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November 8, 2016



Tashkent has hosted a signing ceremony of exchange of notes between the government of Japan and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

The notes were inked by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to our country Nobuaki Ito and Regional Representative of UNODC in Central Asia Ashita Mittal. Under to the document, the Japanese government provides a new grant worth 263 million yen (about 2.5 million US dollars) for the implementation of the program “Countering Trafficking of Afghan Narcotics in Uzbekistan through Establishment of Interagency Mobile Teams” by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Speaking at the ceremony, the head of the diplomatic mission noted that his country attaches great importance to cooperation with UNODC and Uzbekistan in the field of bolstering borders and combating drug trafficking, as stated in the Joint Communiqué penned during the official visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Uzbekistan in October 2015. In addition, the diplomat stressed that the program is aimed at the capacity building of relevant agencies of Uzbekistan, and is expected to help enhance trilateral cooperation and mutual confidence between Japan, Uzbekistan and the UNODC.

Expressing gratitude to the government of Japan for its contribution, and to the government of the Republic of Uzbekistan for cooperation and partnership, the UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia Ashita Mittal drew attention to the need for an inclusive, coherent and comprehensive strategic approach in combating drug trafficking. A key role in ensuring peace, stability and effective governance based on the principles of the rule of law and sustainable development, in her view, is played with an effective strategy in the fight against drug trafficking and transnational organized crime. “UNODC will continue to support the efforts of the government of the Republic of Uzbekistan on this front,” she assured.

The activities envisaged in the program will be implemented in the framework of the UNODC Program for Central Asia for 2015-2019. According to the participants, taking into account the continued relevance of two factors – the existence of common border with Afghanistan and attempts to use the territories of the Central Asian states as a transit route – the interagency mobile teams being set up will help improve the capacity of our country in the field of law enforcement. These groups will be created, trained and outfitted with modern special equipment. It was also noted that the signing ceremony of exchange of notes for a grant for this program is indicative of the continuity in cooperation efforts involving the fight against drug trafficking.