Ladies and gentlemen,
My thanks to the Government of Pakistan to showcase what the country is doing to implement the recommendations of the outcome document of the UN General Assembly special session on the world drug problem.
I had the honour of sharing the podium with Ambassador Mansoor Ahmad Khan at the opening of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs on Monday. I congratulated him on his election, and many people have informed me that he is doing an excellent job chairing the 63rd session and supporting Member States in their very important deliberations.
Pakistan actively contributes to the work of the Commission and recently sponsored Resolution 61/2 on strengthening efforts to prevent drug abuse in educational settings.
I was pleased to hear that UNODC and Pakistan took immediate action to follow up on the resolution, with a High-Level Expert Group Meeting on the topic last year, which was itself followed by training for some 120 school teachers, university lecturers, drug prevention professionals and practitioners.
UNODC also welcomes Pakistan's contributions to regional and inter-regional law enforcement cooperation and coordination. The Triangular Initiative, bringing together Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran, is one such regional platform facilitated by UNODC.
The initiative, which was launched in 2007, proved to be operational and effective, with seizures of more than one ton of drugs, including more than 430 kilogrammes of heroin in a single, simultaneous operation in 2011. I regret to hear that no joint operations have been conducted recently despite these successes.
Going forward, I urge the TI partners to work together and seize the opportunity to revamp the Initiative, to live up to its potential. UNODC is here to support you.
Pakistan is an observer to another important law enforcement cooperation mechanism, namely the Central Asia Regional Information and Coordination Centre. CARICC can also serve as a means to strengthen cooperation between the two initiatives, to address complex and cross-regional threats of drug trafficking and related transnational organized crime.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We are currently reviewing UNODC programmes in West and Central Asia, including the Country Programme for Pakistan and the Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring countries, for their next cycle from 2021 to 2025.
We have already started a process of consultations with the relevant national authorities on the development of these important technical cooperation instruments, which will be guided by Member States' priorities and needs.
UNODC is committed to ensuring that the Country Programme for Pakistan will find synergies with, and contribute to, the objectives of Pakistan's Vision-2025 and the National Anti-Narcotics Policy, as well as support global efforts to implement the UNGASS outcome document recommendations and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in the Decade of Action.
Building safer communities in all countries relies on the sharing of best practices and experiences, and I thank Pakistan once again for holding this event at the CND to give the international community insight into the challenges you are facing, and your strategy for putting into action balanced, comprehensive approaches in line with UNGASS.
I wish you productive discussions. Thank you.