5 December 2014 - The Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov, met with government leaders in Nepal and learned about the country's anti-poaching initiatives as part of his official visit to South Asia.
"I appreciate the excellent partnership with Nepal in addressing challenges including illicit drugs, HIV prevention and treatment, terrorism, corruption, human trafficking and wildlife crime," said Mr. Fedotov. "I look forward to strengthening this cooperation further, including through UNODC's Regional Programme for South Asia."
He also welcomed Nepal's active participation in the implementation review mechanism of the UN Convention against Corruption, as well as the government's recent decision to join the Container Control Programme, which is supported by UNODC and the World Customs Organization.
During his visit to Kathmandu, Mr. Fedotov met with Bamdev Gautam, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs, Mahendra Bahadur Pandey, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Sharad Chandra Paudel, Secretary at the Ministry for Forestry and Soil Conservation.
He also met with Lok Maan Singh Karki, Chief Commissioner of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority, and Arjun Bahadur Thapa, Secretary General of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, as well as with prison officials to discuss reform efforts.
The UNODC Executive Director concluded his trip to Nepal with a visit to Chitwan National Park to meet the Chief Warden and other officials to learn about the country's efforts to combat wildlife crime.
"Nepal reported zero incidents of poaching in 2013, and I commend the government for its commitment to addressing wildlife crime," said Mr. Fedotov. "The international community has increasingly recognized the severity of this problem, and I welcome this opportunity to learn more about Nepal's efforts to stop wildlife poaching."
The Executive Director's visit to the region began in India and continues on to Bhutan and Bangladesh.