Archive of UNODC webstories 2016



How to investigate bitcoins: UNODC and OSCE train officers from South Eastern and Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19-23 December 2016, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova: UNODC and OSCE trained law enforcement, anti-money laundering and bank supervision agencies how to investigate money laundering with bitcoins, combat banking fraud and disrupt illicit financial flows. 34 officers from South Eastern Europe, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Central Asia got a practical training in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, on 19-23 December 2017.

Banking fraud generates significant illicit financial flows and poses a serious threat to the national economies. In the "Laundromat" case, the National Anticorruption Center of Moldova investigated laundering of more than USD 22 bln.

Bitcoin is the world largest cryptocurrency that enables payments in the internet. Capitalization of bitcoin is more than USD 13 bln. According to the 2016 World Drug Report, the 25% of drug users purchased drugs via the Internet. 


UNODC Global Programme against Money Laundering (GPML) and Global Programme on Cybercrime have developed a practical training on investigating money laundering with bitcoins and delivered it in Chisinau.

Participants got a practical experience with the simulated investigation of the serious banking fraud, and real-time tracing of bitcoins with the use of computers and disrupting the illicit financial flows.

" I have very much enjoyed this seminar. It was both challenging and interesting. We actually simulated an investigation of money laundering through bitcoins and this interactive form of learning gave me a good introduction to this trending topic" said Mr. Baurzhan Kurmanov, Senior Assistant to Prosecutor General of Kazakhstan .

" The great impression I got was from the most interesting and least known to me 'Cryptocurrency' topic  and the current leader in the world-Bitcoin. The speakers provided the high level of knowledge and understanding of the technology" said Mr. Aleksandar Velkov, Senior Financial Intelligence Unit Officer, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.  

The training was organized in cooperation with the OSCE Coordinator of Economic and Environment Activities and the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe. The training was organized with the financial support of USA Department of State, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Government of Norway.


UNODC hosts discussion on impact of organized crime on international security sector governance and reform

14 December 2016, Vienna, Austria: Aiming to enhance international collaboration against transnational organized crime (TOC) in the work on Security Sector Reform (SSR), UNODC - together with the Permanent Mission of the Slovakia to the International Organizations in Vienna - hosted a high-level event in Vienna on this topic. The discussion is a follow-up to the launch of the Integrated Technical Guidance Note (ITGN) on SSR and TOC, which took place during the 25 th Session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice last May in Vienna.

The document is a collaborative work of a wide range of actors from within the United Nations (UN) System, namely the UN Interagency Task Force on SSR which is led by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. The guidance note highlights the impact of TOC on security and stability, and presents an approach for including TOC counter measures into SSR processes. The note contains technical measures to counter TOC, in line with the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and its three Protocols. Furthermore, the document addresses long term institution building and includes preventative measures in order to strengthen security governance, the rule of law and human rights.

During the discussion, UNODC Deputy Executive Director highlighted the need for his Office to work collaboratively with the international community, in particular with OSCE and the EU, and to join forces in this area to build the capacity and deliver specialized training to security sector practitioners. He stressed that "a joint security development human rights approach is essential, and modern threats cannot be met with traditional responses. Insecurity is rampant vis-a-visglobal crises, and we are facing a global transition which requires joint efforts, courage and decisive actions and measures to protect human rights."

The OSCE and the EU presented their new policy frameworks on SSR. Best national practices were presented both at national and regional levels, such as the Kyrgyzstan Prison Reform Programme and the Sahel Integrated Programme on judicial reforms. Austria, host country of the UN in Vienna, also shared its experience and future perspectives on SSR. The gender perspective and its link to SSR was also addressed.

The Head of the EU Delegation to the UN in Vienna, Didier Lenoir, referred to the importance of SSR in Europe, and highlighted that European countries are directly affected by TOC. "TOC affects democracy, undermines States, and leads to insecurity and instability. National ownership, States' leadership and society engagement are key elements," he said. For his part, the Director of the Office of the OSCE Secretary General, Paul Bekkers, emphasized that the new OSCE guidelines assist in countering TOC and in fostering the rule of law.

Chairing the meeting, the Slovakian Ambassador to the International Organizations in Vienna  called on Member States to establish a Group of Friends on SSR in Vienna, building on an existing group at UN headquarters in New York. Its aim would be to coordinate Vienna actions and implement the UN Security Council Resolution 2151 on SSR and promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular Goal 16 regarding peaceful and inclusive societies, access to justice for all, and accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

International Anti-Corruption Day: recognizing excellence in combatting corruption

(efforts in the region also recognized)

9 December 2016, Vienna, Austria: Marking International Anti-Corruption Day, the inaugural Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani Anti-Corruption Excellence Award was presented today in Vienna to recognize significant global efforts to combat corruption. At a ceremony attended by His Highness, the Emir of the State of Qatar, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Attorney-General of Qatar, Dr. Ali Bin Fetais Al Marri, and the UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, awards were presented in four categories: innovation, research, youth creativity and lifetime achievement.

The Award, established by the  Rule Of Law and Anti-corruption Center (ROLACC), is designed to support UNODC's anti-corruption mandate and highlight the importance of tackling corruption. It also seeks to encourage the implementation of the  United Nations Convention against Corruption as the world's only legally binding international anti-corruption treaty.

Coinciding with this event, a sculpture representing efforts in tackling corruption was also unveiled at the United Nations in Vienna. The structure, donated by Qatar, joins a range of other works situated around the UN grounds which highlight the varied work of the Organization. The sculpture is of a large hand, depicting the urgency of stopping corruption and saying "no" to this crime.

The Award itself is aimed at showcasing creative and outstanding achievements of anti-corruption efforts from across the globe and acts as both a tool to honour those who have shown dedication to tackling corruption and as an inspiration to others to replicate similar efforts. Commenting on this at the opening of the Award ceremony, Dr. Al Marri noted, "This is an important and far reaching initiative, and it requires committed and courageous people who have the determination to fight corruption at all levels. To the Award winners, I hope that this award will inspire and support you, and others, to continue the fight against corruption".

Qatar's efforts to drive crime prevention and the rule of law was evidenced through the support given to the Doha Declaration adopted at the 13 th Crime Congress last year and translated into a wide-ranging Global Programme which is being undertaken through to 2020.

Highlighting the ever-pressing need to work towards tackling corruption, and offering his congratulations to the recipients whose efforts reflect this, Mr. Ban said: "As a strangling root that reaches deep into all our societies, corruption chokes hopes and frustrates opportunities. It enables the few to prosper at the expense of millions who are left behind. Through their courage, today's award recipients are delivering a clear message that corruption is incompatible with fair and ethical societies".

Pointing to the actions taken by the Award recipients, as well as people from all walks of life, Mr. Fedotov spoke on the importance of inclusive efforts to tackle corruption: "Together, the public and private sectors, international and regional organizations, financial institutions and civil society, must stand united against corruption in all its forms". He also referenced the new, multi-year International Anti-Corruption Day theme officially launched today - #UnitedAgainstCorruption - and spoke of the centrality of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. "The 2030 Agenda has given fresh impetus to the battle against corruption by recognizing that anti-corruption action is essential to end poverty; ensure quality education, promote decent work and economic growth; and protect natural resources".

The 2016 Award winners are:

  • The Anti-Corruption Lifetime Achievement Award (recognizing noteworthy and outstanding contributions made to support the global fight against corruption). Presented to Thelma Aldana (Attorney General of Guatemala);
  • The Anti-Corruption Academic Research Award (looking at academic research in the area of anti-corruption). Shared by Miodrag Labovic (Professor of Law at the Faculty of Security at Skopje, and founder of the NGO Mission Center for Anti-Corruption and Justice); and Groupe De Recherche Corruption & Démocratie (CORDÉ) (a joint research network between the University of Montreal, the University of Toronto, the Sorbonne University, the Catholic University of Lille and the Catholic University of Central Africa).
  • The  Anti-Corruption Youth Creativity Award (focussing on projects designed and led by young people and, where applicable, supported by civil society organizations). Shared by Anti-Corruption Youth Greece (a movement 'by young Greek people for young Greek people' which is currently looking to tackle corruption in sports and migration-related corruption in the Mediterranean region); and TM Music (a Tanzanian NGO, composed of young singers, that use the power of song to raise awareness and drive home an anti-corruption message); and
  • The  Anti-Corruption Innovation Award (offering recognition and appreciation to innovative approaches and prominent contributions to the prevention of and fight against corruption). Shared by ARTLORDS (an Afghan grassroots movement of artists who use street art in the form of mural paintings to raise awareness against corruption); and Hanan Khandagji (a Palestinian investigative journalist, who worked undercover to investigate the abuse of children with disabilities in private facilities, which led to significant reforms and prosecution of corruption cases).

For more information please see the article on the main UNODC webpage.

Experts discuss challenges related to Small Arms and Light Weapons in South Eastern Europe

5-7 December 2016, Budva, Montenegro: UNODC has taken part in the 6th meeting of National Commissions on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) of the members of the South Eastern and Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SEESAC). The approximately 40 meeting participants included representatives of the targeted jurisdictions (National Commissions on SALW, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Security, Ministry of Internal Affairs), the Flemish Peace Institute, the University of Bradford, as well as international and regional experts.

The objective of the event was to facilitate the regional information exchange process bringing together representatives of SALW Commissions from the region.

One of the key points discussed during the meeting was the importance of data collection on seized and trafficked firearms as basis to identify and develop approaches to address illicit trafficking routes. The UNODC Global Firearms Programme was invited by SEESAC to attend the meeting and present UNODC's data collection efforts in this regard, including the 2015 UNODC Study on Firearms and the ongoing review of the data collection methodology taking into account target 16.4 of the Agenda for Sustainable Development. The presentation was positively perceived and generated a lot of interest, with some of the countries enquiring about a possibility for UNODC to present the study and explain the importance of data collection on firearms at national level.

The participants agreed that the next meeting of National Commissions should particularly address the topics of data collection in relation to arms trafficking and armed violence as well as legislative review and harmonization processes in the region.

For more information please refer to the UNODC Study on Firearms:

The UNODC - Lions Quest "Skills for Adolescence" programme starts working in Bosnia and Herzegovina

5-7 December 2016, Sarajevo, Bosna and Herzegovina: UNODC in partnership with the Lions Club International Foundation commenced the programme Lions Quest "Skills for Adolescence" in South East Europe in 2014 starting from Serbia and gradually expanding to Montenegro and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in 2015-16. Following the successful implementation in these countries, further expansion of the programme became possible for Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina starting as of 2017.

The inception meeting of the Lions Quest "Skills for Adolescence" programme was arranged together with the Ministry of the Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the representatives of relevant institutions from the Republic of Srpska and Federation to discuss the programme implementation and the next steps. Representatives from the Ministry of Education from Republic of Srpska and Federation as well as the CSO representatives attended the meeting, along with the national Lions Club members. The meeting was facilitated by the LCIF global programme coordinator and UNODC.

Among the topics discussed in the meeting were: the presentation of the LQ Skills for adolescence programme; presentation of evidence based drug use prevention interventions and programmes, as well as the International Standards on drug use prevention; programme implementation based on reliable data; evaluation of LQ programme in South Eastern European region and the results from the three countries where it has worked already; as well as the presentation of specific topics covered by the programme.

The programme will start its active phase in Bosnia and Herzegovina as of early 2017.

Coordination efforts are ongoing to streamline assistance in South Eastern Europe under the EU umbrella

30 November 2016, Vienna, Austria: The first informal meeting of the implementing partners of the Initiative Support to the Western Balkan Integrative Internal Security Governance (IISG) was hosted by UNODC in Vienna. The meeting was chaired by the EU DG NEAR and attended by the representatives of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), the Secretariat of the Police Cooperation Convention for South Eastern Europe (PCC SEE), the representatives of the Governments of Slovenia, Germany, Italy, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL), the Council of Europe, the OSCE, and other partners, including heads of IPA projects operating the region, among them the UNODC project on measuring and assessing organized crime.

The parameters of the future work were discussed in the course of the informal meeting, including the need for close coordination and non-duplication of efforts. The IISG will attentively consider the lessons learned of the previous donor coordination mechanisms in the Balkans and to set up sufficient promotion and monitoring strategy in the course of 2017.

Practical work under the new initiative on measuring and assessing organized crime in the Western Balkans begins

1-2 December 2016, Vienna, Austria: The First Advisory Committee Meeting of the UNODC initiative "Measuring and assessing organized crime in the Western Balkans: supporting evidence based policy making" has taken place in the UNODC HQ in Vienna.

The event was opened by the representative of the EU DG NEAR - the donor of the project - as well as the UNODC representatives. The opening session proceeded with the presentation of the project and its foreseen goals, objectives and actions.

Furthermore, the roles of the Advisory Committee and the National Technical Groups were reviewed and agreed upon. The mechanisms and modalities of the data collection under the project were discussed during the second day of the meeting, along with the foreseen way forward in the next 12 months.

The overall objective of the project is to contribute to the strengthening of the rule of law through the fight against organised crime in the beneficiary countries and territories. This Project will help address the aforementioned challenges with respect to enhancing the understanding of the nature and evolution of organised crime.

The specific objectiveof the Project is to develop and implement a statistical framework for quantifying and analyzing organised crime in the Western Balkans, to establish mechanisms to monitor it and to produce an evidence-based analytical report on OC in the Western Balkans.

The foreseen results of the project include:

1) Definition and implementation of a statistical framework for measuring organised crime in the Western Balkans;

2) Creation of a regional data repository to collect, store and disseminate data and indicators on organized crime;

3) Targeted qualitative surveys on selected topics relevant to organised crime;

4) Targeted technical assistance to beneficiaries to improve data collection;

5) A final regional report on organised crime in the Western Balkans.

The project represents an important next activity undertaken with the EU DG NEAR in the region.

UNODC briefs Slovenian students on the anti-terrorism work of the UN

28-29 November 2016, Ljubljana, Slovenia: A UNODC expert gave a presentation to law students of the Faculty of Law of the University of Ljubljana on the role of the UN and UNODC, in particular in the international terrorism prevention efforts. He then discussed the international legal framework dealing with terrorism, foreign terrorism fighters and the illicit trade of cultural artefacts. The presentation was well received and was followed by a discussion on some of the issues arising from it. The UNODC expert then held a meeting with the University to discuss possibilities to develop a proposal to build an annotated database of foreign terrorism fighters cases.

On the occasion of the visit to the capital of Slovenia, the UNODC representative also met with the Police Cooperation Convention for Southeast Europe (PPC SEE) Secretariat and discussed the EU-backed Western Balkans Counter-Terrorism Initiative (WBCTi) and the possibility for further cooperation between UNODC and PPC SEE. 

