The United Nations and a group of Asian countries have signed an accord to promote cooperation in fighting drug trafficking, organized crime, human trafficking and international terrorism, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has announced.
UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov signed the memorandum of understanding with Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Astana, Kazakhstan, Tuesday, according to a press statement issued by the agency.
The SCO is a regional organization comprising China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan with a focus on promoting effective cooperation in politics and trade as well as security and stability in the region.
“It is impossible to consider responses to the threats posed by drugs, organized crime and terrorism in isolation,” Mr. Fedotov said. “Criminals do not respect national borders and we must respond by cooperating on regional and international levels.”
“The Central Asian states are presented with a geographical challenge in the international drug fight. Countries such as Kazakhstan are on the frontline of the flow of Afghan heroin headed towards the West. The work in countering organized crime and drug trafficking, which I am pleased to see is increasingly taking on a cooperative approach, is so critical to international safety and security,” he said.
Mr. Fedotov followed up the signing ceremony with a meeting with the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, to discuss specifics of the accord. He praised “the active role” of Kazakhstan in the fight against drug crime, UNODC said.