The UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe provides a framework for the Office's work in the region in 2016-2019, with the objective of meeting specific national needs while ensuring a coordinated and harmonized regional approach. UNODC partners are building on past years of experience to better implement strategies that work in addressing illegal drug use and crime (including national policies, national strategies, legislation, effective law enforcement operations and seizures, strong anti-corruption campaigns and inclusive approaches to drug use), and they are increasingly in a position to both share best practices with regional neighbours, as well as to learn from the experiences of others. In addition, while individual government ownership of domestic strategies and approaches is critical, alignment of these objectives with broader European Union (EU) accession priorities provides an opportunity to reinforce and support these reform goals.


UNODC is a global leader in addressing the problem of illicit drug use and transnational crime, and is mandated to assist Member States in their struggle against illicit drugs, crime and terrorism. UNODC has an important role in assisting States Parties to the international conventions in the implementation of their obligations under the international drug control treaties (the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 (as amended in 1972), the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971, and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988), the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols and the UN Convention Against Corruption, as well as international anti-terrorism instruments. Acting as the custodian of United Nations standards and norms in crime prevention and criminal justice, [1] UNODC has the mandate to assist Member States in reforming their criminal justice systems to ensure the practical application of these standards. Under the Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe (2016-2019), UNODC will continue to provide support to the region in the implementation of these treaties and instruments, inter alia, by means of supporting the development of national drug and crime policies and strategies and their implementation plans, in line with EU requirements under chapters 23, 24 and 28 of the EU acquis communautaires . This will support the countries in meeting the EU accession requirements, as well as fulfilling their obligations within the United Nations.


The UNODC Regional Programme supports the governments of the participating countries/territory, bringing global expertise and scope to South Eastern Europe to strengthen both national and regional approaches. Continued UNODC engagement in the region will strengthen country capacity in key sectors, promote the reform agenda needed by the countries to meet EU accession requirements and ultimately reinforce the ability of the governments in the region to more effectively cooperate with the full range of international partners in the global fight against illicit drug trafficking and organized crime.


UNODC, together with its government partners and civil society stakeholders, will work towards these goals by maintaining a focus on the three key sub-programmes comprising the current Regional Programme:


Sub-programme 1:          Countering Illicit Drug Trafficking and Transnational Organized Crime

Sub-programme 2:          Strengthening Criminal Justice, Integrity and Legal Cooperation  

Sub-programme 3 :          Enhancing Substance Use Prevention, Drug Use Disorders Treatment, and Reintegration and Care, Including Related Infectious Diseases, While Ensuring Consistent Development of Gender Responsive Approaches


In sum, and as assessed by the independent Mid-term In-Depth Evaluation, the Regional Programme contributes to issues of substance, while facilitating a harmonized regional process: "The national and regional relevance and priority of RP outcome areas is readily visible in project documentation, and is acknowledged by both partners and donor counterparts…" Therefore, the " impact of the RP which is visible in a number of EU-accession inspired action-plans, programmes and guidelines in the region… [including] improved infrastructure for border police and customs facilities; improved staff skills resulting in increased seizures of drugs; increased co-operation between judicial authorities; as well as increased awareness, expertise, professional skills in drug-treatment and prevention, " [2] and ther achievements of the Regional Programme in 2012-2015, are the basis of and the building blocks for the Regional Programme for 2016-2019.




[1] For the compendium of UN standards and norms in crime prevention and criminal justice, see www.unodc.org/pdf/criminal_justice/Compendium_UN_Standards_and_Norms_CP_and_CJ_English.pdf

[2] Mid-term In-Depth Evaluation of the Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe. United Nations Independent Evaluation Unit. 2015. Available at www.unodc.org/documents/evaluation/indepth-evaluations/2015/Final_Evaluation_Report_RP_SEE_incl_Management_Response_May_2015.pdf, pp. 17, 43.