Governing body of the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe approves the results of work in 2016 and endorses the workplan for 2017

25 November 2016, Vienna, Austria: The 8 th meeting of the Steering Committee of the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe has met in Vienna and gathered around the table the members of the Steering Committee, Ambassadors and senior representatives of the countries of the region, donor and partner countries, partner organizations, UN Resident Coordinators from the region and other counterparts, as well as experts and senior managers of UNODC, including its Executive Director.

In his opening remarks, the UNODC Executive Director pointed out that the Regional Programme is an central instrument for the UNODC's work and priorities in this strategically important region. He also stated that the Regional Programme is bearing promising results already in its first year, after its launch on 26 November 2015.

The Chief of the UNODC Regional Section for Europe, West and Central Asia, and Regional Representative for South Eastern Europe, outlined the context and policy setting for the Regional Programme, including with regard to the UNODC consultations with the EU Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiation.

The UNODC Programme offices in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia made video presentations of the work done in the region in 2016 and illustrated the achieved results. The detailed matrix with the outcomes of work in the current year was also provided to the participants. The coordinator of the Regional Programme presented the workplan for the upcoming year which was unanimously endorsed.

In their statements, the Ambassadors and senior representatives from the region have expressed their appreciation of and support to the UNODC work in South Eastern Europe and underlined the usefulness of the Regional Programme for the EU accession perspective in the region, as well as its complementarity to the work by other partners, efficiency and effectiveness.

The Head of the Permanent Mission of Albania to the United Nations in Vienna noted in particular that the Programme provided effective responses in the context of the EU integrated agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, and called for increased attention to the challenges related to cannabis cultivation in Albania. This call will be responded to already in January 2017. The Permanent Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations in Vienna pointed out that the Regional Programme and the Programme Office in Sarajevo, acting as the regional center of expertise in the area of anti-money laundering / counter-financing of terrorism, meets the priorities of the country. The Permanent Representative of Montenegro welcomed the target and multi-faceted approach of UNODC in the region and in the country. The Permanent Representative of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia underscored the direct connection with and complementarity to the chapters 23 and 24 of the EU acquis. The Permanent Representative of Serbia noted the positive impact of the Regional Programme in the country and stressed that his Government was satisfied with the quality of its deliverables.

All countries of the region, as well as the UN Resident Coordinators have addressed the donor community with a call for expanded support to the Regional Programme.

The Ambassador of the European Union stated that the EU is pleased to work together and confirmed the future plans for larger cooperation. The Ambassador of Turkey pledged the support of her country to the UNODC work in the region. The representatives of Austria, Romania and the Russian Federation welcomed strengthened cooperation. Statements were also delivered by the officials from the OSCE, UNMIK, Centre for Security Cooperation (RACVIAC), Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), the Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia, the Head of the Secretariat of the Police Cooperation Convention for South Eastern Europe, and other colleagues.

In his closing remarks, Deputy Executive Director of UNODC, Director of the Division for Operations has pointed out that the Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe is an integral part of the 'One UNODC Concerted Approach to Europe, West and Central Asia', and contributes to its success, especially when it comes to the practical cooperation in the field of anti-money laundering / counter-terrorism financing and the building of networks to address the topic of the illicit financial flows. He also stressed that this approach is fully in line with the UN General Assembly Special Session on the world drug problem and the Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


Video materials presenting some of the results of work in the region in 2016 are available under the below links:

UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme:

Anti-Money Laundering / Counter-Financing of Terrorism:

Prevention of Drug Use / Skills for Adolescence Programme:

Anti-Corruption Academic Initiative gathers professors from South Eastern Europe

23-26 November 2016, Tirana, Albania:  The Anti-Corruption Academic Initiative (ACAD) workshop was organized by UNODC to provide an opportunity for academics from South Eastern European (SEE) to exchange good practices and discuss challenges related to anti-corruption research and education, recommend ways to enhance their capacity to deliver high-quality anti-corruption education in their respective institutions, and consider approaches to strengthen the SEE Regional ACAD Network.

The workshop gathered over 30 academics and took place in the University of Tirana, Faculty of Law. It offered an opportunity for academics to discuss their approaches to teaching and research as well as substantive issues of interest in the field of anti-corruption. It also offered an opportunity to hear presentations on practical anti-corruption clinical legal education from the students' perspective. There were several participants from outside the region (from Ukraine and Malaysia) who attended in order to learn about good teaching practices and ways to promote the ACAD initiative in other countries and regions.

At the outset of the workshop, the UNODC officer gave a short overview of the ACAD initiative and took the opportunity to inform participants of the new E4J initiative. Participants then discussed recommendations that emanated from previous ACAD meetings, highlighting those which required further attention such as the need to diversify the teaching methods and enhance the inter-disciplinarily of anti-corruption education, teach about the links between anti-corruption and other areas of global concern, and promote the community outreach component of anti-corruption education.

Participants also discussed good practices in teaching anti-corruption, giving examples from their own universities. In this context, participants spoke about the interdisciplinary MA program on corruption studies in Sussex University, which involves courses, conferences, internships and study trips. It was noted that some of the activities were enabled by funds raised from the private sector. The model UN simulation in Ljubljana was also discussed. This activity revolved around the implementation of UNCAC.

Another discussion addressed anti-corruption legal clinics, such as those in Tirana and Belgrade, as a framework for engaging students in anti-corruption education. The clinic in Tirana involves moot courts, collaborative projects with Washington and Lee Law School in the US, and other aspects. The clinic in Belgrade conducts activities to raise awareness within the community about anti-corruption. A session was dedicated to presentations by students who participated in anti-corruption clinics, demonstrating the effectiveness of anti-corruption clinical legal education.  

Another session focused on ways to strengthen the SEE regional ACAD Network. Participants proposed that the regional network could be strengthened through creating national chapters/focal points that will ensure that at least one university in the state offers an anti-corruption course, that an awareness raising event is held annually, and that research is published. The national chapters/focal points would ideally be coordinated by a regional secretariat. It was also proposed that regional summer schools would be held annually to promote exchange between students and teachers from the region on anti-corruption issues. A participant affiliated with the Academy of Transparency and Human Rights of the European Public Law Organization (EPLO) in Athens, Greece, proposed that the Academy of Transparency and Human Rights would serve as secretariat for the SEE Regional ACAD Network.

Participants also discussed current trends in corruption, and the importance of teaching about them. One of the trends discussed was the growing recognition that transnational economic crimes, including corruption, are serious international crimes and therefore should not be subject to statutes of limitation. Another trend discussed was the systemic and institutional nature of corruption and organized crimes. In light of its complexity, graduate courses should be developed to study this phenomenon and consider possible responses. Another trend discussed was election-related corruption. It was suggested that election law classes should include modules on corruption, and that students should be encouraged to intern with election monitoring bodies as a way of learning about election-related corruption.

Participants also discussed challenges and opportunities in teaching anti-corruption. One of the issues discussed was the need to incorporate a gender dimension to anti-corruption education and research. Another one - the need to teach anti-corruption from an interdisciplinary perspective. There is also a need to merge theory and practice in anti-corruption education. It was suggested to use the existing "SEE law school networks" as a platform for collaboration in introducing anticorruption clinics, curriculum development, and exchange of teachers.  Cooperation with legal training centers could also be helpful.

Finally, participants discussed the need for integrity and ethics education in their different institutions as an approach to prevent and fight corruption and unethical practices in public administration. The discussion revealed that in many law schools in the Balkans there were no mandatory legal ethics courses. Instead, ethics is taught under other courses (legal philosophy, legal sociology) and in judges/prosecutors trainings. Participants stressed that ethical codes are not applied in practice by judges and prosecutors in the region. Possible approaches to ethics education were also discussed. It was recommended to use real cases with students, involve university students in teaching integrity to school students, agree on integrity standards between teachers and students, create a tradition of peer to peer consultations on ethical issues among alumni. It was also proposed that university professors act as mentors to students after they graduate and thus maintain the bond between graduates and the university, and encourage solidary among persons of integrity.

The workshop was facilitated by UNODC with funding from the Rule of Law and Corruption Centre (ROLACC) in Doha. Additional funding and logistical support was provided by Washington and Lee University School of Law, the University of Tirana School of Law, and the Embassy of the United States in Albania.  

For more information please refer to

TREATNET Volume D training on management of drug dependence treatment services conveyed for the health care professionals from South Eastern Europe

21-24 November 2016, Belgrade, Serbia: TREATNET is the UNODC educational package on comprehensive drug dependence treatment and includes four volumes representing crucial segments of multidisciplinary approach to treatment:

  • Volume A: screening, assessment and treatment planning;
  • Volume B: elements of psychosocial treatment;
  • Volume C: addiction medication and special population;
  • Volume D: management of drug dependence treatment services.

Since 2010, UNODC has been assisting the national professionals in the region of South East Europe to expand the knowledge on comprehensive drug dependence treatment through series of regional training where the first three Volumes of the educational package were primarily addressed. As a result of the initiative, in the period of 5 years, more than 1,400 professionals were educated on particular topics hence strengthening the national health systems in the respective countries.

Additionally, in the effort to enrich the professional knowledge and to provide the essential managerial skills for the governance of drug dependence treatment services, UNODC with recently finalized Volume D material on management of drug dependence treatment provided further education for the experts. The material addressed the topics of importance for the clinical managers such as: setting direction and planning, operational management and governance and evaluation.

In this regard, a four-day long Regional TREATNET training of trainers (ToT) on Volume D was organized in Belgrade with the active participation of more than 15 professionals from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia.

Following the successful finalization of the Regional ToT course, it is expected that the trainees will proceed with the local cascade trainings in their institutions and local communities, as well as make use of the acquired knowledge to strengthen their primary work as clinical managers.

First Expert Consultation on the Smuggling of Migrants in South Eastern Europe: focus on joint investigations and illicit financial flows 

16-18 November 2016, Belgrade, Serbia: As a first in a series of Regional Expert Group Meetings on the Smuggling of Migrants with a focus on the South Eastern Europe, UNODC conducted a regional expert consultation in Belgrade on 16-18 November 2016 on joint criminal investigations and prosecutions and disruption of illicit financial flows deriving from the smuggling of migrants. The regional expert meeting, which was made possible with generous funding and support from France, provided an opportunity among experts to exchange and discuss recent trends and modus operandi concerning the smuggling of migrants through the so-called Eastern Mediterranean route.   

Mr. Mitar Djuraskovic, Head of Department in the Ministry of Interior of Serbia, H.E. Ms. Christine Moro, Ambassador of France in Serbia and Ms. Irina Vojackova Sollorano, UN Resident Coordinator for Serbia, in their opening speeches reminded participants of the recently adopted New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, stressed the challenges related to the Western Balkans migration route in its political and security dimensions, and emphasized the crucial role cooperation among practitioners plays in addressing these dimensions.

After a review of the trends and patterns of the smuggling of migrants through the Western Balkans route by regional and international organizations and the academia, experts exchanged around concrete cases of cooperation in investigation and prosecution of smuggling presented by Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Turkey.

Given the centrality of the principle "follow the money" for effectively combating the smuggling of migrants as form of organized crime, a session was dedicated to financial investigations and anti-money laundering of the proceeds of the smuggling of migrants crime. After the sharing of perspective from international organizations, the private sector and civil society, experts continued discussing concrete cases analysis from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Montenegro and Serbia.

The regional expert meeting was highly valued by it participants as useful and practical, and it was agreed by the expert practitioners to meet again in 2017, with the support of UNODC, to further exchange experiences from their practice, and to network with the aim to improve direct communication and cooperation, in particular in the area of disrupting illicit financial flows deriving from the smuggling of migrants in South Eastern Europe.

UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons supports Serbian NGO ATINA in helping victims of human trafficking

14-15 November 2016, Belgrade, Serbia: UNODC has visited the NGO ATINA, an NGO currently funded via the second call of the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons. The purpose of the visit was to evaluate the performance of the NGO under the Trust Fund obligations in light of reviewing a possible extension of the grant for this NGO within the Grants Facility of the Trust Fund. The on-site visit provided an opportunity to meet with key project staff and assess the project implementation (by visiting multiple facilities, i.e. the reception centre and bagel shop which is operated by project beneficiaries as part of the reintegration program). The NGO shared achievements, challenges, and lessons learned under the project funded by the Trust Fund aimed towards assisting project beneficiaries (survivors of sexual and labour exploitation).

The bagel shop which is run by survivors that are furthest along in their personal rehabilitation and reintegration into the community. The NGO management provided UNODC with a thorough overview of the organizations work. The NGO also provided an opportunity to meet with project beneficiaries and observe the project activity as the beneficiaries were in the middle of an art therapy session.

Established in 2004, the NGO has been implementing various projects aimed at assisting victims of human trafficking within the context of being the only service provider able to house victims of trafficking in persons. The beneficiaries are identified through the NGO's hotline, and referred to the NGO by several government agencies.

ATINA is ensuring that women, children and men who have been exploited by human traffickers

are identified, treated humanely as victims of crime, and provided with the assistance, protection and support. ATINA is the only NGO in Serbia fully equipped to provide fully comprehensive services to victims of human trafficking.

Over the past year, 84 beneficiaries were included in the development of individual reintegration plans which are monitored on a regular basis; legal aid was provided to 42 beneficiaries; 22 beneficiaries in need were accommodated in the transition house and provided with food and other supplies; 6 beneficiaries were referred to medical institutions for secondary medical treatment; 37 beneficiaries were provided with additional psychological support; 20 primary beneficiaries were provided with family mediation and counselling; 44 beneficiaries completed practice and training programmes, and 16 more are expected to complete them; 90 informal gathering and workshops were organized during project implementation

The UNODC mission concluded that the NGO is providing high quality services for the beneficiaries.

Regional Serious and Organized Crime Threat Assessment (SOCTA) Presented in Belgrade

14 November 2016, Belgrade, Serbia: The "Regional SOCTA 2015 - Serbia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro" was launched with the presence of Ministers of Interior of all three countries as well as the Ambassadors of Switzerland and the OSCE Mission to Serbia, highlighting the importance of this document. Both the national SOCTAs and the regional one are an important step towards the intelligence led policing and fight against organized crime on the strategic level and addresses the EU's pre-accession requirements.

In their key notes all three Ministers of Interior stressed the importance of joint action on operational and strategic levels as well as the need to be a 'step ahead' of the Organized Crime Groups in terms of modus operandi, technology and cooperation. The Regional SOCTA document is a follow-up on the national SOCTAs and it was made by the expert teams of the Ministries of Interior of Serbia, Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia with the support and professional assistance of Europol experts and in line with the Europol methodology. The Europol provided the training on strategic analysis and drafting of SOCTA as well as on using tools for handling large data.

In a nutshell, the production and smuggling of drugs in Serbia, Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are the most dominant and the most profitable types of organized crime, in which the largest number of OCGs are involved. The OCGs are said to be poly-criminal and the same routes are used for trafficking of various types of goods. According to this SOCTA, the heroin trafficking through the Central Balkan route to Western Europe is on the decline and the production of synthetic drugs and precursors in clandestine laboratories is on the rise.

