The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has launched a USD 70 million Country Programme to address Pakistan’s development challenges within its mandated areas of illicit trafficking, drug control and crime prevention.
Under Country Programme II, UNODC will help enhance the skills and knowledge of law enforcement and criminal justice agencies in overcoming the multi-faceted threats posed by transnational organised crime, and would foster greater cooperation amongst neighbouring countries to effectively find common solutions.
The UNODC presented this programme under the title “Developing Solutions for Drugs and Related Challenges in Pakistan” in a ceremony jointly organised by the Narcotics Control Division and UNODC country office here on Thursday.
Speaking on the occasion, Education and Professional Training, Interior and Narcotics Control Minister Baleegh-ur-Rehman said that it required more concerted efforts of international community to effectively tackle this menace.
He reiterated, “Let me reaffirm the political will of the government to stem out the menace of drugs from the region as well as from the world.” The government of Pakistan has shown its firm resolve to curb the menace of illicit trafficking, drug use and crime, he added.
In December 2016, UNODC in collaboration with the government of Pakistan organised a signing ceremony at the United Nations office in Vienna to officially endorse the Country Programme II which was then presented to the permanent representatives of the member states.
UNODC Deputy Executive Director Aldo Lale-Demoz stated, “The Country Programme II is based on principles of national ownership, upstream policy and human rights based approach. Pakistan has demonstrated notable achievements in many areas of cooperation, owing to the national leadership and political commitment”.
UNODC representative César Guedes presented a comprehensive overview of assistance in the next four years under Country Programme II (2016-19). The CP II also envisions to be “working together against illicit trafficking, drug use and crime, while promoting the rule of law for a safer society for all in Pakistan.”
Guedes added, “It is an opportunity to further advance Pakistan’s strategy on counter-narcotics, strengthen regional cooperation and streamline our collective efforts to promote the rule of law, good governance and public health.”
The presentation was attended by members of the diplomatic community, heads of UN agencies, officials from ministries and law enforcement agencies, judiciary, civil society representatives, and media representatives.
Narcotics Control Division Secretary Ajaz Ali Khan appreciated the assistance provided by UNODC under the previous country programme which strengthened the operational capacity of anti-narcotics force as reflected by record seizures of narcotics over the last four years. “The Country Programme-II (2016-19) would further enhance the effectiveness of UNODC’s support,” he added.
The programme has been developed through a participatory process involving UNODC experts and relevant Pakistani institutions, the international community, and civil society. The strategic goals of the country programme are in line with the government of Pakistan’s Vision 2025, and complement the objectives for meeting various targets of the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By Hamid Khan Wazir courtesy: Pakistan Today