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In the capital of Uzbekistan, Tashkent, on March 3-4 this year, with the participation of representatives of Central Asian countries and a wide range of international organizations, a high-level international conference "Regional cooperation between the states of Central Asia in the framework of a joint action plan for the implementation of the UN global counter-terrorism strategy" was held.

During the event, the participants strongly condemned terrorism in all its manifestations, as it is one of the most serious threats to peace and security. This thesis is enshrined in the Tashkent Declaration on 3rd of March by its participants.

The countries that signed the document agreed to continue efforts to promote professional, interethnic and intercultural tolerance and dialogue, as well as to prevent discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion. “Terrorism should not and cannot be associated with any religion, nationality or ethnic group,” the document says.

In addition, the declaration notes that Central Asia has become the first region to develop a regional action plan for the implementation of the UN global counter-terrorism strategy and assume obligations for its implementation.

On the margins of the conference, the delegation of CARICC headed by its Director Major General of Militia Miralizoda R.A. held a number of meetings with international partners on expanding cooperation.

Representatives of the OSCE Transnational Threats Department, Ms. Albina Yakubova and Mr. Otabek Rashidov, were informed about the current activities of CARICC, its prospects and plans for further organization of work in the main areas of the anti-drug track.

The methods and mechanisms of interaction developed by the Center in the practical plane with the member states and international organizations were especially emphasized. In this vein, it is noted that due to this, it is advisable to consider the possibility of using the potential of CARICC not only in the fight against drugs, but also in countering international organized crime, terrorism, extremism, human trafficking and cybercrime.

Also, colleagues from the OSCE were informed about the ongoing work to expand membership in CARICC, including the acquisition of observer status by Iran and Sweden, as well as the study of the issue of Turkey joining it.

As a result of the meeting, agreements were reached on the continuation and further development of close contacts between CARICC and the OSCE in the field of combating transnational crime, holding joint events, including on issues of donor assistance.

In the context of the development of the situation in Afghanistan, a meeting was held with the UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia, Ms. Ashita Mitall.

Director of CARICC Mr. Miralizoda R.A. noted that the Center closely monitors its development in the context of new challenges and threats of drug trafficking not only for Central Asia, but for the whole world.

Following in the footsteps of the decisions of the heads of member states, CARICC conducted and sent to all states and international organizations for practical use an in-depth analysis of the situation in Afghanistan.

It provides for an assessment of new challenges, threats and risks of drug trafficking, as well as a forecast and prospects for the development of the drug situation in Afghanistan and neighboring countries.

In this context, the importance of expanding cooperation between CARICC and the states of the region and international organizations was emphasized.

A special role in the implementation of existing initiatives should be played by proper funding of CARICC, both through voluntary contributions from the member states, and taking into account donor countries and potential partners.

Ms. A. Mitall also noted the achievements of CARICC and the results of its activities and emphasized the importance of the Center on the anti-drug track in the Central Asian region.

Among the important priorities, she also identified the need for sufficient funding for the Center, which is the key to its development and is consistent with the main directions for the implementation of the main UNODC programs in the region.

As a result, a number of decisions were made aimed at expanding cooperation in the format of CARICC and UNODC, as well as taking joint measures to ensure sufficient funding for the activities of the Center.

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On March 3, 2022, a webinar “International drug trafficking: Area of​distribution, current channels of transportation” was held in the form of a videoconference, organized by the Regional Office for Institutional Development of the European Region of the World Customs Organization (ROCB), which was attended by representatives of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Center for Combating Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Their Precursors (CARICC), the Anti-Drug Training Academy (NEA) in Turkey, the OSCE Program Office in Bishkek, the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan and representatives of the customs services of the states of the European region.

The head of the ROCB, Mr. Eser Chengel, and the Deputy Chairman of the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Asker Abdullayev, addressed the participants of the webinar with welcoming words.

In his presentations, the representative of UNODC highlighted some aspects of drug trafficking before, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic at the regional and global level.