The UNODC expert contributed to the discussion and raised questions about the availability of data and the impact of this exercise for the future. The data that was used for drafting the national and the regional SOCTAs comes from internal sources, i.e. from the national institutions, and from external ones, such as from Europol, SELEC, UNODC, NGOs and academia, and it is expected that this exercise has raised the awareness about the importance of data availability and collection. The OSCE Mission to Serbia, which is implementing this project with the support of the Swiss Government, will seek ways to expand it regionally.

Presentation of the UNODC work in South Eastern Europe to the UN member states in Vienna

11 November 2016, Vienna, Austria: In accordance with the UNODC rules and regulations, the UNODC work in South Eastern Europe was presented to the Standing open-ended intergovernmental working group on improving the governance and financial situation of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (FinGov) in accordance with the regular workplan of the Group.

The UNODC team has in particular presented:

-          the fostered cooperation with the regional organizations, including SELEC, RACVIAC, Police Cooperation Convention, and others;

-          the inter-regional nature of activities;

-          the cooperation with Turkey and Hungary;

-          the launch of the new research initiative on Measuring and Assessing Organized Crime with the financial support of the EU;

-          the start of the counter-wild-life / forest crime work in the region;

-          the impressive results of the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme;

-          the outcomes of the work of the UNODC anti-human trafficking and smuggling of migrants programmes

-          the anti-money laundering / counter-financing of terrorism work;

-          the anti-corruption efforts undertaken in the region;

-          the work on countering and preventing the phenomenon of the foreign terrorism fighters;

-          as well as the active and impressive efforts of the UNODC drug demand reduction global programmes, including the Strengthening Family Programme 10-14 and the UNODC - Lions Quest Skills For Adolescence Programme;

-          and the coordination and evaluation of the work of UNODC in South Eastern Europe.

The report was well received and welcomed by the FinGov.


UNODC participates in the Cooperation Networks in the Area of Counter-Terrorism and Counter-Violent Extremism under the Auspices of the EU Western Balkan CT Initiative Regional Coordination Conference

10-11 November 2016, Tirana, Albania: Regional and international organisations and representatives of governments from South East Europe (SEE) gathered to discuss and coordinate regional and national activities on counter-terrorism, foreign terrorism fighters and counter-violent extremism in a conference which was organized by the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) and hosted by the Albanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Tirana. The conference was one of the activities which are part of the EU-backed Western Balkans Counter-Terrorism Initiative (WBCTI). It was attended by national focal points, Police Cooperation Convention for Southeast Europe (PCC SEE) members, coordination team members and representatives of international organisations. The participants agreed to, as of this year, organise annual conferences on regional coordination in the similar format in order to take stock of progress made thus far and suggest ways on how the joint efforts could be better coordinated and more efficient.

The objectives of the Conference were to:

-          Raise awareness about CT, PVE and WBCTI activities;

-          Be a platform for exchange of information, views and good practices among all principal stakeholders active in counterterrorism, and the prevention and countering of P-CVE in SEE;

-          Promote coordination among the members of the WBCTI.

The Conference was opened by senior representatives of the Government of Albania. This was followed by an update session provided by representatives of regional and international organizations about their activities in the region. The UNODC representative briefed the event on the FTF Training Module Project in SEE and the Global Project on Strengthening the Legal Regime Against FTF which includes the SEE region. A plan of activities for both projects was

shared with the participants. Separate meetings with specialized regional formats also took place during the conference.

UNODC will continue to explore opportunities for joint activities with the members of the WBCTI and participate in relevant events.

UNODC takes part in the OSCE-led regional round table new psychoactive substances

1-2 November 2016, Bucharest, Romania: UNODC took part in the regional round table on "Law Enforcement Co-operation in Combating New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) in Eastern Europe, Joint Investigations and Advantages of a Common Data Collection System". Theround table is the fourth meeting organized by the Strategic Police Matters Unit of the Transnational Threats Department of OSCE dealing with the challenges of NPS faced by European member states. UNODC was represented in all of these meetings, being represented by the Laboratory and Scientific Section. Other participants of the event included INCB, INTERPOL, EMCDDA, WCO and SELEC, as well as law enforcement representatives from Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Serbia and Turkey.

During the meeting, the UNODC representative gave two presentations, on the latest trends in the emergence of NPS and the international response to this emergence, including information on scheduling and a detailed presentation of the contents of the UNODC Early Warning Advisory on NPS. The second presentation covered the range of UNODC Scientific and Forensic services and products available to Member States.

UNODC contributed to the RACVIAC event on cyber security in South Eastern Europe

17-18 October 2016, Rakitje, Croatia: UNODC took part in the "Building a Cyber Resilient Society in South-Eastern Europe - Advanced Training Course" organized by the Centre for Security Cooperation for South Eastern Europe (RACVIAC). The event was attended by some 50 participants and aimed to provide military and civilian personnel from RACVIAC Members with high-level knowledge, skills and experience required for describing and evaluating the risks and threats of cyber space, improving cyber defence measures and providing advice to decision makers.

The Advanced Training Course was opened with welcoming remarks from the Director of RACVIAC and consisted of presentations delivered by the invited experts and discussions. A number of specialized core topics, mainly on the cyber security, cyber threats and cyber warfare, were tackled during the course.

The Course was supported by the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme and the Federal Republic of Germany.

UNODC provided a presentation on the misusing cyber space for inciting terrorism and violent extremism and contributed to discussions.

UNODC Supports Implementation of the Wildlife and Forest Crime Analytical Toolkit in Bosnia and Herzegovina

17-27 October 2016, Bosnia and Herzegovina: Assessment Mission aiming to facilitate implementation of the Wildlife and Forest Crime Analytic Toolkit of the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been conducted during the second half of October.

On the basis of joint efforts with the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina to fight against specific forms of organised crime, the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe and the Global Programme on Wildlife and Forest Related Crime facilitated assessment mission conducted by the UNODC law enforcement expert.

The Toolkit is a technical resource that assists States to conduct a comprehensive analysis of preventive and criminal justice responses related to wildlife and forest crimes and helps to evaluate the matters relevant to wildlife and forest crime: legislation, law enforcement measures, prosecutorial and judicial capacities, factors that drive wildlife and forest offences and the effectiveness of preventive interventions, and the availability, collection, and examination of data and other information relevant to wildlife and forest crime.

Assessment mission was carried out through a series of meeting in Sarajevo and Banja Luka with relevant national institutions, law enforcement agencies and other actors with jurisdiction in the field of organized crime and/or protection of nature, endangered flora and fauna, forest related crime and similar. UNODC officials also met with representatives of the international organizations, civil society representatives (CSOs) and bilateral embassies supporting the work of the UNODC programmes. Furthermore, the assessment included visits to the Nature Park "Hutovo Blato" and Border Inspection Posts (BIPs) Bijača and Gradiška.

The assessment mission will result with a comprehensive report by the UNODC's expert to be presented to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Based on the results of the analysis, UNODC and relevant authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina can identify key areas for improvement in the national response to wildlife crime. Further, the results help to design specific work plans for national capacity-building and technical assistance.

The Toolkit is available to all Governments that want to complete an assessment of wildlife and forest crime. Bosnia and Herzegovina is the first country in Europe that have conducted assessment of the Toolkit implementation.

Background information

The General Assembly affirmed the relevance of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) to fighting illicit trafficking in natural resources in its resolution 55/25 of 15 November 2000, in which it stated that the Convention "constitutes an effective tool and the necessary legal framework for international cooperation in combating such criminal activities as illicit trafficking of protected species of wild fauna and flora, in furtherance of the principles of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora". In this connection, UNODC has an important role to play in terms of strengthening the capacity of Governments to investigate, prosecute and adjudicate crimes against protected species of wild flora and fauna.

It is recognized that through the illegal trade in wildlife (including illegal logging), countries and their populations are being deprived of scarce renewable resources, and loss of income from a possible legal trade in such resources bears heavily on their revenues and undermines their ability to implement development programmes and to strengthen the rule of law. There is also an urgent need to highlight the fact that illegal trafficking in wildlife and illegal logging are not only imminent threats to natural biodiversity and wildlife preservation, but also a serious factor enriching transnational organized crime groups and negatively influencing the development of the rule of law.

Government of Albania and United Nations sign the Programme of Cooperation

24 October 2016, Tirana, Albania: The Government of Albania (Mr. Niko Peleshi, Deputy Prime Minister) and the United Nations (Mr. Brian Williams, UN Resident Coordinator) signed today the Programme of Cooperation for Sustainable Development (PoCSD) 2017-2021 that will enter into effect on 1 January 2017.

PoCSD 2017-2021 is the over-arching "One Programme" of the Delivering as One approach that articulates UN Albania's vision, strategy and plan of action to support national development efforts over five years. It serves as the UN Sustainable Development Framework (the proposed new global reference label replacing "UNDAF"). 

The Programme is designed to support Albania in translating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the objectives of the National Strategy for Development and Integration 2015-2020 into actions. It is a result of the intensive consultations that took place in 2015 with participation from different national stakeholders including line ministries, civil society, development partners and private sector.

Seventeen UN agencies will contribute to implementation of the new PoCSD 2017-2021, which is expected to amount at $108 million for joint initiatives over the five year period. In addition to this, individual UN agencies will continue to focus on areas of their mandate through their country programme and strategies. UNODC is a contributor and signatory to the PoCSD 2017-2021.

Global Container Control Programme Annual Meeting organized in Albania

10-14 October 2016, Durres, Albania: In 2016, the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme has further expanded its coverage (over 30 countries) and improved the results of work. The CCP staff from around the world met in Durres to look into best practices and share experiences. The annual meeting reviewed the Programme's progress in the current year and defined the most important Programme's activity areas in 2017.

The Government of Albania has supported the meeting; its representatives emphasized the importance of the implementation of the CCP in Albania and the usefulness of the new standards that CCP has set in the implementation of the Integrated Border Management Strategy.

UNODC Co-Sponsors the National Risk Assessment of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in Bosnia and Herzegovina 

11-13 October, 2016, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina: Representatives from 49 institutions involved in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF) in Bosnia and Herzegovina gathered in Sarajevo to hold the first training and group workshop for the national ML/TF risk assessment of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The national ML/TF risk assessment is the process of identifying and evaluating the ML/TF risks in a particular jurisdiction and analyzing the main sources and drivers of these risks in order to develop effective and risk-based policies and actions, and allocate the available resources in the most efficient way to eliminate, control and mitigate these identified risks. Conducting this national risk assessment is in line with the increasing importance being placed on the assessment of risks of ML/TF by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the inter-governmental body developing and promoting policies to combat ML/TF. FATF recommendations state that national strategies, policy decisions and actions must correspond to the risks faced by each jurisdictions as such an approach will lead to the effective implementation of all of the FATF's further recommendations and immediate outcomes.

Assessing ML/TF risks is a challenging task due to the multi-dimensional nature of these unique crimes and lack of data/information in many jurisdictions. The practitioners from Bosnia and Herzegovina were trained on the World Bank Group's methodology for conducting national ML/TF risk assessments, which has been developed to overcome these challenges. In line with the decision passed by the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, this project will be delivered through eight operational sub-working groups which report to a national risk ML/TF risk assessment coordinator. At this workshop, the eight sub-working groups conducted an initial assessment of the risks of ML/TF for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Over the course of the coming months, more detailed and complete assessments will be made as data is gathered and further experts are interviewed. It is expected that this project will conclude in the 4 th quarter of 2017.

The workshop was organized jointly by UNODC, the British Embassy in Sarajevo, the World Bank Group and the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe. In addition, this workshop follows the preparatory national risk assessment workshop put on by UNODC in Sarajevo in May 2016.

The UNODC work in the field of anti-money laundering/counter-terrorism financing in South Eastern Europe is undertaken with the generous contribution of the Government of Turkey.

UNODC joins a comprehensive dialog on prevention and treatment of addiction in Croatia

10-12 October, Trogir, Croatia: UNODC participated in the Conference "Challenges in the field of addiction - do we have the right answers" organized by the Ministry of Social Policy and Youth and Ministry of Health of the Republic of Croatia in cooperation with the Euro-TC and the Office for Combating Drug Abuse of the Government of Croatia. The main goal of the Conference was to strengthen cooperation of bodies competent in the field of addition though the exchange of scientific knowledge and good practices. The Conference gathered representatives of government bodies, local and regional governments, experts, NGO representatives, professional employees in the health and social welfare system, as well as the police and the judiciary authorities responsible in the field of addiction. During the Conference, the participants had an opportunity to discuss a wide variety of topics, such as: developing access to prevention and treatment of drug addiction, prevention and treatment of addictive behaviour, coherent policies in the field of addiction and others.

The UNODC expert has participated in the opening events, meeting with and discussing drug use disorder treatment with government officials, international organizations and civil society partners, as well as made a presentation at the plenary session of the event entitled "Treatment and psychosocial rehabilitation of women with addiction problems". The presentation focused on supporting policy documents such as the International Standards for Treatment of Drug Use Disorders, as well as on trauma informed interventions and guidance related to pregnancy.

Paris Pact Expert Working Group Discusses the Integration of Drug Dependence Treatment in the Public Health System and Provides Recommendations

10-11 October 2016, Belgrade, Serbia: The Paris Pact Initiative held its first Expert Working Group (EWG) in South Eastern Europe in which more than 60 experts from West and Central Asia, South Eastern Europe, US, Sweden and other countries, gathered to discuss the ways of integrating drug dependence treatment in the public health system. The goal of the meeting was to increase access to evidence based drug dependence treatment interventions, provided by qualified health professionals throughout the health system, which are effective and efficient. The EWG brought together experts from Paris Pact partner countries and organizations who are responsible for planning and implementing drug demand reduction policies, strategies and programs, including health service providers with clinical experience. Besides the experts from national institutions and international organizations Civil Society Organizations from Serbia also actively contributed to the discussions of the meeting.

UNODC's expert from the Drug Prevention and Health Branch facilitated the work of the meeting and highlighted the recent endorsement of the UNODC/WHO International Standards for the Treatment of Drug use Disorders and the outcomes and implications of UNGASS outcome document 2016 in relation to Public Health System. In their discussions, the experts reiterated the importance of having the evidence based drug treatment interventions and also acknowledged gaps and challenges in their national substance use treatment and prevention systems.

Following a presentation on the preliminary results of Treatment Quality Standards assessment, currently ongoing in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the experts proceeded with the discussion on the Quality Assurance mechanisms for drug treatment services with a regional focus on West and Central Asia and the Balkans.

The EWG also presented an opportunity for the participants to get first-hand information on current activities and best practice examples in the drug dependence treatment and care area from the partner countries and regional programmes such as the EU's Central Asia Drug Action Programme (CADAP) and the UNODC-WHO Programme on Drug Dependence treatment and care in South Eastern Europe.

