ISLAMABAD: The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has launched US$70 million Country Programme II (2016-19) under the “developing solutions for drugs and related challenges in Pakistan”.
Last year, UNODC in collaboration with the government of Pakistan organized a signing ceremony at the United Nations Office in Vienna to officially endorse the Country Programme II which was then presented to the UN Permanent Representatives of the Member States.
Under the Programme II UNODC will help enhance the skills and knowledge of law enforcement and criminal justice agencies in overcoming the multi-facet threats posed by transnational organized crime and would foster greater cooperation amongst neighboring countries to effectively find common solutions.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Training, Minister of State for Interior and Narcotics Control Baleegh ur Rehman said being a common and shared responsibility, it requires more concerted efforts of international community to effectively tackle this menace.
He also reiterated, “Let me re-affirm the political will of the government to stem out the menace of drugs from the region as well as from the world.”
Deputy Executive Director UNODC Aldo Lale-Demoz, who is presently visiting Islamabad to attend a presentation of the Country Programme II and during his speech at the ceremony which has jointly been organized by the Narcotics Control Division and UNODC Country Office, 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 Country Office Pakistan 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.”
While giving the presentation, Mr Guedes emphasized, “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.
At the end of the ceremony UNODC presented mementos to the donors, which are Australia, Canada, Denmark, EU, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America, for their financial contributions to the previous and the present Country Programmes. UNODC also presented mementos to Secretary Narcotics Control Division and Baleegh ur Rehman.
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).