2nd EU-UNODC project steering committee meeting held online due to COVID-19

Vienna, Austria 3 June 2020 - UNODC and IOM participated in the 2nd EU-UNODC project steering committee meeting held online due to COVID-19 imposed lock-down restrictions around the world. Participating in the steering committee were European Commission (EC) representatives from the Directorate-General, International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO), the Directorate-General Migration and Home Affairs (DG Home), EU Country Delegations as well as UNODC and IOM HQ and field staff.

The 2nd EU-UNODC project steering committee (PSC) provided UNODC and IOM with the opportunity to update EU colleagues on the progress made in terms of the project's implementation across all five partner countries, to discuss challenges and propose solutions. It is worthy to note that the progress made was achieved despite project implementation taking part in highly volatile and complex political environments. Indeed, a UNODC colleague summed up GLO.ACT’s determination best by quoting Bernard Shaw, ‘You see things; and you say 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, 'Why not?'

During the PSC, UNODC’s national project officers used the opportunity to introduce themselves and their project assistants to the EU. They provided in-depth country overviews which included updates on the impact of COVID-19 on actual project implementation in their country as well as outlining the work that continued despite the global pandemic. They also provided participants with a snapshot of what lies ahead. IOM’s Focal Points also all contributed to each country update, speaking about their work to develop assistance and support programmes for victims of trafficking and vulnerable migrants, including children.

The meeting provided all participants, in particular colleagues from the EU in Brussels and EU Country Delegations, with the opportunity to ask detailed questions about the current status quo of the project in each country and about synergies with other programmes or projects being implemented in the region. Addressing the PSC, Erwan Marteil, Head of Section Migration and Forced Displacement, EC, thanked everyone for the excellent discussion, positive implementation of the project across all partner countries and encouraged UNODC and IOM to continue to develop the excellent cooperation with EU Delegations in the field.

The next PSC is scheduled to take place in November 2020.

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The Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants - Asia and the Middle East (GLO.ACT Asia and the Middle East) is a four-year (2018-2022), €12 million joint initiative by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) being implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in four countries: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Republic of Iraq and Islamic Republic of Pakistan, with GLO.ACT-Bangladesh being a parallel project.

This project is funded by the European Union.