ISRS and UNODC express mutual interest to strengthen cooperation

On January 26 this year at the Regional Office of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), a meeting was held between the Director of the Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Eldor Aripov, and the UNODC Regional Representative to Central Asia, Ashita Mittal.

During the meeting, Ashita Mittal informed the ISRS representatives in details about the ongoing activities of her Office, primarily in the field of assisting member states in the fight against organized crime, terrorism and drug trafficking.

In this context, the head of the UNODC Regional Office welcomed the efforts of the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev aimed at strengthening regional cooperation, increasing mutual understanding and trust between the countries of the region. According to her, only a consolidated region is able to effectively confront common threats and challenges.

Ms. Ashita Mittal paid special attention to the importance of strengthening analytical work to improve understanding of the problems of drug addiction and crime, expanding the knowledge base for making operational decisions and forming effective long-term policies to prevent risks and security challenges.

In this regard, a proposal was made to comprehensively strengthen interaction with analytical structures of Central Asian countries.

The staff of the Institute was kindly provided with information and analytical products prepared by the Regional Office, revealing the problems of drug trafficking and drug use in the states of Central Asia and Afghanistan, as well as the UNODC Regional Program for the countries of Central Asia for 2022-2025.

ISRS Director, in turn, supported the UNODC initiative to establish cooperation in the implementation of joint research projects on the most pressing issues of countering drug trafficking, terrorism and organized crime. The initiative to consider the possibility of uniting the research resources of all Central Asian states on these issues within the framework of the Expert Forum of the countries of the region.

During the meeting, the ISRS delegation was also presented with the activities of the UNODC Information Center, which opened in May 2023. The work of the Center is aimed at carrying out a comprehensive analysis of the drug situation, measures implemented in the region to combat drug smuggling, strengthening the coordination of UNODC with law enforcement agencies of the countries of Central Asia on responding to emerging cross-border challenges and threats.

At the end of the meeting, an agreement was reached to develop a bilateral plan for interaction in the field of monitoring and analysis of regional challenges and threats, and to develop effective approaches to their timely prevention and suppression.