Based on the discussions and inputs provided by the meeting participants, the Expert Working Group concluded with the formulation of draft recommendations, to be endorsed at the forthcoming Paris Pact Policy Consultative Group Meeting.

The EWG was hosted by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Serbia jointly with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Mission to Serbia. OSCE is a Paris Pact Initiative's partner.


UNODC presented the results of Lions Quest "Skills for Adolescence" programme implementation in Montenegro and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

27 September 2016, Podgorica, Montenegro; 29 September 2016, Skopje, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: Resulting from the collaborative efforts of the Lions Club International Foundation and UNODC, a drug use prevention programme of the Lions Quest "Skills for Adolescence" was availed in 2014 in the region of South Eastern Europe. The programme was initially conducted in Serbia followed with the expansion in Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

The Lions Quest "Skills for Adolescence" is a school-based life skill programme targeting young people to develop skills, to accept the responsibility, to learn how to communicate effectively and make health decisions, as well as to resist pressure to use alcohol and drugs. With the active support of relevant Ministries, the programme was disseminated in 17 elementary schools in Montenegro and 47 elementary schools in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia reaching more than 2,500 students in the academic year 2015-2016.

Organized by the Ministry of Education of Montenegro, a panel session on drug use prevention programmes addressing the adolescence period was convened with the representatives of expert society to present the results of the Lions Quest "Skills for Adolescence" programme. It was also aimed to discuss the value of the evidence based interventions for the national educational system. Furthermore, the interconnectivity prospects between the available programmes in the country and the newly established Lions Club initiative were showcased and acknowledged.

The Ministry of Education and Science of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia presented the programme results and in particular highlighted positive indirect outcome with the groups of students who were involved in the programme in view of their greater attachment to school, better scholastic achievements and decreased violence in schools. The initiative was commended as an evidences-based intervention of great importance for the national response system to drugs and its further expansion in the country was suggested by the Minister of Education and Science in his opening remarks.

During the implementation in both countries the programme was thoroughly monitored and the effectiveness of the intervention was evaluated using the standardized questioners with case and control groups in all schools targeting four main indicators: substance use, refusal skills, intention to use and normative beliefs. Preliminary programme results are convincing in displaying the positive trend among the assessed groups in terms of strengthening the refusal skills and with positive outcomes related to the intention to use alcohol, tobacco and cannabis.

Additional resources:


UNODC advances the Strengthening Family Programme 10-14 in Bosnia and Herzegovina

20-24 September 2016, Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina; 26-30 September, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina: "Strengthening Family Programme 10-14" is a UNODC flagship drug use prevention programme actively promoted in the South Eastern Europe region since 2010. The Programme was initiated in the Republic of Serbia and Republic of Albania, and gradually expanded to other countries in the region.

Following the successful implementation of the Programme in the other parts of South Eastern Europe, UNODC has capitalized from the experience and started the programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina, more specifically, in Banja Luka, Mostar and Sarajevo in 2015, implicating 9 elementary schools and directly reaching more than 90 families.


Advancing the Programme implementation in collaboration with the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina, two five-day Training of Trainers were organized in Banja Luka and Mostar where 21 national experts from 6 elementary schools were trained to carry on with the Programme execution directly in their elementary schools and their communities.

Starting at the end of October 2016, up to 70 families in Bosnia and Herzegovina will be trained on family and parenting skills, family relationships and techniques to reduce problem behaviors, positioning the family values and protective factors as crucial response mechanism to prevent or delay the onset of drug use. With the results of this cycle, it is expected that the Programme will reach up to 160 families in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Upon the completion of the second cycle, evaluation of the Programme implementation, along with the recommendations for further execution, is envisaged to attest the value of the Programme and additionally assist the national counterparts in utilizing the evidence based interventions more effectively.


  UNODC and South Eastern Europe countries call for joint work in criminal asset identification

19 September 2016, Budva, Montenegro:  Practitioners from South Eastern Europe and international experts gathered in Budva, Montenegro, at a UNODC-organized Criminal Asset Identification Conference held on 19 and 20 September. Participants at the meeting are sharing and starting the implementation of best practices in identifying assets acquired through criminal enterprise. Identifying these assets is a critical first step in the process to deprive criminals of their ill-gotten assets.

In recent years, this process has been made significantly more difficult as criminals have been taking measures to conceal their assets from authorities. A number of reports suggest they have increasingly started utilizing multiple jurisdictions to hide their dirty money, employing financial gatekeepers to act as intermediaries and exploiting secrecy vehicles to blur beneficial ownership of the assets. Only once all the practitioners get together and start employing their cutting edge toolkit to pierce through the veils put up by these criminals around their assets, can Member States begin the process of asset repatriation.

In a message delivered to the Conference, UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, said, "Money laundering is a global business that touches every country, and is worth billions of dollars to the criminal organizations." These words reinforce the importance UNODC has put on tackling organized crime through confiscating the benefit that crime provides. This Conference sets an example of UNODC's on-going support to all Member States in the region in building capacity to identify and recover criminal assets. Mr. Fedotov also encouraged all countries in the region to work jointly to curb the threat that organized crime represents.

Representing the Government of Montenegro was Tanja Ostojic, Acting Director General of the Directorate for International Cooperation of the Ministry of Interior of Montenegro and Chief of the Working Group for negotiations of Chapter 24 of the EU acquis which is focused on justice, freedom and security. Ms. Ostojic noted in her opening remarks that her country has made significant progress in the rule of law and that, while on its path towards full membership in the European Union, Montenegro and other jurisdictions in the region have designed ambitious, but realistic activities in their priority areas. Ms. Ostojic particularly emphasized the energetic commitment of countries in the region to implement obligations of the action plans for negotiating Chapters 23 and 24 of the EU acquis.

For her part, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Montenegro, Fiona McCluney, told delegates about the challenge posed by organized crime to sustainable development , as it distorts economies and erodes confidence in government institutions. Additionally, Ms. McCluney identified the way forward in combatting organized criminal activities, declaring that "cutting criminals off from their illicitly gained wealth is key to destroying the incentive to commit a crime, thus building a society where equal opportunities exist for all to participate in sustainable development."

At the event, which is part of the activities under UNODC's South Eastern Europe Regional Programme, practitioners from South Eastern Europe were able to interact with a number of global experts in the field attending the conference in order to share information and build a basis for potential joint investigations. The training methods and working relationships fostered through the conference can assist countries in South Eastern Europe to build a sustainable and effective network of experts who tackle the challenge organized crime presents to the region.

The UNODC work in the field of anti-money laundering/counter-terrorism financing in South Eastern Europe is undertaken with the generous contribution of the Government of Turkey.

Further information:

UNODC's work against money laundering

Tirana Seminar Strengthens Understanding of Combatting Organized Crime

7-8 September 2016, Tirana, Albania: George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies hosted a two-day regional seminar on combatting transnational organized crime to help Albanian and other regional policy makers better understand the challenges of organized crime at national and regional level and identify cooperative approaches to address them.
The participants of the event were greeted by the U.S. Ambassador to Albania, German Ambassador to Albania and the Marshall Center Associate Director for International Liaison. The participants of the seminar reviewed various aspects of organized crime and corruption, exchanged good practices and brainstormed on such topics as emerging trends in transnational organized crime, trafficking in persons, regional drug trafficking trends and challenges, migration and violent extremism, the role of financial intelligence units and the need for cooperation and information sharing.
The UNODC expert contributed to the discussion and presented the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols on Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants in light of a case study.

UNODC works with South Eastern Europe Training Institutions on a Module addressing Cases Involving Foreign Terrorist Fighters

6-7 September 2016, Vienna, Austria: An Expert Group Meeting on the 'Investigation and Adjudication of Cases Involving Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTF) in South Eastern Europe and Training Module Development' has been held in Vienna by the UNODC Terrorism Prevention Branch. The purpose of the event was to discuss and refine the draft training module on the investigation and adjudication of FTF cases. The finalized module will be distributed to national judicial centers and academies in South Eastern Europe to assist them in developing relevant training programmes. The module includes chapters on the overall approaches to the FTF phenomenon, the applicable international legal framework, the criminal offences related to FTF, including money laundering and terrorism financing, as well as investigation of offences related to FTF.

The development of the module is part of the UNODC regional project for South Eastern Europe funded by the Government of the USA. The goals of the project are:

1. Strengthen the capacity of national jurisdictions in the region in light of the increasing flow of international recruits to terrorist organizations, as identified by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution 68/276 of 2014 and relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions (UNSCR), including UNSCR 2170 (2014) and 2178 (2014).  The former resolution condemns systematic and widespread abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law, including indiscriminate killing of civilians by terrorist groups, expresses concern that parts of Iraq and Syria are under the control of these groups, and placed six individuals affiliated with the groups on the UNSC Al-Qaida sanctions list. The latter resolution proposes to address the issue of FTFs by strengthening domestic criminal offences; stressing the importance of curbing the financial flow and providing material/logistical support to terrorist organizations; strengthening international cooperation and underscoring the role of the United Nations; preventive measures, including efforts to counter violent extremism through enhanced civil society and community engagement.

The UNODC project aims at addressing the FTF phenomenon and its global and regional risks by developing a training curriculum to enhance counter-terrorism criminal justice capacity of beneficiary jurisdictions to counter the FTF phenomenon in compliance with the rule of law.

2. Develop the capacity of criminal justice training institutions in South Eastern Europe to provide training on the specific legal and technical aspects related to countering FTF at the national and regional levels through the tailor-made FTF training modules that will include best practices and key practical case-law resources.

3. Enhance regional and sub-regional cooperation concerning specialized counter-terrorism aspects related to FTF between and among national jurisdictions in South-East Europe, especially through the support to the relevant training institutions.

The project targets criminal justice officials and national stakeholders involved in anti-terrorism work as well as criminal justice training institutions.

It is foreseen that the training modules will be translated into the languages of the region in order to ensure their most wide application and usage.

Steering Committee Meeting of the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme held in Montenegro

2 September 2016, Bar, Montenegro: The Container Control Programme Steering Committee Meeting (PSC) was attended by the Head of Bar Region Customs, Head of Border Check Points Department, Head of the Counter Narcotics Department, representatives from the Customs Administration, Ministry of Interior and members of the Joint Port Unit (JPU) at the Port of Bar. In the course of the meeting, the key stakeholders were updated on the programme activities. In addition to the continued involvement of the PSC members in the programme implementation on monthly, bimonthly, semiannual and annual basis, the meeting provided in-depth information on the following issues:

  • A detailed progress on the 2015-2016 workplan (up to date);
  • Joint Port Control Unit's achievements;
  • Cooperation with other national law enforcement entities and business community during the year under review;
  • International and regional activities and contacts established during the period under review;
  • The niche role of the JPU in the country's efforts against illicit trafficking and contraband;
  • Proposed key factors  and recommendations for further improvement of the JPU's performance;
  • Importance of knowledge sharing and the role of the PSC;
  • Financial resources and donors' support to CCP in Montenegro, as well as advocacy efforts.
  • The PSC meeting also pointed out some of the challenging areas, including cooperation with private sector, gender balance, and improved dialogue.

Affirming that CCP in Montenegro has achieved a level of sustainability, the PSC meeting called on continuation of the programme and decided on the type of actions which would support advocacy efforts. 

UNODC - WCO Encourage a Public-Private Partnership Approach at the Port of Bar in Montenegro

1 September 2016, Bar, Montenegro: UNODC and WCO are providing awareness raising workshops on Public Private Partnership (PPP) in South Eastern Europe. Further to the previous two workshops in Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the workshop in Montenegro was open to business companies, shipping lines and maritime companies operating at the Port of Bar and aimed at building capacity, enhancing cooperation and exchange of information among the Bar Joint Port Unit and the business community. With over 22 participants, the workshop for collaboration between public officials and private maritime companies marked the first activity of this kind in Montenegro. Decision-makers from the Montenegro authorities, including the Head of Bar Region Customs, Head of Department for Improvement of Business Environment of the Ministry of Finance, Head of Bar Port Authority, representatives from the Ministry of Interior and officers of the Joint Port Unit gathered and discussed with the representatives of the maritime companies how to promote PPP in the area of Container Control, in particular with respect to access to electronic pre-arrival information, completed and correct import and export declarations, cooperation in container examinations and improvement of Port infrastructure.

The workshop represented a good opportunity for the private business community to get a better understanding of the functions and role of the Joint Port Unit and to point out that such cooperation and information sharing would contribute to the reduced friction of legitimate commerce, increased efficiency, improved security, enhanced safety and less diversion of the licit trade into illicit circulation.

The workshop was organized in the framework of the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme in South Eastern Europe generously supported by the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC).

Podgorica workshop focuses on strengthening cross-border cooperation to address irregular migration-related crimes in Western Balkans

31 August 2016, Podgorica, Montenegro: A two-day workshop aimed at strengthening cross-border cooperation in addressing irregular migration-related crimes in the Western Balkans started in Podgorica bringing together policy-makers and law enforcement officials from relevant bodies in the region as well as representatives of international and regional organizations.

The workshop, which is organized by the OSCE, IOM and UNODC, saw the participants identify gaps and challenges and share good practices in addressing irregular migration-related crimes and protecting victims of trafficking in human beings and the rights of migrants and refugees. The areas of prevention, prosecution, cross-border cooperation and assistance to victims, migrants and refugees were closely examined.

"Unregulated migration flows blur the distinction between smuggling of migrants and human trafficking," said the OSCE Special Representative for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings. "In such a complex environment no actor can cope in itself with the associated human trafficking risks, all forms of co-operation become absolutely crucial." 

The Regional Director at the IOM's Vienna Regional Office, said: "There is evidence of extensive networks of smugglers and traffickers spanning countries of origin, transit and destination. Our collective responsibility requires paying particular attention to those made vulnerable by a myriad circumstances and conditions to ensure that their needs are properly identified and that they are provided with appropriate support and protection."
Efficient border management is one of the key segments in the fight against international organized crime, said Deputy Director of Montenegro's Border Police Sector. "The capacities of Montenegro's Border Police have been improved in conducting risk analysis assessments and in international co-operation. Furthermore, the Schengen Action Plan we prepared encompasses all segments of the Schengen legal system for border control, operation of equipment, and advanced training on the Schengen Information System."
The UNODC Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer highlighted that states cannot stop organized crime networks facilitating irregular migration on their own. "To do so, they must work together across borders along the migratory route. Even in the absence of bilateral agreements, the United Nation Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its supplementing Protocols provide a universal framework for action."

As part of the workshop, concrete recommendations were devised by the OSCE, IOM and UNODC for enhancing international and cross-border cooperation in the Western Balkans, involving criminal justice and migration practitioners as well as other relevant stakeholders from the public and private sector.

