UNODC is party to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on sub-regional drug control cooperation with the five Central Asian States (Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan), the Russian Federation and Azerbaijan. These countries are all actively participating in a UNODC project, generally known as CARICC, to establish a Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre.
The purpose of the Centre is to facilitate information exchange and analysis, and to assist in the coordination of operational activities of the various law enforcement agencies in the region and thereby improve effectiveness in countering drug trafficking. Activities of the Centre are to be supported by its core staff (selected on international competitive basis from the law enforcement agencies of the participating countries) and by the liaison officers attached to it.
In addition to the liaison officers from the member countries, other interested countries and competent international organisations such as Interpol, Europol, WCO and others may consider posting liaison officers at CARICC to facilitate cooperation and information flow.
CARICC serves for facilitating cooperation between all law enforcement involved in countering illicit trafficking including, police, drug control agencies, customs, border guards and special services.
The idea of the Centre was initially discussed at the MOU Meeting in Ashgabad, Turkmenistan in December 2002, then further elaborated at the MOU meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2003 and finally agreed at the MOU meeting in Moscow, Russia in December 2004.
The project commenced in January 2005. In March 2005 a Project Team comprising representatives of each of the Member States was established to carry out work to develop the essential “framework documents”. The Project Team met regularly in Tashkent in meetings facilitated by UNODC and the key documents were completed:
- Agreement on the Establishment of CARICC (details rights/obligations of all parties). This document include as its integral part Regulations on the Centre (Objectives, Functions, Personnel, Liaison Officers; Membership/Observer Status, Database, Internal Oversight, Management);
- Headquarters Agreement (host/venue agreement) to be signed by the GOV of host country and the CARICC.
At the ministerial MOU meeting held in Tashkent on 7-8 February 2006 the institutional documents were endorsed and recommended for signing by the Heads of the participating states.
It was agreed at a meeting of the MOU States in February 2006 that the venue for the Centre would be Almaty, Kazakhstan.