SCO Secretary-General meets with UNODC Executive Director
SCO Secretary-General meets with UNODC Executive Director

The delegation of the SCO Secretariat led by SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov met with the delegation of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) led by UN Under-Secretary General and UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov at the United Nations office in Vienna on 14 March 2017.

The parties held a detailed exchange of views on a wide spectrum of dynamically developing partner relations between the two organisations.

UN Under-Secretary-General Fedotov thanked SCO Secretary-General Alimov for attending the anniversary meeting of the 60th session of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND). He also noted that the success of a joint special high-level event dedicated to UN-SCO anti-drug cooperation held in Vienna the day before and the key events at the UN headquarters in New York in November 2016 were a good illustration of the growing cooperation potential and the two organisations' readiness to bring their interaction to a qualitatively new level.

"We regard the SCO as an active partner within a broad interaction mandate," Yury Fedotov said. "Our joint cooperation includes efforts to counter not only the drug threat but also organised crime. It is of particular importance for us to demonstrate results of cooperation with regional partners, specifically the SCO, in the context of the Organisation's expansion. For our part, we are ready to take resolute steps to fill our cooperation with a qualitatively new content."

Secretary-General Alimov, in turn, stressed that the SCO regarded interaction with the UN and its specialised offices, primarily the UNODC, as its priority. "In June 2011, the Memorandum of Understanding between the SCO Secretariat and the UNODC was signed, opening broad opportunities for interaction on the regular basis, including within the framework of the Paris Pact Initiative. The November 2016 UN General Assembly Resolution on Cooperation between the United Nations and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation gave a new impetus to this cooperation. We are interested in expanding the experience we have accumulated on the anti-drug track and in potential building," Rashid Alimov said.

He also emphasised that the heads of the SCO member states paid much attention to countering the drug threat and expressed constant concern over its aggravation. "At the SCO Summit in Astana in June of this year, the leaders are expected to reiterate their firm commitment to the policy of preserving and strengthening the existing international drug control system based on the three basic UN conventions," he said.

Rashid Alimov thanked Yury Fedotov and in his person all high-ranking UNODC officials for their support, professionalism and cooperation with the SCO Secretariat in holding the first successful SCO-UNODC event in Vienna. "Over the last few months, we laid a firm foundation for holding joint UN-SCO events in various areas. I am confident that this will become a tradition," he said.

The parties agreed to take joint steps to develop the existing cooperation potential.

Established in 1997, the Vienna-based United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime fights illegal trafficking in narcotic drugs and arms, organised crime, trafficking in persons, and international terrorism.

The SCO-UN relations have developed since 2004, representing an example of effective cooperation between a global and a regional organisation.

The institutional basis of SCO-UN cooperation is formed by the Joint Declaration on Cooperation between UN and SCO Secretariats (Tashkent, 5 April 2010) and the Memorandum of Understanding between the SCO Secretariat and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (Astana, 14 June 2011).

These documents not only formalised relations between the SCO and the UN but also laid a firm foundation for cooperation, opening broad opportunities for interaction.