Regional Targeting Risk Management Training conducted by the Container Control Programme

22-24 August 2016, Durres, Albania: In response to the emerging trends in illegal trafficking and new concealment methods, UNODC and EXBS (Export Control and Related Border Security) of the US Embassy in Tirana, Albania, decided to refresh the knowledge of the law enforcement officials on such new trends and offer even better solutions to reduce the rate of goods smuggling and drug trafficking. With this in mind, a Targeting Risk Management Training was organized by UNODC and brought together 23 law enforcement officials from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.

The training, an outcome of a collaborative effort by EXBS and UNODC, is one of many initiatives undertaken jointly between the two programmes to enhance risk management capacities.

The training sought to enhance participants' knowledge and skills on targeting systems and risk management through sharing of experiences as well as the use of case studies and real life scenarios.

The course was designed for the officers of the Joint Port Control Units in the three countries, established through the implementation of the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme, and for middle to supervisory level of law enforcement officials who are currently in positions that require investigation, targeting or policy oversight responsibility within customs, counter-narcotics offices and border police.

At the end of the course, the participants have demonstrated improved knowledge of best practices and procedures in handling cases, identification of various means of examining cargos and containers, performing in-depth seizures analysis, recognition of tools, technologies and resources used in targeting with emphasis on internet targeting. Pre- and post- evaluation training questionnaires were distributed to the participants. All participants were presented with certificate in training for completing the course.

Results and status of the UNODC - LCIF work with adolescence in South East Europe presented at the Lions Clubs International Convention

25-27 June 2016, Fukuoka, Japan: UNODC and the Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF) work on the basis of a Memorandum of Understanding on collaboration in disseminating evidence based prevention programmes. The MOU is implemented by means of adapting and piloting Lions Quest Skills for Adolescence (LQSFA) materials in teacher-led life skills education programmes for children of 12-15 years of age which focus on socio-emotional learning for prevention of substance use and other social outcomes.

As a result of this collaboration, LQSFA was first piloted in Serbia in the academic year 2014-2015 with 1,600 students having received it. This successful outcome has resulted into the expansion of the cooperation to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Montenegro during the academic year 2015-2016.

Each year, over 30,000 LCIF members from across the globe gather in the international convention. This year, UNODC was invited to acknowledge the positive collaboration and explore future potential. A UNODC expert has attended the 99 th International Convention in Fukuoka, presented results and status of the UNODC - LCIF work in South East Europe, and explored opportunities for further expansion of potential collaboration. As a result, a vast group of international experts and partners have been sensitized on the results of UNODC - LCIF joint work, and the continuation of cooperation was placed as an important point on the agenda of the relevant LCIF meetings in the near and mid-term future.

Third Mentorship visit to the Container Control Programme Unit in Bosnia and Herzegovina

27-29 June 2016, Border Inspection Post Bijača, Bosnia and Herzegovina: The Third Mentorship visit to the Port Control Unit (PCU) in Bosnia and Herzegovina built upon previous mentorship endeavors conducted within the framework of the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme (CCP). Mentorship visits aim at measuring the effectiveness of the CCP Unit and addressing practical challenges and/or removing barriers, as well as at identification of necessary additional training needs to assist the Unit to excel in its daily performance.

The Third mentorship visit covered a wide range of aspects such as Risk Management, Risk indicators and use of the WCO ContainerComm application designed for the Programme. Furthermore, the visit reviewed the use of the newly installed ASYCUDA WORLD IT application of the Indirect Taxation Authority, including benefits and future prospects of this new system.

The three-day work with the CCP Unit in Bosnia and Herzegovina identified several areas to be closely observed in the future period to support Unit's enhancement in detection and inspection of the high-risk maritime containers and other transportation means.


UNODC-WCO conducts a scoping mission to Kosovo under UNSCR 1244

27-29 June 2016, Pristina, Kosovo: UNODC and WCO conducted a scoping mission to Kosovo to assess the current situation in the area of border control with particular focus on the control of containers, cargos and freight. The mission was accompanied by a representative of the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) as donor representative.

The mission identified the needs and elaborated a plan for further activities required in the field of cargo control. Those were discussed and agreed upon in principle in the course of meetings with and at UNMIK, as well as the customs and other officers in line with the UNSCR 1244. The delegation also met with the representatives from several embassies and international counterparts. The final report of the mission with recommendations is in the process of preparation.

Container Control Programme (CCP) for South Eastern Europe organizes the Second Annual Meeting of Women's Network

20-21 June 2016, Podgorica, Montenegro: The UNODC-WCO gender workshop was organized to raise awareness among the female officers of the Joint Port Control Units, national and international stakeholders and CCP female staff on gender equality and related matters.

The workshop started with the opening remarks by a representative of the Ministry of Interior of Montenegro who welcomed the participants on behalf of the Government and highly assessed the relevance of the event. Welcoming remarks were also delivered by the UNODC CCP Global Programme Coordinator, a UNWomen Representative, and a donor representative who stated that gender is one of the priority topics across the globe and further elaborated on the importance that UNODC attaches to this issue.

The workshop brought together 25 participants from South Eastern Europe and other countries where CCP is operational. The event reviewed relevant international treaties as well as analysed progress made by the law enforcement entities in the subject area and constraints attached to the active involvement of women in the law enforcement work. Participants agreed that gender discrimination in the law enforcement jobs, in particular in managerial positions, should be addressed very as a matter of importance and urgency. Each session was accompanied by open discussions. Participants also focused on specific topics in working groups concentred on negative attitude towards women, lack of awareness among women about their rights, a mind-set that women are less capable, non-cooperation between men and women, long working hours and shifting duties, inadequate importance to gender issues, and others.

The workshop proposed a set of guidelines and suggested to develop a respective training manual. A list of actions to be undertaken by the members of the women's network was agreed upon.

The workshop was organized in the framework of the implementation of the CCP in South Eastern Europe generously funded by the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC).

UNODC and RAI working on a New Regional Initiative on Strengthening the Capacity of Anti-Corruption Authorities and Civil Society

In December 2015, UNODC in cooperation with the Regional Anti-Corruption Initiative (RAI) launched a new "Southeast Europe Regional Programme on Strengthening the Capacity of Anti-Corruption Authorities and Civil Society to Combat Corruption and Contribute to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) Review Process". The Programme is funded by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA).

According to 2011 UNODC Report "Corruption in the Western Balkans: Bribery as experienced by the population", the population of Southeast Europe ranks corruption as the most important challenge in their countries, after unemployment and poverty, hindering economic and social development and being a great impediment to the EU accession process. Therefore, the overall objective of the new initiative is to build and strengthen the capacity of governments and civil society organizations (CSOs) from the SEE region to prevent and fight corruption. The initiative has been developed in coherence between RAI and UNODC and seeks to involve a broad spectrum of stakeholders while being aligned with the objectives of poverty eradication, promotion of gender equality and good governance.

The three-year initiative targets Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Moldova, Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Romania and Serbia, as well as Kosovo under UNSCR 1244. It is aimed at bringing together all relevant stakeholders including representatives of authorities from the public sector and CSOs as well as members of the Southeast European Leadership for Development and Integrity (SELDI) network and the UNCAC Coalition.

The initiative aims towards the implementation of six outcomes, among which are strengthening corruption risk assessment and corruption proofing of legislation, as well as enhancing regional framework for cooperation on data exchange in asset disclosure. Other outcomes envision CSOs increasing their knowledge of the UNCAC, thus building a capacity for contributing to the ongoing review process and replicating the training. The programme is instrumental in expanding civil society networks in the SEE region, raising awareness and bolstering cooperation with the private sector.

The outcomes of the programme will be achieved through a varied range of activities including development of national methodologies and legal proposals, providing IT tools for a regional data exchange mechanism, and creating a virtual regional knowledge management hub to satisfy the need for technical cooperation. At the same time, holding training sessions on the UNCAC and its Implementation Review Mechanism, as well as facilitation of multi-stakeholder consultations will enable all parties involved to maximize the outcomes of the programme implementation.

A multi-stakeholder workshop on the UNCAC and its IRM which is to take place from 19-22 September 2016 in Austria, will be the first activity organized within the initiative.

Message of the Secretary-General on the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

26 June 2016

Today is the first International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking since the adoption last year of the Sustainable Development Goals.  Goal 3 calls on countries to strengthen the prevention and treatment of narcotic drug abuse, end AIDS and combat hepatitis.  Goal 16 is designed to help to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies and institutions that can address illicit drugs, crime, corruption and terrorism.

The Sustainable Development Goals also informed the deliberations of the UN General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem in April.  They support the founding principle of the International Drug Control Conventions, which is to ensure the health and well-being of humankind.  This requires a balance between interrupting drug supply and preventing and treating the harmful impact of drugs on people's health.

Addressing the world drug problem demands a considered and unified response by Governments.  The illicit trade in drugs fosters transnational organized crime networks, systemic corruption and widespread violence.  It is also a major public health menace.  Millions of people are directly affected, especially the poor, vulnerable women and children, and those living in fragile communities. 

The challenges posed by the world drug problem require a global response that is simultaneously effective, compassionate and humane.  At the April Special Session on the World Drug Problem, tangible progress was made in promoting alternatives to incarceration, fortifying human rights commitments, strengthening the focus on illicit financial proceeds, and tackling corruption.  On this International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, I call on countries and communities to continue to improve the lives of everyone blighted by drug abuse by integrating security and public safety with a heightened focus on health, human rights, and sustainable development. 

For more information:

UNODC took part in the TAIEX Regional Workshop on Prevention of Drugs Abuse in the Workplace in Skopje

21-21 June 2016, Skopje, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: UNODC participated in the Regional Workshop on Prevention of Drugs Abuse in the Workplace in Skopje, organized under the Technical Assistance Information Exchange Instrument of the European Commission (TAIEX) in cooperation with the Ministry of Health of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and presented the International Standards on Drug Use Prevention, as well as showcased the UNODC insights on tackling drugs use in the workplace.

The Workshop was attended by over 60 participants from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey, as well as Kosovo under UNSCR 1244. The participants were representing the health care institutions as well as national leading institutions in charge for combating drugs.

The aim of the Workshop was to promote effective preventive measures targeting drug abuse in the workplace, as well as to discuss the formulation of adequate regulations for employers on monitoring, prevention and treatment. Furthermore, the Workshop sought to identify the techniques on how to improve the availability, accessibility and coverage of effective and diversified drug demand reduction measures and how to systematically introduce the quality standards in the national drug use prevention systems.

The Workshop allowed the participants to discuss the best practices in their respective countries and territories in the region and to acknowledge the importance of the timely utilization of evidence best practices.

Further developments led by TAIEX team in collaboration with the local and international experts with regard to the identification and implementation of cost-effective drug use prevention interventions in the workplace, are to be expected in the forthcoming period.

UNODC Participates in ICITAP/OPDAT Anti-Corruption and Financial Investigation Workshop

15-16 June 2016, Jahorina, Bosnia and Herzegovina: UNODC participated in the joint International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) and Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development Assistance and Training (OPDAT) of the US Government workshop that focused on creating and executing anti-corruption investigation, with a focus on financial aspects of the investigations. This in-depth national training was attended by over 50 participants from Bosnia and Herzegovina from prosecutor's offices, law enforcement and the judiciary.

The training focused on the challenges in investigating and prosecuting corruption cases in Bosnia and Herzegovina, specifically in developing and presenting financial evidence, the management of investigative teams for corruption investigations, and the utilization of all resources available to the investigative team. The varied workshop presenters, including significant expertise from Bosnia and Herzegovina, provided best practices in managing corruption investigations, developing witnesses and utilizing special investigative techniques. In addition, special focus was provided to the financial side of corruption in providing international best practices in analyzing complex financial information, utilization of expert financial witnesses, the presentation of financial evidence at trial and the application of alternative or complimentary charges, including money laundering.

It is expected that this training is the first in a series of progressively advanced trainings in this area.

Briefing to member states organized at UNODC HQ

16 June 2016, Vienna, Austria: On the occasion of the Annual UNODC Field Representatives' Meeting held in Vienna from 13 to 17 June 2016, a series of informal briefings for interested Permanent Missions was organized by the respective Country and Regional Representatives of UNODC.

The Field Representatives provided insights and updates, as well as addressed questions on the work of UNODC. In the briefing session on the Office's work in Europe, West and Central Asia, chaired by the Deputy Executive Director and Director of Operations, the Regional Representative for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries and Special Adviser on Counter Narcotics to the SRSG (UNAMA); the Regional Representative for Central Asia; the Country Representative for the Islamic Republic of Iran; the Country Representative for Pakistan; and the Chief of the Regional Section for Europe, West and Central Asia and the Regional Representative for South Eastern Europe provided an overview of UNODC's integrated strategic approach and programmes, as well as led an open the discussion on latest progress, achievements and plans.

UNODC Hosts Regional Counter-Terrorism Financing Event with OSCE and Serbia

7-8 June 2016, Belgrade, Serbia: UNODC Regional Programme for South East Europe hosted a workshop on Countering the Financing of Terrorism at the Palace of Serbia in Belgrade. This workshop was organized by the UNODC anti-money laundering / counter-terrorism financing advisor based in Bosnia and Herzegovina jointly with the OSCE and Serbia's financial intelligence unit, the Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering.

This two day workshop was attended by representatives from the financial intelligence units, law enforcement agencies and prosecutor's offices of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. The participants exchanged experience in detecting transactions where there is a suspicion of terrorism financing and best practices in disseminating financial intelligence to appropriate investigative bodies. In addition, the participants identified current developments in terrorism financing and their implications for the region. The workshop set potential future activities for the collective including improving risk assessments, the identification of transactions where there is a suspicion of terrorism financing and the development of relationships between agencies, both domestic and international, that are engaged in the fight against terrorism.

The workshop is part of the UNODC workplan in the area of anti-money laundering / counter-terrorism financing for the period 2016-2019. The UNODC work in the field of anti-money laundering/counter-terrorism financing in South Eastern Europe is undertaken with the generous contribution of the Government of Turkey.

Serious and organised crime threat assessment is launched in Skopje

7 June 2016, Skopje, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: Upon an invitation received of the Ministry of Interior, UNODC attended the presentation of the "Serious and organised crime threat assessment" (SOCTA) produced by the Ministry of Interior as part of the regional project "Strengthening of capacities for strategic analysis and production of serious and organised crime threat assessment" supported by OSCE and the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), involving Ministries of Interior of Montenegro, Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

As stated by the Macedonian Minister of Interior, this National Threat Assessment is the first of this kind produced in the country and it represents a new approach in the fight against serious and organised crime, based on in-depth analysis of the main criminal threats that the country is facing. The Minister also stated that transnational and organised crime pose serious and increasing threat to the national and international security with major effect on the public security, democratic institutions and the economic stability of all countries. Furthermore, it was said that the participation in this project allowed strengthening of the capacities for strategic analysis and will serve as an important tool for identification and management of the challenges brought by the organised crime. This project also allowed the participating countries to strengthen their mutual cooperation through exchange of experiences.

