Ghada Waly

Director-General/Executive Director

CND High-Level Side Event Strengthening anti-drug cooperation in the SCO space, supporting global drug control 

  15 March 2022

Excellencies, 

Ladies and gentlemen, 

I am pleased to address this high-level side eventby the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on how we can work together to further strengthen joint efforts in the SCO space, and contribute to global action to address illicit drug challenges.  

Allow me to begin by congratulating Mr. Zhang Ming on being appointed the Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. 

Our collaboration is based on the Joint Declaration on Cooperation between the Secretariats of the United Nations and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, from April 2010, as well as the Memorandum of Understanding between the Secretariat of the SCO and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime signed in June 2011.  

The MoU outlines the scope of our joint efforts, including to countethe trafficking of illicit narcotics and their precursors, and to address the health threats posed by illicit drug use. 

I am pleased to join the SCO and our partners once again on the margins of the session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, to reaffirm our commitment to address the world drug problem through regional responses and international frameworks, including the international drug control conventions. 

This is especially important today, in view of developments in Afghanistanand in the wider region. In response to this challenging and evolving situation, UNODC has developed a focused framework of interventions to support people in need in Afghanistan, as well as to address growing regional security threats, including drug trafficking. 

We are undertaking this work as part of the UN Transitional Engagement Framework for Afghanistan for 2022, which is helping to promote coherence and coordination between the activities undertaken by UN entities, and provide targeted and effective support for Afghanistan 

Our cooperative approach is also in line with the objectives we set out in the UNODC Strategy for 2021-2025, which stresses partnership with regional and international organizations, to strengthen implementation and ensure the complementarity of our efforts. 

In November of last year, I had the honour of visiting some of our partner countries in Central Asia, including Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, and launch the new cycle of the UNODC Programme for Central Asia.  

I was pleased to witness the region’s unwavering commitment to promoting regional stability, security and sustainable development, in the face of intensified challenges.   

UNODC is fully committed to supporting these joint efforts through our recently launched Programmes in the region, including the Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries, the Programme for Central Asia and the Country Programme for Pakistan, as well as our Regional Programme for South Asia, which encompasses Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, the Maldives and Sri Lanka. 

To support data collection and analysis, UNODC is also planning to establish an Information Centre on Afghanistan, which will provide integrated and impartial monitoring on the drugs and crime situation in Afghanistan and its impact on surrounding countries.  

Taken together, these programmes and initiatives provide an integrated national, regional, and inter-regional response to confront illicit drugs and related transnational organized crime in West and Central Asia, as well as the wider region, by increasing national capacities and promoting regional cooperation, including through existing platforms.  

One of the effective platforms we have developed together is the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre, or CARICC, which is partnering with the SCO’s Regional Antiterrorist Structure. 

Furthermore, the policy-level cooperation between UNODC and the SCO continues to be supported by the mutual participation of our respective experts in regional workshops and meetings. 

The SCO is also a long-standing and active stakeholder in the framework of the Paris Pact Initiativerepresenting one of 23 partner Organizations.  

I am pleased to note that the Paris Pact Initiative and the SCO have jointly identified synergies between their respective counter-narcotics activities, and collaboration with Paris Pact Initiative is also reflected in the SCO’s current Anti-Drug Strategy and Action Plan. 

Excellencies,  

Ladies and gentlemen, 

In concluding, I would like to express my appreciation to our regional and international partners as well as our donors for their continued engagement and support. 

We are committed to continuing our important work together, in partnership with our Member States as well as with international and regional organizations, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.  

Thank you.