Dushanbe, Tajikistan, 1 June 2012. Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, used a week-long mission to Afghanistan and Tajikistan to co-chair a regional meeting of the UN Task Force on Transnational Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking.
Opening the inter-agency meeting, UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, said his visits to a poppy field and the border in Afghanistan had impressed upon him the challenges faced by the countries in West and Central Asia. Highlighting the criminality, support for the insurgency, the growing drug consumption and increased rates of HIV/AIDS in Central Asia, Mr. Fedotov said a joint response to these issues was essential from the United Nations.
"Through the Task Force, the United Nations has the potential to deliver a powerful blow against drugs and crime in the region. We must work together on the ground and use our regional programmes as the platforms for initiatives that promote security as well as human rights and sustainable development," said Mr. Fedotov.
In its own work, UNODC has launched a Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries in December 2011 linked to the US$117 million Country Programme launched on 29 May. These initiatives are supported by the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre-CARICC-and the Joint Planning Cell of the Triangular Initiative through joint operations and the sharing of information.
Established in March 2011 by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Task Force on Transnational Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking is Co-chaired by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the United Nations Department of Political Affairs. The Task Force ensures a coherent and effective response to drugs and crime from the UN system.
The Task force is comprised of the Department for Peacekeeping Operations, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Department of Political Affairs, the Peacebuilding Support Office, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the United Nation's Children's Fund (UNICEF), UN Women and the World Bank.
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