Copies of the report were provided in the course of the event and will be made available at the Ministry's official web site.

Lions Quest "Skills for Adolescence" pilot programme proceeded with the implementation in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonian and Montenegro

26-27 May 2016, Skopje, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; 30-31 May 2016, Podgorica, Montenegro: UNODC and the Lions Club International Foundation commenced in 2015 the Lions Quest "Skills for adolescence" pilot programme in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Montenegro reaching over 40 elementary schools in both countries.

The programme is directly working with 1,604 students of the age group of 10-14 by encouraging the social emotional learning to develop student capacities to address drug use protective factors more efficiently.

With the objective to review and discuss local pilot programme implementation modality together with  teachers who are directly working in elementary schools, the follow up sessions were jointly convened with the Ministries of Education in Podgorica and Skopje. Furthermore, the data analysis on substance use, current refusal skills, normative belief and perception of harm was showcased presenting the results of the performed (pre)testing with the groups of students involved in the programme.

The follow up sessions were acknowledged as highly beneficial for teachers and national counterparts as an opportunity to discuss the best practices and future steps in terms of programme sustainability. Next sessions with the group of educators are planned for the end of September where analysis of rigorous evaluation will be presented showing the effects of the implemented pilot.

Extending the outcomes of the follow up meetings discussion, additional national expert group meetings were organized in Skopje and Podgorica to further examine the value of the programme, its affinity, additional cultural adaptation of the material, training needs and allocation of resources for the prospective continuation of the programme.

The results of the national expert group meetings will support the conception of national presentations to be exhibited at the upcoming regional event on Lions Quest programme in October in Belgrade, Serbia. The regional event will gather experts from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia to showcase the results achieved during the programme and to streamline the importance of adequate drug use prevention interventions and their effects.


UNODC Participates in the Regional Conference on Managing complex data in organized crime and corruption cases

26-27 May 2016, Belgrade, Serbia: The Conference, organized by the OSCE Mission to Serbia, Ministry of Interior of Serbia and the Office of the Prosecutor for Organized Crime of Serbia, gathered the prosecutors and police officers from South Eastern and Western Europe to discuss cooperation in multilateral investigations into corruption and organized crime. During the conference prosecutors from ten countries signed a Declaration of Intent expressing their will to cooperate more closely in cases of serious and transnational crime. The Declaration is open for signature by other countries. The Conference also looked at how complex national or international investigations involving large amounts of data in various formats should be managed, preferably in real time. This requires advanced IT solutions and adequate analytical software and one of the recommendations of the conference was to make a better use of Europol channels and data bases which make access to high quality intelligence easier as well as the platforms such as SIDDA-SIDNA.

On the second day of the Conference, mixed working groups of prosecutors and police officers debated common challenges, shared inspirational best practices and discussed creative solutions in cases of grand corruption, smuggling of migrants, weapons, and narcotics as well as fighting corruption, money laundering and retrieving proceeds of crime. The UNODC representative engaged in the discussion on fighting smuggling of migrants and drugs.

The conference was supported by the Embassies of the US, Norway and the Netherlands, with special participation of the Italian Anti-Mafia Directorate and Guardia di Finanza. Participants agreed to meet again in Rome in April 2017 to continue developing mutual cooperation and common approaches to fight organized crime and corruption.

UNODC participates in a Preparatory Meeting on Facilitation of Common and Coordinated Measures in the Western Balkan region

18-19 May 2016, Skopje, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: A Preparatory Meeting on Facilitation of Common and Coordinated Measures in the Western Balkan region in Skopje by the Centre for security, development and the rule of law (DCAF) Border Security Programme. The Common and Coordinated Operations Working Group has based their discussion on the produced analytical material. Operational planners from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro and Serbia exchanged additional presentations on current border-related affairs, including contextual information needed for planning purposes (border police capacities in terms of manpower, technical equipment, current and predicted workload, etc.). Representatives from Austria and Slovenia and from international organisations (Frontex, IOM, OSCE, UNODC and IPA Residential Expert in Skopje) actively participated in the debate.

The Group elaborated a workplan which defined where, when and with which specific focus common and coordinated operations (CCOs) would be organised in 2016 (two common and one coordinated operation). The participants also agreed on the profile and number of participating police officers, as well as logistical issues. The CCOs will focus on traditional cross-border and international crime (illegal migration, human smuggling, drug smuggling, weapon smuggling, falsified documents, alcohol smuggling, cigarette and tobacco smuggling, livestock smuggling and textile smuggling) and especially on the illegal transportation of weapons to be used for terrorist and criminal acts in Western Europe. For this purpose, special mobile equipment will be used on some regional routes in the border area with the aim to detect "anti-trade" (small quantities of arms, mostly in personal cars, mules without previous crime records, constant flow).

  UNODC Workshop on International Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism Standards Held in Bosnia and Herzegovina

17 May 2016, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina: UNODC organized a one day event on International Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Standards in the Parliamentary Assembly Building of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo. This workshop was in preparation for the National Risk Assessment of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing which will begin shortly in Bosnia and Herzegovina after the consideration and approval by the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina on 5 May 2016.

The workshop provided in-depth information on Financial Action Task Force recommendations and immediate outcomes affecting the delivery of a national risk assessment, as well as the outcomes of mutual evaluations on national risk assessments conducted by the Financial Action Task Force and Financial Action Task Force-Style Regional Bodies. In addition, further information was provided on the methodology that Bosnia and Herzegovina will be following, and expectations for resource and data commitments were made for each of the attending agencies. Lastly, international best practices on conducting national risk assessments were shared from the experience of the international AML/CFT community.

The workshop was attended by representatives from over 30 agencies from across Bosnia and Herzegovina. The UNODC work in the field of anti-money laundering/counter-terrorism financing in South Eastern Europe is undertaken with the generous contribution of the Government of Turkey.

Workshop on Corruption Reporting and Whistleblower Protection takes place at RACVIAC

10-11 May 2016, Zagreb, Croatia: A UNODC specialist on whistleblower protection participated as resource person in a workshop on corruption reporting and whistleblower protection at the RACVIAC - Centre for Security Cooperation. The event was organized in cooperation with the Regional Anti-Corruption Initiative (RAI), the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) and the Regional School of Public Administration (ReSPA). It is a follow-up activity to the International Conference titled "Effectiveness of Corruption Prevention Measures" organized in May 2015, and participants as well as organisers expressed their wish to establish an annual platform for exchange, including on whistleblower protection.

The purpose of the workshop was to share good practices and experiences as well as to discuss the most adequate steps for an implementation strategy for the protection of whistleblowers in the South Eastern European region, with concrete proposals to enhance regional cooperation.

In his welcome address, RACVIAC Director Ambassador Haydar Berk emphasized the importance of whistleblowing as a strong tool and mechanism in the fight against corruption. He said that the protection of reporting persons (whistleblowers) had been identified as one of the biggest challenges. States parties had also requested UNODC to provide more support in the field of whisteblower protection as reflected in the new Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe (2016-2019).

All nine participating States parties have finalised their UNCAC Implementation Reviews. Eight of them received recommendations to strengthen whistleblower protection in accordance with article 33 of UNCAC. As a response, UNODC launched in 2015 a Resource Guide on Good Practices in the Protection of Reporting Persons and is currently conducting several regional training events next to participating in events of other organisations. Such regional initiatives are backed-up by more focused supported at the national level, for instance, on drafting whistleblower legislation.

More information:

10 th anniversary of the Police Cooperation Convention for South Eastern Europe is celebrated in Vienna

10-11 May 2016, Vienna, Austria: Ministers and representatives of the Parties to the Police Cooperation Convention for Southeast Europe (PCC SEE) met at the 15 th meeting of the Committee of Ministers in Vienna to celebrate the 10 th anniversary of the Convention with a view to take stock of achievements and to set future priorities.

"The Police Cooperation Convention for South East Europe is the most important multilateral legal basis for operational police cooperation with the countries of the region. South Eastern Europe is a key region for the security of Austria and Europe" said the Minister of Interior of Austria H.E. Mr. Wolfgang Sobotka at the event. Based on the PCC SEE, Austrian police officers will be deployed to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to support joint patrols and border control.

The meeting took stock of the results achieved in the first decade of the Convention and agreed upon the future steps, including those on the usage of DNA and fingerprints in investigating organized crime, terrorism, trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants. The implementation of the Convention also assists the countries of the region with the EU accession process, especially as regards Chapter 24 of the EU acquis.

The Ministers and senior representatives of the parties of the Convention - Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Hungary, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Republic of Moldova (the current Chair), Romania, Serbia and Slovenia - have addressed the event. The representatives of the participating organizations have also welcomed the 10 th anniversary of the Convention and stressed its usefulness. The UNODC delegation has invited the PCC SEE to join the UNODC-led initiatives "Networking the Networks" and "Law Enforcement Training Network - LE TrainNet".

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New UNODC research initiative "Measuring and assessing organised crime in the Western Balkans: supporting evidence based policy making" launched in Vienna

'What is not measured cannot be improved'

5 May 2016, Vienna, Austria: UNODC officially launched the new three year EU funded UNODC research initiative "Measuring and assessing organised crime in the Western Balkans: supporting evidenced based policy making". Representatives of the jurisdictions participating in the project - Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, as well as UNMIK -, Croatia as a partner country, and the EU Ambassador to the UN in Vienna have joint the launch.

In his statement at the event, Deputy Executive Director of UNODC recalled that this project forms a part of the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe and its work plan that was approved by the 7 th meeting of its Steering Committee on 26 November 2016. He highlighted the previous work UNODC has conducted in the region, emphasizing that UNODC will build on previous research working in partnership with jurisdictions in the region.  UNODC experts have provided a detailed description of the project including its aims, methods, expected results and timelines.

Key results and output to be produced by the project include:

  • a statistical framework for measuring and assessing organised crime;
  • a regional data repository;
  • qualitative data collection and analysis;
  • targeted capacity building for participating jurisdictions and a final regional report.

The project corresponds to the key facets of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, and forms an integral aspect of Chapters 23, 24 and 18 of the EU acquis (Judiciary, Rule of law and Statistics, respectively). UNODC has further highlighted the excellent partnership with the region, including in the preparation of the corruption surveys in 2011-2014 which have subsequently served as examples to be replicated throughout the world. It was outlined that this initiative represents an excellent opportunity for the participating jurisdictions to not only participate actively in the 2030 Agenda and the EU accession process, but to also lead the way in terms of progress in fighting organised crime and in particular - measuring progress.

The Ambassador of the European Union, welcomed the initiative and outlined EU areas of priority in the issue of fighting transnational crime.

The representative of the region provided statements supporting and welcoming the UNODC initiative and highlighted the importance of working together to counter organised crime.

UNODC provides RCC regional workshop with advice on degrading foreign terrorist fighter threat

4 May 2016, Jahorina, Bosnia and Herzegovina: UNODC participated in the Regional Cooperation Council's (RCC) regional workshop for law enforcement experts and state attorneys / prosecutors from South Eastern Europe on legal and practical challenges in countering violent extremism leading to terrorism and dealing with current and former foreign terrorist fighters. This workshop provided law enforcement and state prosecutors from the region with the opportunity to provide their insights into the current threats posed by foreign terrorist fighters, and provide solutions to counter violent extremism.

 At this meeting, UNODC called on jurisdictions to implement relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions aimed at degrading the threat of terrorism financing and foreign terrorist fighters, as well as recommended three steps to leverage financial intelligence to better detect and deter the financing of foreign terrorist fighters in their jurisdictions:

 1)      Include the financing of foreign terrorist fighters in an updated addendum to the National Anti-Money Laundering/Counter Financing of Terrorism Risk Assessment. Such a risk assessment must evaluate the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters, as well as the risk posed by geographies and products and services known to be used for their financing, including: prepaid cards, trade in cultural products, virtual currencies and non-government organizations. From this identification of threats and risks, adequate countermeasures ought to be designed.

 2)      Provide both typological and operational intelligence to private sector entities involved in financial transactions. These entities, with obligations to report transactions where there is a suspicion of terrorism financing to the financial intelligence unit, require timely and accurate information to properly identify such transactions. The validity of information received by the financial intelligence unit from the private sector is a direct function of the information on which the private sector can act upon.

 3)      Create a working group amongst the financial intelligence unit, law enforcement and security services to facilitate domestic and international information sharing. Such a group would ensure that the financial intelligence unit has real-time, operational information required to make use of their unique powers in detecting terrorist financing money flows.

The outcomes identified by the participants of this meeting will be presented to a planned meeting of South Eastern Europe directors of police and state prosecutors later this year for further action.

UNODC completes judicial integrity support initiative in Pristina

28 April 2016, Pristina, Kosovo under UNSCR 1244: UNODC has completed a judicial integrity project in Kosovo under UNSCR 1244 which represented a component of the larger "Support to Anti-Corruption Efforts in Kosovo (SAEK)" project implemented by UNDP. The project beneficiaries included the Kosovo Judicial Council, the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council, the Office of the Disciplinary Prosecutor, judges and prosecutors, civil society and media representatives.

The project aimed at achieving a positive impact on the prevention and fight against corruption in Kosovo under UNSCR 1244 by means of strengthening monitoring and oversight mechanisms of local institutions to perform in an efficient, transparent, accountable and gender sensitive manner.

To this effect, the work focused on enhancing the internal capacities and mechanisms of the judiciary for disciplining judges and prosecutors on anti-corruption, and increasing the capacity of the judiciary to investigate and prosecute cases of corruption.

The closing event of the project included presentations to donors and stakeholders of the activities carried out under the project. More than 30 high level officials and representatives of developmental assistance providers participated in the event. The speakers highly rated the support they have received and expressed their interest in continuing their cooperation with UNDP and UNODC.

The project was implemented in accordance with the UN rules and regulations, including the UNSCR 1244.

Second meeting of the Steering Committee of the Container Control Programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina

21 April 2016, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina: The Second Steering Committee meeting of the UNODC - WCO Container Control Programme (CCP) was held in Sarajevo. The Steering Committee is the body to provide framework for the CCP implementation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Chaired by the UNODC Programme Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Steering Committee meeting gathered stakeholders - the Ministry of Security, Indirect Taxation Authority, Border Police and UNODC. The meeting discussed strategic, operational and funding aspects of the Programme implementation, on the basis of the Global 2015 Annual Report and the Progress Report 2015 for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

All participants concurred with the importance of the CCP implementation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as a prominent and contributing factor to minimize risks of trafficking in narcotic drugs and other illegal commodities, smuggling, tax evasions and customs frauds through the national borders. Stakeholders' particular attention was dedicated to aspects of cooperation with neighboring and other countries in order to facilitate cross border information exchange and cooperation.

To support implementation of the CCP activities, a set of conclusions and recommendations was discussed. The recommendations aimed to further strengthen capacities and operational work of the Joint Cargo Container Control Unit deployed at the land border at Bijača.