Analyst of the IAP CARICC, Ms. Tatiana Evdokimova, made a presentation to the webinar participants on international drug trafficking, taking into account the modern assessment of the drug threat from Afghanistan and the current channels for transporting drugs of Afghan origin, as well as the latest trends in the fight against drug trafficking.

Representatives of Turkey, the OSCE Program Office in Bishkek and the Intelligence and Investigation Department of the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan also spoke at the webinar.

The participants addressed the organizers and international experts with questions, an exchange of views took place, the importance of close international cooperation in the anti-drug sphere between customs structures and international partners was emphasized.

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On February 23, 2022, a meeting was held in CARICC with the United Nations delegation headed by the UN Resident Coordinator in the Republic of Kazakhstan Michaela Friberg-Storey.

During the negotiations, the UN delegation was informed about the current activities of CARICC in terms of organizing and coordinating international operations to combat drug trafficking. The analytical work of the Center for the collection, compilation and analysis of information in the field of drug control is highlighted. At the same time, emphasis was placed on the analysis of the drug situation in Afghanistan, including the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing, taking into account the economic and financial crisis in this country.

Information on CARICC assistance in conducting anti-drug operations with the participation of member states and observers of the Center, as well as other countries of Asia and Europe was also provided/

Michaela Friberg-Storey highly appreciated the activities of CARICC in the region and noted the importance of further strengthening relations with CARICC for the implementation of the new United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework.

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On February 22, 2022, in Dushanbe, a meeting organized between the Director of CARICC, Major General of Militia Miralizoda Rustam Aziz, and the Director of the Drug Control Agency under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, Major General of Justice Khabibullo Vohidzoda.

At the meeting, the parties discussed the mechanism for implementing the Agreement on the Exchange and Protection of Secret Information of the CARICC Member States, the final draft of which was agreed upon the meeting of the Council of National Coordinators of the CARICC Member States on November 23, 2021.

In addition, an exchange of views took place on the issues of organizing the activities of CARICC, including the prospects for the transition to equity or voluntary funding of the Center by its member states, as well as granting Turkey membership in the Organization.

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On February 10, 2022, representatives of the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre for Combating Illicit Trafficking of Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Their Precursors took part online in the regular Regional Expert Meeting of analytical divisions employees of the competent authorities of the member states on the cross-border cooperation component under the UNODC Program for the states of Central Asia, organized by the UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia.

The meeting was attended by representatives of analytical units of the border agencies, customs services, ministries of internal affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as experts from the UNODC Program Offices in Central Asia and CARICC.

During this event, the International Coordinator of the UNODC Program in Central Asia, Mr. Yusuf Kurbonov, delivered a welcoming speech.

During the meeting, delegations provided information on the implementation of the UNODC Program component and its impact on the situation in the field of border security and cross-border cooperation in the region, the activities of the established centers for coordination and monitoring of border interaction offices, as well as information on the results achieved, including planned activities envisaged under the Border Cooperation Component.

In accordance with the program of the meeting, the CARICC employee showed a presentation on the topic: “CARICC Information and Communication System”.

As a result of the event, the main priorities of the competent authorities of the Central Asian states on strengthening state borders were identified, relevant recommendations were developed, in particular, UNODC was recommended to continue to provide assistance in the study, implementation and application of modern analytical products, the organization of training courses and the technical equipment of the Situation / Coordination Centers, and joint action plans were discussed, including the further development of the UNODC Program component using the potential of CARICC.

The participants emphasized the importance of interaction through the expansion of international cooperation, the exchange of positive experience and the further development of relations in the field of border security and combating transnational drug crime.

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Within the framework of the UNODC national initiative  in Tajikistan "Strengthening control along the Tajik-Afghan border" of Sub-program 1 of the UNODC Program for Central Asian states from 06 to 14 December 2021in Dushanbe, the CARICC staff, together with the DCA RT at the Serena Hotel, conducted a training course for the employees of analytical units of the Border Troops of the Republic of Tajikistan on the use of the specialized software “i2 iBase”, “i2 Analyst Notebook” in practical work, as well as other necessary programs.

