) and further expand the excellent collaboration and partnership with the authorities of the host country.

The UNODC ROSEE in Istanbul will provide strategic support and high-level technical expertise on drugs, crime, corruption, criminal justice, and terrorism, to partner with countries and jurisdictions across South-Eastern Europe.