Furthermore, in view of the UNODC's considerations to expand the CCP in the area of cargo control in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the UNODC Senior CCP Coordinator visited the unit of the Indirect Taxation Authority at the Sarajevo Airport.

The first Public - Private Partnership Workshop within the framework of the Container Control Programme held in Bosnia and Herzegovina

20 April 2016, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina: The First Public-Private Partnership Workshop in Bosnia and Herzegovina within the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme framework was held on 20 April 2016 in Mostar, organized jointly by the Indirect Taxation Authority and UNODC Programme Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Workshop gathered representations of forwarding agents and other private sector subjects, including representative of the Foreign Trade Chamber of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Containerized shipments represent an important part of the growing international trade supply chain, measuring up to approximately 90% of the world's cargo, or about 750 million containers that are shipped in the global trade supply chain every year. The role of law enforcement agencies in establishing effective trade security and facilitation standards represent important part of the global Container Control Programme, as well as in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Workshop aimed to continue building and strengthening current relationships with key private sector stakeholders, in particular forwarding agents and transport operators conducting their business primarily through the border crossing Bijača, but also other parts of the country. Furthermore, the Workshop aimed to contribute to facilitate a range of services targeted to assist the Joint Cargo Container Control Unit through identification of common interests, and promote enduring dialogue among the stakeholders complementary to the existing efforts. The Indirect Taxation Authority, in cooperation with representatives of the private sector, will contribute to successful implementation of the CCP in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Workshop participants identified several areas where further improvement of cooperation and joint efforts are to be made in order to facilitate the trade and contribute to secure and fast movement of goods, to and from Bosnia and Herzegovina. All participants underlined the need to continued activities in this domain to improve relationship between the public and private sector to secure the borders and facilitate the legal trade as are the objectives of the CCP activities.

UNODC mission visits Skopje and Podgorica

18-20 April 2016, Skopje, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; 21-22 April 2016, Podgorica, Montenegro:  The Chief of the UNODC Regional Section for Europe, West and Central Asia and Regional Representative for South Eastern Europe and delegation visited Skopje and Podgorica to continue the dialogue with national and international counterparts on the implementation of the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe and in particular the new UNODC Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism initiative for the region. Following the previous visits to other jurisdictions in the region, the missions to Skopje and Podgorica discussed the respective workplan of UNODC for the period 2016-2019 and introduced the new Regional Advisor. The national counterparts and the international partners underscored the importance of the challenges associated with money laundering and terrorism financing and welcomed the UNODC initiative to address them in a coordinated and comprehensive manner.

The UNODC Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism initiative aims to strengthen local AML/CFT capacities in South Eastern Europe with a view to ensure that these capacities will become self-sustaining in the future, will involve structural relationships and enhanced information sharing, and will be coordinated with all relevant actors. By the end of May 2016, the AML/CFT mission will also visit Belgrade and complete the round of consultations in the region.

UNODC-South Eastern Europe is an active member of the MONEYVAL

15 April 2016, Strasbourg, France: UNODC participated in the 50 th Plenary of the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL). MONEYVAL is a permanent monitoring body of the Council of Europe which is tasked with assessing compliance with the principal international standards to counter money laundering and the financing of terrorism and the effectiveness of their implementation. In addition, MONEYVAL makes recommendations to national authorities in respect of necessary improvements to their systems. The highlights of the 50 th Plenary of MONEYVAL included the mutual evaluation of Serbia and a special session on the suppression of the financing of terrorism.

The presentation of the mutual evaluation of Serbia represented the second mutual evaluation conducted under the fifth round of MONEYVAL's mutual evaluations done using the Financial Action Task Force's new methodology detailed in 2012 and represented over a year of work on behalf of the Serbian authorities. The mutual evaluation was adopted by the MONEYVAL plenary and will be published on MONEYVAL's public website within the next two months. This mutual evaluation document will contains priority actions that will form the basis of Serbia's anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing regime's priority initiatives in the coming months and years.

In addition, UNODC provided valuable input into MONEYVAL's special session on the financing of terrorism. This section focused on forward looking policy and operational interventions by the international community and national governments to effectively combat new global risks emerging related to the financing of terrorism.

First Review Cycle of UNCAC is completed in Albania

5 April 2016, Tirana, Albania: The first cycle of the Review of implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (Chapter III on Criminalization and law enforcement and Chapter IV on International cooperation) is completed. The date of agreement on the final report is 5 April 2016.  The Executive Summary of the first cycle of the Review is available on the website of the Implementation Review Group, at its seventh session, in all UN languages:

The final country review report has been authorised by Albania for publication online:

UNCAC was signed by Albania on 31 October 2003 and ratified by the Parliament on 13 March 2006 through Law No. 9492 and decreed by the President through Decree No. 4820 of 28 March 2006. With respect to international law, article 122 of the Constitution states that generally accepted rules of international law and international conventions, when they have been ratified by an act and have come into effect, shall form an integral part of Albanian domestic law and shall override any other contrary provision of domestic law.

Albania has several competent bodies in the fight against corruption, including specialized directorates and units dealing with corruption and economic crimes, established at the prosecution offices and the State police, at both the central and local levels. The General Directorate for the Prevention of Money Laundering (the Albanian financial intelligence unit) also plays an important role in the fight against money-laundering and corruption.

UNODC joins discussion on radicalisation and recruitment of fighters in the Balkans

30 March 2016, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina: UNODC participated today in the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network's (BIRN) conference "Balkan Jihadists: The Radicalisation and Recruitment of Fighters" in Syria and Iraq.  The conference offered the key results of BIRN's research into the "Balkan Jihadist" topic in the six jurisdictions covered by UNODC's Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe. These insights were coupled with experts providing threat assessments and security challenges related to this problem, as well as the solutions to tackle radicalisation in the six addressed jurisdictions.

The insights provided by BIRN were valuable to the diverse group of regional practitioners, policy makers, reporters and the international community in attendance.  However, the conference also highlighted the lack of information available on the financing and financial logistics of the "Balkan Jihadists" where it was acknowledged that no information is available on the sources and methods of funding enabling recruiting, training and traveling for these individuals.  Such knowledge is key in the detection of potential fighters leaving the region and UNODC will support the development and utilization of such knowledge in the region through its activities.

Lions Quest "Skills for Adolescence" continues to work with Macedonian and Montenegro schools

21 March 2016, Skopje, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; 23 March, Podgorica, Montenegro: UNODC and the Lions Club International Foundation initiated the pilot programme "Skills for Adolescence" in June 2015 in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Montenegro. The programme is currently being implemented in more than 40 elementary schools in the two countries reaching out to over 3,000 students, significantly supporting the expansion of evidence based drug use prevention initiatives in these countries.

With the intention to address the challenges and report best practices, as well as to collect relevant data on the effectiveness of the programme delivery, the follow-up sessions were conveyed in Skopje and Podgorica with the support of national partners, the Ministry of Education of Montenegro and the Ministry of Education and Science of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

The follow-up sessions served as an opportunity for the trained professionals, who are directly supporting the programme implementation in their communities, to network and discuss the value of the programme, its challenges and sustainable solutions. Further institutionalization of social-emotional school based programme was repeatedly highlighted as the  topic of high concern especially in view of the programme capacity to address many drug use protective and resistance factors important for the group of adolescents.

Representatives from the relevant Ministries commended the initiative and repeatedly highlighted the value of the provided expertise both by the Lions Club International Foundation and UNODC.

The next follow-up sessions are scheduled for the end of May 2016. In their course, collected data from the elementary schools on drug use patterns, refusal skills, intention to use drugs and perception of harm will be additionally showcased and discussed.


UNODC promotes successful collaboration with Lions Club International Foundation at the CND side event

18 March 2016, Vienna, Austria: UNODC in collaboration with the Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF) and the Governments of Serbia, Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia held a side event at the margins of the 59 th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs entitled "Piloting a school-based prevention programme in South Eastern Europe: Results from Lions Quest - UNODC collaboration".

Cooperation between UNODC and LCIF provided an opportunity to pilot Lions Quest "Skills for Adolescence" programme in South Eastern Europe since 2014, starting from Serbia and successfully expanding to Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.  This is part of the Lions Quest global evidence-based school-based programme delivered by teachers to improve the social, emotional and life skills of students and thus prevent a variety of risky behaviours - including substance use - while building protective and resistance factors.

The Lions Club-UNODC programme has been delivered in the three South Eastern European countries to the benefit of over 3,000 students in over 40 elementary schools. Moreover, the wider indirect effect in the region is most significant. A good example was provided by the Ministry of Education of Montenegro who pointed out that in their country a total of 15,148 pupils are positively affected by the programme reaching to unbelievable 22% of VI th  to IX th graders in all schools in the country.

According to research, the programme positively supports and improves:

  • establishing positive norms and personal commitments that drug use is not the norm among young people and that a personal commitment to not use drugs is essential;
  • addressing risk and protective factors that encourage and discourage drug use; 
  • building social and emotional competencies and resistance skills that strengthen the skills to make healthy choices and resist negative peer pressure to use drugs; 
  • recognizing impact of drug use with accurate information about short- and long-term effects of drug use on young people's health, friendships, interests, and future goals;
  • bonding with prosocial peers and caring adults who are skilled in reinforcing key prevention concepts and skills and providing a safe, caring network of support.

Furthermore, the programme leads to a significant improvement in refusal skills of students, and not only as relates to drugs, but also in significant improvement in perception of harm of alcohol and tobacco.

The side event provided an opportunity to showcase the results of work in Serbia where the programme has been launched first and therefore completed and evaluated, as well as in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Montenegro where the programme is currently being delivered. The best practices were shared with other Governments and civil society. Presenters from the Ministries of Education from the three countries briefed the meeting on the outcomes of work and promoted the value of the programme, especially in view of the extension of the national educational curriculum with evidence-based drug use prevention interventions, highlighting the importance of systematic and sustainable programme application.

The programme is in line and in closely referenced to the International Standards on Drug Use Prevention and compliments the UNODC Strengthening Family Programme.

The results of the programme will also be presented at New York Headquarters of the United Nations at the side of the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the World Drug Problem in April 2016.








  UNODC holds a practical event on counter financing of terrorism in Bosnia and Herzegovina

15 March 2016, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina: A one-day Workshop on the trends and typologies of the financing of foreign terrorism fighters (FTF) was held jointly by the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the UNODC Programme Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina for representatives of law enforcement, intelligence and supervisory agencies, as well as judicial and prosecution offices.

Trends and typologies exercises are meant to spread knowledge of particular priority topic areas across the anti-money laundering/counter financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime to ensure that the private sector is equipped to fulfill its obligations in reporting transactions suspicious of terrorism financing to relevant authorities.

As underlined by the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the issue of the financing of foreign terrorist fighters is an increasingly relevant challenge in ensuring the safety of citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosnia and Herzegovina will continue to make progress in the area of the financing of terrorism through its AML/CFT National Risk Assessment. In the course of these events, the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina has reinforced that all relevant institutions are making progress in complying with the recommendations and international best practices set forth by the Financial Action Task Force.

The Workshop follows UNODC's commitment to creating a regional centre of expertise in Bosnia and Herzegovina for AML/CFT and the appointment of an international advisor for South Eastern Europe in support of this commitment as of 2016. The trends and typologies event is the first such formal engagement supporting AML/CFT to be delivered by UNODC through its 2016-19 Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe.

The UNODC work in the field of anti-money laundering/counter-terrorism financing in South Eastern Europe is undertaken with the generous contribution of the Government of Turkey.

UNODC partakes in an event on migration management in the Western Balkans and Turkey

9-10 March 2016, Belgrade, Serbia: Marking the launch of the EU´s programme "Regional Support to Protection-Sensitive Migration Management in the Western Balkans and Turkey", a kick-off event took place in Belgrade. The kick-off conference was attended by more than 50 international and local actors from the target Western Balkan countries and Turkey, EU institutions, such as DG NEAR and DG HOME, programme partners (Frontex, EASO, IOM and UNHCR) who contributed to active discussion on project goals and project scope, as well as other international partners, including UNODC.

The 8 million Euro Programme is planned for three years and is largely funded with the EU and includes contributions from the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and UNHCR with the aim to provide the  technical assistance to target countries in developing multidisciplinary and holistic responses in regard of migration management in accordance to the EU policies and standards, identification and registration of migrants and refugees, their return, and information exchange. The Programme will also strengthen identification mechanisms regarding irregular migrants and asylum seekers; enhance national capacities to perform the registration of mixed migration flows; streamline referral systems into national mechanisms; strengthen national capacities in international protection; support return mechanisms at regional level; and establish a system of information sharing at inter and intra-regional level.

Considering the UNODC mandate area, illegal migration remains the topic of high concern, especially in South Eastern Europe with the current refugees influx fluctuations and their prolonged transition in the region on their way to the EU, due to the application of new cross-border rules and regulations. For more information on the UNODC work in the fields of human trafficking and smuggling of migrants:


UNODC joins the civil society on the topic of studying and investigating organized crime

7-9 March 2016, Belgrade, Serbia: UNODC participated in the academic seminar "Studying and Investigating Transnational Organized Crime" co-organized by a Belgrade-based NGO KRIK (Journalists' network for investigating crime and corruption), the University of Milan, Italy, and supported by the OSCE. The main topic of the seminar - organized crime - was discussed from three perspectives: academic research, criminal investigations and journalistic and civil society investigations. Experts of the CROSS institute (Osservatorio sulla Criminalità Organizzata) from the University of Milan gave an overview of the development of academic study of organized crime in Italy and its added value for the society and for law enforcement agencies. Experts from the Government institutions in Italy and Serbia spoke about their experiences in tackling organized crime and the connection between Balkan and Italian criminal groups. The particular role of the civil society in Italy and Serbia in the fight against organized crime was discussed, including the best practices and parallels between the two countries. An example of the growing importance of the civil society sector in Italy is the status of Special Consultant for UNODC at the Palermo Convention for the organization Libera International.

In their discussions the experts included reference to UNODC research and findings and the representative from UNODC engaged with the seminar participants on the questions of the capacity of the Serbian institutions to tackle organized crime and money laundering, as well as on possible ways forward.


UNODC Supports the Governments in South Eastern Europe in Addressing the Challenges Related to Foreign Terrorist Fighters

February - March 2016: UNODC has started the implementation of a new initiative "Strengthening the legal regime against emerging terrorist threats, including foreign terrorist fighters in South Eastern Europe (Training Module Development)" and has conducted assessment missions to Tirana, Albania (8-9 February 2016); Pristina, Kosovo under UNSCR 1244 (10-12 February 2016); Skopje, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (15-16 February 2016); Belgrade, Serbia (1 March 2016); Podgorica, Montenegro (2-3 March 2016) and Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (14-17 March 2016).

