Reliable partners in fighting narcotic drugs: SCO and UNODC explore new areas of cooperation

Reliable partners in fighting narcotic drugs: SCO and UNODC explore new areas of cooperation

On 13 March 2019, SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov met with UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov at the UN office in Vienna.

During the meeting, the officials reviewed the work done in the previous year, during which the two organisations had stepped up their cooperation significantly. They praised the high-level events they held such as the one on the sidelines of the 61st session of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) and the meeting of the Paris Pact Initiative Expert Group at the SCO Secretariat.

The officials focused on issues related to the preparation of a joint event "United Nations and SCO in the fight against drugs: Cooperation for strengthening international drug control" that will be held on the sidelines of the ministerial segment of the CND's 62nd session on 14 March 2019.

They also discussed ways to implement the Memorandum of Understanding between the SCO Secretariat and UNODC, dated 2011, by signing a corresponding joint Action Plan.

Mr Norov and Mr Fedotov agreed that the growing drug problem threatened stability in the region. In this context, they expressed their interest in promoting cooperation with Afghanistan. They noted that the Afghanistan-SCO Contact Group had stepped up its activities.

The officials also discussed possible cooperation with other regional organisations of the similar mandate in order to fight illegal drug trafficking throughout Eurasia.

They emphasised the need for an expansion of spheres of cooperation. They discussed ways to improve cooperation in information security, including by holding joint events on the sidelines of meetings of the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) or other relevant high-profile events. They also considered opportunities for joint efforts with a view to lower the demand for drugs and relevant work with young people.

Vladimir Norov awarded Yury Fedotov with a SCO Honorary Certificate as a token of gratitude for his personal contribution to addressing practical matters related to strengthening the close and fruitful cooperation between the two organisations.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), founded in 1997, is a UN office with headquarters in Vienna that coordinates the efforts against illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs, weapons, organised crime, human trafficking and international terrorism.

On 14 June 2011, the Memorandum of Understanding between the Secretariat of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime was signed in Astana. Joint expert-analytical and information work is underway, and joint activities are carried out to promote anti-drug cooperation.

SCO experts are involved in all the events held by the UNODC that are in line with the SCO's anti-drug activities, including meetings of expert groups of the Paris Pact Initiative. Over the last three years, the heads of the SCO and the UNODC have held seven meetings.