19 July 2018 - Tackling illicit financial flows and money laundering is a core element of UNODC's mandate. The Office works with Member States across the globe to strengthen their ability to implement measures against these crimes.
With a view to enhancing cooperation in asset tracing, freezing and confiscation, UNODC's Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries recently organized an inter-regional meeting in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. The event provided a platform for participants to finalize the establishment of an Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network (ARIN) in West and Central Asia.
Funded by the European Union, the meeting represented the second phase in the process, following two meetings held in Kazakhstan and Pakistan, respectively.
Attending were practitioners from six regional jurisdictions, including Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. They drafted a comprehensive document outlining the network's administration, coordination, structure, and functioning as well as organs, including the Presidency and Secretariat.
Having worked together for two days, practitioners finalized and agreed on the statement of intent, which is considered as the founding document of the network.
Toyly Batyrov, Senior Legal Adviser of the Law and International Relations Department, Ministry for Internal Affairs of Turkmenistan, welcomed the outcome, noting that the time is right for such an initiative. Expressing his strong belief in the network's success, he commended UNODC's support.
At the meeting, participants agreed on the official name of the network (ARIN-WCA), the rotating presidency, membership and the frequency of meetings. They also nominated the General Prosecutor's Office of Uzbekistan as the Secretariat.
Expected to be launched in November 2018, the network will be hosted by the country that will assume the first Presidency of ARIN-WCA.
Speaking about the launch, Danilo Campisi, Regional Coordinator of UNODC's Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighboring Countries, said: "The Office will do its best to support the network. It will provide technical support to the Presidency and the Secretariat as needed".