Uzbekistan hosts the Sixth Annual Interregional Meeting of the UN Global Program on Drugs and Crime
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) - On 22 May 2019, the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan, together with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), hosted the Sixth Annual Interregional Meeting of the UNODC Global Program and the World Customs Organization (WCO) on control container transport.
The event involved the heads and experts of the customs services, as well as other competent departments of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Georgia, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, the Republic of Uzbekistan and Ukraine.
Participants of the interregional meeting discuss priorities and needs in the organization of control over freight traffic, as well as the strengthening of interregional practical cooperation between the customs services of the countries participating in the Program in the field of identifying and suppressing high-risk cargo.
The agenda of the event envisages the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on the creation within the Program of the Interregional network of customs services and port control groups between the customs services of these countries.
Opening the meeting, Chairman of the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan M.Azimov noted that: “The Global Container Control Program” has become a really effective mechanism for the development of interregional cooperation, providing a platform for discussing topical issues, as well as establishing contacts for practical interaction. It is important for both Central Asia and the international community as a whole, as the illegal movement of smuggled goods, including drugs and other dangerous goods, remains a real threat to regional and international security. ”
The UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia, Ms. Ashita Mittal, briefed on close and productive cooperation of UNODC with the countries of the Central Asian, Black Sea region, Afghanistan and Pakistan, which are participants of the Program, providing technical assistance in the development of national capacity in the field of control of container traffic and active promotion of regional and interregional cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking and other types of illegal activities by facilitating the organization and conduct of regional operations and the exchange of information on high-risk goods.
Ms. Mittal noted that since meeting marks the historic moment of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of the Interregional network of customs services and port control groups between the customs services of ten Program countries, it also opens a new milestone in our cooperation in combating drug trafficking and other types of crime while promoting legal trafficking.
It is no secret that customs authorities perform a key task at the border to protect the economic interests of countries and their citizens, while promoting development and trade. The program offers good opportunities for expanding national, regional and international cooperation in the fight against illegal trade, the proceeds of which, according to some estimates, are used to finance the activities of criminal and terrorist structures.
UNODC and WCO jointly developed and launched the Program in 2004 to assist participating countries in establishing sustainable law enforcement mechanisms in selected sea and land ports to prevent the use of container traffic for the purpose of drug trafficking, transnational organized crime and other forms of illegal activity with the simultaneous promotion of legal trade.
The regional segments of the Program for the Central Asian, Black Sea Regions, Afghanistan and Pakistan are funded by the governments of Canada, Germany, Japan and the United States.