Parties of the MOU on Sub-regional Drug Control Cooperation Meet for the Eleventh Review Meeting
2 May 2019, Tashkent – The representatives from the five Central Asian states, Azerbaijan, Russian Federation and Aga Khan Development Network gathered at Eleventh Senior Officers Review Meeting of the parties to the Memorandum of Understanding on sub-regional drug control cooperation, hosted by the Republic of Uzbekistan. The meeting will be followed by the Ministerial segment on May 3, 2019 with participation of ministers and deputy-ministers of Foreign Affairs from the Region and Mr. Yury Fedotov, United Nations Under Secretary-General / Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
The Senior Officers Meeting is aimed at discussing sub-regional cooperation on prevention of drug trafficking, internet-cybersecurity, addressing New Psychoactive Substance, preventing money laundering and countering financing of terrorism from illicit financial flows emanating out of drugs, and improving access to drug prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and HIV services. The Declaration of the Eleventh MoU meeting will be adopted at Ministerial meeting.
“Today’s meeting, I believe, would facilitate the promotion of coordinated and effective measures on timely decisions development to address the current challenges and threats related to illicit drug trafficking”, said Mr. Olim Narzullaev, Director of the National Information-Analytical Center on Drug Control under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan. “Memorandum of Understanding established a cooperation framework for reaching regional political and practical solutions to drug control and became a main tool for collaboration in this area”.
“Being on the forefront for developing a response to the emerging challenges and threats of the flow of narcotics and the related illicit financial flows, the states in the region are committed to strengthen regional cooperation, with the support of the international community as a shared responsibility for maintaining peace, security and wellbeing of the region. With youth constituting nearly 50% of the population in the region, increased engagement with the young people on creating a culture of lawfulness and building their resilience to drug use should be further promoted”, said Mrs. Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia.
Participants of the meeting also highlighted the regional cooperation within the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre for Combating the Illicit Trafficking of Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and their Precursors (CARICC). The meeting brought together experts from different ministries and agencies across the region, Azerbaijan, Russian Federation, donors and international partners.
The first day also provided opportunity for participants to exchange information on best practices and experience on drug control from their respective countries. UNODC stays committed to support the countries in reduction of the harmful impact of the illicit drug trafficking in the region under its global and regional programmes and initiatives.