During these missions, the UNODC's Terrorism Prevention Branch experts met with representatives from the national judicial training centers/academies and members of the judiciary, prosecution, police services and security agencies to discuss the challenges in the investigation and prosecution of foreign terrorist fighters as well as training needs.

As part of the project, two representatives from each jurisdiction will attend a regional workshop in Vienna on 6-7 September 2016. National workshops to implement the training module are planned to take place in the region beginning at the end of 2016 and throughout 2017.

The overall objective of the initiative is to support specialized training modules on the prosecution of foreign terrorist fighters for criminal justice sector practitioners from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as well as Kosovo (under UNSCR 1244).

The specific goals of the initiative are:

  • Strengthening the capacity of South Eastern European national jurisdictions in light of the increasing flow of international recruits to terrorist organizations, as identified by relevant UNSC resolutions, including UNSCR 2170 (Condemning systematic and widespread abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law, including indiscriminate killing of civilians by terrorist groups, particularly the Islamic State and the Al-Nusra Front) and UNSCR 2178 (Proposing to address the issue of foreign terrorist fighters by strengthening domestic criminal offences; stressing the importance of curbing the financial flow and providing material/logistical support to terrorist organizations; strengthening international cooperation and underscoring the role of the United Nations; preventive measures, including efforts to counter violent extremism through enhanced civil society and community engagement);
  • Developing the capacity of criminal justice training institutions in South Eastern Europe to provide training on the specific legal and technical aspects related to countering foreign terrorist fighters at the national and regional levels through the tailor-made foreign terrorist fighters training modules that will include best practices and key practical case-law resources;
  • Enhance regional and sub-regional cooperation concerning specialized counter-terrorism aspects related to foreign terrorist fighters between and among national jurisdictions in South Eastern Europe, especially through the support to the relevant training institutions.

The project is implemented by UNODC with the generous support of the US Government.

For more information on the visit to Skopje, please refer to:


UNODC/OSCE agree new Joint Action Plan

Heads of UNODC and OSCE sign new Joint Plan of Action with combatting smuggling of migrants and terrorism prevention high on the agenda.

Vienna, Austria, 9 March 2016: In a meeting of senior officials at the Vienna International Centre today, UNODC and the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE) surveyed past results of their partnership and agreed upon a new Joint Action Plan for future cooperation.

During welcoming remarks, UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, stated, "the Joint Action Plan provides a welcome framework for UNODC and the OSCE to leverage their respective strengths." The new plan, he said, has been successfully expanded from seven  to eight key areas and now includes police development and reform.

In his own statement, the OSCE Secretary General, Lamberto Zannier, said, "As a regional security organization under Chapter VIII of the UN Charter, the OSCE supports the implementation of key UN policies and decisions in our region. Our relations with UNODC have been particularly close over recent years. I am therefore very happy to sign the latest update of our biannual OSCE-UNODC Joint Action Plan today. Drawing on our respective comparative advantages, it will guide our cooperation in 2016-2017."

Calling on UNODC and the OSCE to draw on their comparative advantages to develop joint activities, the new action plan focuses on a number of key thematic areas including terrorism prevention, trafficking in persons, migrant smuggling, firearms, corruption, money laundering and fighting illicit drugs.

Mr. Fedotov, in his statement, acknowledged the importance of counter-terrorism cooperation between the two organizations. He said, "countering terrorism remains a priority, and I very much welcome the new joint Plan of Action's focus on emerging security challenges, including foreign terrorist fighters and their radicalization; violent extremism and terrorism financing."

On the subjects of human trafficking and migrant smuggling, Mr. Fedotov said a heavy focus on the criminals networks was needed, particularly in view of the ongoing migration and refugee crisis. The UNODC Executive Director also stressed that chasing the money was critical to confronting transnational threats and he congratulated the UNODC/OSCE joint capacity building activities planned for this year.  

UNODC maintains close cooperation with the OSCE on a broad range of threats and challenges, and the two organizations have been meeting at the senior level for several years. The partnership was formalised in 2010 when Mr. Fedotov met with the then head of the OSCE, Secretary General Marc Perrin de Brichambaut, to agree on a Joint Plan of Action.

The UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe was identified by the UNODC and OSCE principals as one of the most active vehicles for cooperation.

UNODC mission visits Tirana and Pristina

Tirana, Albania, 29 February - 2 March 2016; Pristina, Kosovo under UNSCR 1244, 2 - 4 March 2016:  The Chief of the UNODC Regional Section for Europe, West and Central Asia and Regional Representative for South Eastern Europe and delegation visited Tirana and Pristina to conduct talks with national and international counterparts with regard to the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe and in particular the new UNODC Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism initiative for the region. The purpose of the two visits was to discuss the workplan of UNODC in the two thematic areas for the period 2016-2019 and to introduce the new Regional Advisor. The consultations with field counterparts have confirmed that the topics of money laundering and terrorism financing represent a serious challenge for the region and that addressing them in a coordinated and comprehensive manner would be beneficial, both for the implementation of the UN Conventions and treaties, the FATF recommendations, as well as the EU accession processes.
The UNODC Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism initiative aims to strengthen local AML/CFT capacities in South Eastern Europe with a view to ensure that these capacities will become self-sustaining in the future, will involve structural relationships and enhanced information sharing, and will be coordinated with all relevant actors.
By the end of April 2016, the AML/CFT missions will have consulted with the counterparts from Belgrade, Podgorica, Skopje and Zagreb and have completed the assessment of the situation in the region.
The UNODC work in the field of anti-money laundering/counter-terrorism financing in South Eastern Europe is undertaken with the generous contribution of the Government of Turkey.

UNODC and SELEC coordinate work on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism

Bucharest, Romania, 22 February 2016: The UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe (Regional Advisor for Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT)) and the UNODC Global Programme on Money Laundering (senior experts) visited  the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC) in Bucharest, Romania to meet with its Director for Operations and criminal analysts. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the renewed mandate of UNODC South Eastern Europe Regional Programme, and to coordinate the delivery of programme objectives with those also being pursued by SELEC.

UNODC South Eastern Europe Regional Programme's initiative to build regional AML/CFT capacity is delivering operations through three strategic principles:

  • Building self-sustaining capacity through training trainers in key requirements areas;
  • Improving structural relationships through ensuring that the program is multilateral and breaking down barriers to information sharing; and
  • Taking a complimentary coordinated approach by aligning technical assistance initiatives with other stakeholder.

Given the alignment of the UNODC South Eastern Europe Regional Programme's AML/CFT initiative and SELEC's main objective to provide support for their Member States and enhance coordination in preventing and combating crime, including serious and organized crime, where such crime involves or appears to involve an element of trans-border activity, both programmes viewed the potential for alignment in delivering services to Member States.

The two sides discussed ways to contribute to information sharing between the Member States, and also committed to potential joint activities to build AML/CFT capacity for the Member States held on SELEC premises in the future.

UNODC Executive Director visits Albania on the occasion of the 10 th Parliamentary Assembly of Mediterranean

Tirana, Albania, 18-19 February 2016: The 10th Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) has taken place in Tirana. Ten years after its creation, this was the first time that PAM met in a Balkan country. The main topics of the Session included situation with terrorism, the migration crisis and free movement.

The Speaker of the National Assembly of Albania asked the counterparts from the Mediterranean countries for cooperation in drafting a joint strategic plan to face regional challenges and stressed the topic of the migration crisis. The Prime Minister of Albania has also mentioned this challenge in his statement and pledged Albania's commitment to address it together with other partners. In the recorded statement of the UN Secretary-General, close cooperation of all parties in countering terrorism and violent extremism was underscored. The Session has also addressed the long-standing relationship between the international organizations and the Mediterranean Partners for Cooperation, the complex and often interrelated challenges affecting the Mediterranean and wider region. In this regard, it was noted that PAM and its partners need to further articulate the added value of the respective organizations according to their specific mandates, while building synergies wherever possible and creating strong interregional coalitions.

In his address to the opening of the Session, the UNODC Executive Director stated that the Mediterranean is a transit region for illicit drugs to Western and Central Europe, which includes heroin via the Balkans, cannabis resin trafficking from Morocco to Spain, and cocaine destined for Europe that has crossed West Africa. He also referred to the migration situation in the region and to the new UNODC strategy to address the smuggling of migrants in the Mediterranean, which includes research on trends and routes, capacity building and trans-regional cooperation. The Executive Director pointed out that UNODC's response to supporting countries in countering and preventing these and other challenges is threefold: political commitment among governments; strengthened partnerships, both within and outside the UN system; and integrated support through our global network of offices and regional programmes, including the UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe.

The UNODC Executive Director has also met with the Speaker of the Parliament of Albania and discussed the results of UNODC work in the country, as well as prospects for the future, including the Container Control Programme and the work in the area of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing. A UNODC delegation is visiting Albania shortly after the visit of the Executive Director to continue talks on the latter point. 



Seminar for Judges and Prosecutors to address the Smuggling of Migrants held in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

About 50 kilometres north east of Skopje, near the border with Serbia, lies the village of Lojane. According to Deutsche Welle, the story of Lojane is a good example of the migrant smuggling network in operation across the Balkans. Migrants cross from Greece into the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in search of passage to western Europe meaning border villages like Lojane can become migrant smuggling hubs.

UNODC's Global Programme against Smuggling of Migrants, is designed to help Member States take action to prevent and combat smuggling of migrants affecting towns like Lojane, tailored specifically to their needs with regard to the migration crisis which has played out in the region.

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia requested technical assistance from UNODC related to smuggling of migrants, which was held on February 16 and 17 2016 within the framework of the Regional Programme in South Eastern Europe 2016-2019. The seminar was delivered by two UNODC officials alongside two experts from Italy; a judge and a prosecutor who were able to share their experiences of prosecuting and adjudicating landmark cases of migrant smuggling in Italy. After introductory sessions on the international legal framework and concepts and categories of migrant smuggling, they focused on the role of smuggled migrants and  smugglers of migrants in investigations; investigation methods and techniques in migrant smuggling cases, including special investigative techniques, cross-border investigations and evidence collection with origin countries.

A prosecutor from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia delivered a session on national legislative and institutional frameworks and presented a national case on smuggling of migrants as a case study. A prosecutor for organized crime and corruption from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia also presented a case on smuggling of migrants from the national practice as a case study. The seminar was concluded with a session on the importance of assistance and protection of smuggled migrants, together with the importance of non-criminalisation of smuggled migrants alongside the protection of their human rights. Of the 25 participants, the vast majority were judges and prosecutors.

Arranged as a seminar, the focus was to discuss best practices with view to enhancing successful prosecution and adjudication of smuggling of migrants cases. It addressed key aspects of criminal justice responses to the smuggling of migrants using specialized UNODC training materials and real-life cases to draw out relevant issues and specific challenges related to the organized crime element.

The seminar included a tailored programme based on the relevant modules from the In-Depth Training Manual on Investigating and Prosecuting the Smuggling of Migrants, and with reference to the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organised Crime and the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air.

The seminar was very successful, leading the way for future collaboration on smuggling of migrants-related activities in South Eastern European Member States.


UNODC joins discussion on recovery from drug addiction in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 15 February 2016: As part of the project  "Project 3 - Balkan" implemented in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and the World Federation Against Drugs (WFAD), a Conference "Recovery from drug addiction - Turnover in policies and practice" was convened in Sarajevo.

A Non-governmental organization "Proslavi Oporavak" (Celebrate Recovery) in collaboration with  the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Department for the Suppression of the Abuse of Narcotic Drugs, organized the Conference and brought together more than 50 representatives of the respective institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina to discuss the practical and technical matters of the recovery of persons with substance use disorders.

Guest-speakers at the event included experts from the WFAG, the European Federation of Therapeutic Communities and Centre for Drug Misuse Research (CDMR), as well as the UNODC office in Bosnia and Herzegovina. UNODC contributed to the discussion and presented a good practice document "Sustained recovery management" emphasizing the importance of comprehensive, flexible and tailor-made approach in drug dependence treatment recovery.

Among the Conference's conclusions were the emphasized importance of applying an individual approach to each client and the significance of continuous provision of relevant services which assist the persons with substance use disorders during their recovery.


UNODC Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Financing of Terrorism Advisor posted in South Eastern Europe

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 27-29 January 2016: Following the release on 26 November 2016 of the UNODC Report "Drug Money: the illicit proceeds of opiates trafficked on the Balkan route", a UNODC Regional Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Advisor was posted in Bosnia and Herzegovina as of January 2016 to assist the region in providing hands-on responses to the challenges identified in the report.
The Advisor has been introduced to national and international counterparts in Sarajevo in the course of a mission from Vienna Headquarters of UNODC on 27-29 January 2016.
The next steps for the Advisor will be the elaboration of a detailed, targeted and tailored workplan in the AML/CFT areas for the period 2016-2019 in consultations with the other jurisdictions in the region. 

The UNODC work in the field of anti-money laundering/counter-terrorism financing in South Eastern Europe is undertaken with the generous contribution of the Government of Turkey.

Facilitating International Cooperation in Trafficking in Persons - Second Country Workshop in Sarajevo

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 25-27 January 2016: The UNODC Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Section successfully convened the second national workshop under the project "Enhancing national and regional criminal justice response in trafficking in children in the Western Balkans" in Bjelasnica, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. This workshop has been implemented by UNODC in collaboration with the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development of France. The opening remarks of the workshop were made  by Ambassador of France in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Assistant Minister and National Coordinator for Trafficking in Persons, Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The workshop served as a follow-up to the multi-disciplinary Action Plan developed by UNODC and the Governments of the region in March 2015 with regard to selected national and trans-national trafficking in persons cases aiming to facilitate international cooperation in this area. The workshop gathered nearly 30 participants from the UNODC methodological and initial workshops, relevant professionals from the police and judiciary authorities of the destination countries (law enforcement, prosecutors and judges), as well as experts from the victim protection system. Representatives of the civil society also participated in the event.

This first part of the workshop investigated the needs assessment for a better protection of the victims. Precisely, knowledge on the psycho-social profiles and needs of the victims who are trafficked in France and other EU Member States as well as the implementation of measures for the protection of the victims has been shared and discussed on a round table. Proposed key questions at this workshop evolved around the collection of pertinent information on the psycho-social profiles as well as around the international cooperation between Bosnia and Herzegovina and France during criminal investigations for the purpose of collecting and sharing data. Further proposed topics of discussion were housing and shelters; medical, psychological and material assistance; employment, education and repatriation to victims of trafficking; non re-victimization during the judicial process; safe-guarding the victim's privacy and identity to the extent possible under domestic law as well as physical safety, amongst others.

The workshop resulted into an update of the Action Plan, which now includes a time-frame and indicators and can further assist the national capacities to counter trafficking in persons. The next follow up event will take place on Tuesday, 31 March 2016 and will discuss the elements of and elaborate on the Action Plan, based on the needs assessment for a better protection of the victims.