UNODC and SADC Secretariat discuss Joint Regional Programme implementation

Setting the tone for open and constructive discussions - Z. Akisheva, UNODC Regional Representative (left), and J. Cardoso, SADC Director of the Organ on Politics, Defense and Security Affairs (Picture: SADC)

On July 28, 2015, the UNODC Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSAF) held a meeting with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat to discuss the progress made under the joint Regional Programme "Making the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region Safer from Crime and Drugs".

Approved in 2012, the Regional Programme has been supporting SADC Member States in addressing challenges posed by illicit trafficking, organized crime, terrorism, corruption, drug abuse and HIV and AIDS, both at the national and regional levels. The support provided by the Programme is structured under three interdependent substantive pillars:

1. Countering Illicit Trafficking and Organised Crime;
2. Criminal Justice and Integrity; 
3. Improving Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment and Care, and HIV Prevention, Treatment and Care for People Who Use Drugs, including Injecting Drug Users and in Prison Settings.


UNODC Regional Programme



The meeting, held at SADC Headquarters in Gaborone, Botswana, brought together experts from SADC Secretariat and UNODC ROSAF to share updates on programme implementation, to discuss remaining gaps and identified subsequent key priority areas for cooperation. They included, among other issues, anti-money laundering and asset recovery, trafficking in persons, wildlife trafficking, drug abuse, HIV and AIDS, corruption, and gender-based violence. Participants also agreed that all activities should have a strong social impact and provide direct benefit to communities and the most vulnerable populations.

UNODC and SADC Delegations  
UNODC & SADC Delegations (Picture: SADC)

In closing the meeting, the SADC Director of the Organ on Politics, Defense and Security Affairs and the UNODC Regional Representative both expressed their continued commitment to the objectives of the Regional Programme and will continue to work together towards its implementation.