Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you for the opportunity to highlight the commitment of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime to supporting the Government of Afghanistan as we enter the second half of the decade of transformation, with a focus on peace-building, state-building and market-building.
I welcome the Government’s recognition, in the draft Afghan National Peace and Development Framework Two, that effective action to address the production and trafficking of opium poppy, as well as other factors contributing to the illicit economy, is essential to peace.
This is a courageous step, and one that needs far more attention and support from the wider international community.
The Framework offers proposed courses of action that UNODC has been supporting through its integrated Country, Regional and Global programmes, including:
With regard to state-building, UNODC is pleased to see that establishing the rule of law and commitment to anti-corruption reforms are a cornerstone of the Framework.
I would like to underline, in this context, the active participation of Afghanistan in the implementation review mechanism for the UN Convention against Corruption, which represents the sole global anti-corruption legal instrument, and encompasses prevention, criminalization, international cooperation and asset recovery.
UNODC is further supporting implementation of effective counter-narcotics policies that provide alternative livelihoods, with a focus on rebuilding the rural economy and creating market opportunities, which can serve as best practices to be scaled-up in national programmes.
For peace-building, state-building and market-building to be successful, increased and integrated responses to stop organized criminal networks and other groups from perpetuating and profiting from the illicit economy in Afghanistan are urgently needed.
In closing, allow me to reaffirm that UNODC stands ready to further support Afghanistan and its partners to build capacities to detect, investigate and prosecute crime, corruption and money laundering, to contribute to broader international community action for a peaceful, prosperous and stable future for all.