This training course facilitated the study of analytical tools such as MS Excel, ArcGIS, and I2 that can reduce processing time.

According to the participants' assessments, the training corresponded to the functional duties of the trainees and turned out to be useful in the framework of the daily service and military activities of the employees of the above departments.

The training participants noted the high level of preparation of the event and the instructor staff, as well as an interesting and easy way of presenting educational material.

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On December 15-16, 2021, a meeting of the Working Group of Experts on Cross-Border Cooperation of the Paris Pact Initiative was held in Moscow in a hybrid format.

The delegation from CARICC headed by the Director, Major General of Militia Miralizoda Rustam Aziz attended this event.

The meeting, which was chaired by the Russian side, was also attended by delegations from the Central Asian countries, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, France, experts from the UNODC, the executive committee of the CIS, the CSTO, the EAG and other international structures.

During the meeting, an exchange of views took place on topical issues of combating the illicit trafficking of Afghan opiates, practical experience and methods of suppressing international drug trafficking, issues of better coordination of law enforcement agencies, as well as international and regional organizations in the fight against drugs were discussed.

Within the framework of the thematic sessions, the presentations “CARICC as a leading platform for regional and international cooperation in countering drug trafficking and drug crime” and “Multilateral cooperation within CARICC - results and prospects” made by the Director of CARICC Miralizoda R.A.

In his report, the Director of CARICC drew attention to the work carried out by the Center to collect, synthesize and analyze information to assist CARICC member countries in preparing national anti-drug strategies. He noted about a number of operations carried out with the assistance of CARICC with the participation of member states and observers of the Center, as well as other countries of Asia and Europe. He emphasized that for the continuous functioning of CARICC, it is necessary to increase the financial assistance of the Center by the international community.

The CARICC Director expressed the hope that the proposals adopted at the Expert Working Group meeting would allow the international community to develop new effective mechanisms to counter the serious threats posed by the illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors. He called for more active development of international anti-drug cooperation, primarily in the framework of CARICC, as well as expanding the exchange of information and experience in countering transnational drug crime.

As part of the event, the CARICC delegation also took part in the Tenth Steering Committee Meeting of the UNODC Regional Program for Afghanistan and Neighboring Countries.

At the meeting, the Director of CARICC noted that in the context of the rapidly changing situation and the growth of the drug threat in the region, the role and importance of UN agencies and specialized regional organizations are increasing. He informed that CARICC, as one of the significant projects of the UNODC in Central Asia, will closely cooperate with the Regional Program in achieving common goals and objectives.

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At the initiative of the Central Asian Regional Information Coordination Center for Combating Illicit Trafficking of Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Their Precursors with the financial support of the UNODC Regional Program for Afghanistan and Neighboring Countries on December 7-8, 2021, in Almaty in a hybrid format, a regular working meeting was held to discuss the Concept on the CARICC methodology for assessing the drug situation in the Member States.

This event was attended by the heads of the information and analytical units of the national coordinating bodies and leading experts in narcology of the national drug treatment centers of the CARICC member states, Iran and Pakistan, as well as experts from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

During the meeting, the state of the drug situation in the CARICC member states and the UNODC Regional Program for Afghanistan and neighboring countries was discussed.

The experts were presented with a draft analysis of the drug situation in the CARICC member states for 2016-2020, prepared by the Center staff in accordance with the accepted reporting forms developed within the framework of the Concept on CARICC methodology for assessing the drug situation.

In addition, they discussed the need to conduct a study on the movement of drugs of Afghan origin through countries located on the so-called "Northern Route", within which CARICC initiated the creation on its basis under the auspices of the UNODC, a permanent Working Group from among the representatives of the CARICC member states and interested countries, its goals and objectives are supposed to determine the conduct of comprehensive research and analysis of an objective assessment of the drug situation and the volume of supplies of Afghan opiates along the "Northern Route". This initiative was supported by the meeting participants.

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