ISLAMABAD: In the third phase of the country programme of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), legal support will be provided to all institutions that are part of the chain of rule of law such as police on themes like anti-corruption, gender-based violence, prison management and money laundering.

The programme will focus on four areas including illicit trafficking and border management, legal reforms, countering terrorism and reduction in the demand of drugs, said a statement issued by the office as the third phase of the programme was launched on Friday.

UNODC Country Representative Dr Jeremy Milson, during launch of the this phase, said the programme would be much more innovative and would better integrate and synergise all thematic areas at the national, regional and global level.

UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly, in a video message, expressed her gratitude to all partners who have been supporting UNODC in Pakistan.

“The programme is a tailored implementation vehicle of the UNODC Strategy 2021-2025 in Pakistan: proposing integrated and sustainable solutions to address the multifaceted responses to all forms of crime, inclusive of gender-responsive programming for achieving rule of law while promoting human rights,” she said.

Speaking on the occasion, UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Pakistan Julien Harneis said work of UNODC directly supported the efforts of member states towards achieving the sustainable development goal (SDG-16): Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, and SDG-5: Gender Equality.

Acting secretary of the Ministry of Narcotics Control Sabino Sikandar Jalal said: “Given the complexity and international linkage of trafficking in illicit drugs, no country can win this war alone. Concerted efforts by the international community can help in addressing this menace more effectively.”

Under the previous UNODC country programme (2016-2021), support was provided to departments concerned at the policy level with development, enactment and approval of bills and acts, and assistance at the technical and operational level with training of more than 40,000 law enforcement personnel through face-to-face as well as e-learning courses.

In addition to this, the UNODC supported creation of important digital platforms such as the Prison Management Information System in 65 prisons of Sindh and Punjab and the Case Management Information System, to facilitate communication between investigation and prosecution.

Published in Dawn, June 4th, 2022

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