UN priorities for 2017: UNODC
Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative
The nexus of transnational organized crime and terrorism including drug trafficking is a concern for the Central Asian region and Uzbekistan. On one hand, prevention of the drug trafficking and illicit financial flows emanating out of the increasing opium cultivation in Afghanistan, and on the other, the emergence of new psychoactive substances remains a formidable challenge and present a potential threat to the security and development of Uzbekistan and the region.
In this context, UNODC ROCA continued to strengthen the border security between the Central Asian states as well as the border between Afghanistan, with 13 Border Liaison Offices established and with new border posts being constructed across the region. These efforts were further complimented by the UNODC and WCO Global Container Control Programme and its regional segment for Central Asia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
Similarly, with the emergence of new synthetic drugs and psychoactive substances, UNODC ROCA is working towards equipping the l law enforcement agencies in Uzbekistan through training to prevent these new forms of drugs from entering the region.
Additionally, with cybercrime and drugs online being articulated as emerging concerns for the region, their use for such illicit purposes as narcotics, transnational organized crime, terrorism and radicalization begin to also pose a challenge. In recognition of this threat, the UNODC ROCA Programme, the Network of Prosecutors and Central Authorities from Source, Transit and Destination Countries in response to Transnational Organized Crime in Central Asia and Southern Caucasus (CASC Network) and the UNODC Global Programme on Terrorism prevention are engaging in supporting the national responses to build capacities in order to counter these threats.
Equally important is the work of UNODC ROCA towards increasing evidence based drug dependence treatment, rehabilitation, HIV prevention and the social reintegration programmes throughout the region, via its the new programme on advocacy of HIV prevention, the TreatNet programme, and the drug use prevention programmes such as the Family and Schools Together and Strengthening Families Programme. These are increasingly being adopted by the countries in the region.
2016 marked the first year when the countries in the region have embarked on the process of localization and nationalization of the global commitment to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). UNODC is actively engaged within UN Country teams in the region, providing available data and participating in the identification of national SDG indicators, baselines and targets with the UNODC programmes aligned to the SDGs and contributing to their achievement. Working in the spirit of “One UN”, UNODC has increased its strategic focus on building multi-partner responses, which help ensure the best and most effective use of our limited resources.