Please see below a non-exhaustive selection of news items to reflect the richness of contacts and joint activities happening between the EU and UNODC.
20 - 21 April 2017: Exchanges on migrant smuggling, trafficking in persons, terrorism and border control in the MENA region
A delegation from the UNODC Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa came to Brussels to discuss the latest developments in the MENA region pertaining to migrant smuggling, trafficking in persons, terrorism and border control. The visit included, for the first time, direct exchanges with the Justice and Home Affaires Directorate of the Council of the European Union. Other meetings took place with DG NEAR and the EEAS.
6 April 2017: Exchange on Cybercrime
Chief of the UNODC Organised Crime and Illicit Trafficking Branch, Ms Loide LUNGAMENI, and the Chief of the UNODC Global Programme on Cybercrime, Mr. Neil Walsh, held fruitful discussions with the European Commission regarding future counter-cybercrime cooperation. Speaking after the meeting, Mr Walsh said "It was exceptionally worthwhile to have time today with our partners in the European Commission to update them on the successes of the UNODC Global Programme on Cybercrime, in particular our work in Central America, MENA and Southeast Asia. Cybercrime in particular knows no borders and there has never been a stronger need for cross-organization capacity-building cohesion. My team have a world class skill-set in countering transnational cybercrime: from cyber-dependent BotNet disruption, cyber-enabled darknet firearms supply through to the most pernicious of online child sexual exploitation and abuse. We already have close working arrangements with European partners, particularly Europol and the European Cyber Crime Centre (EC3), and I am confident that, with the Commission, we can build a close, supportive, mutually beneficial working relationship which helps to build capacity to counter cybercrime in the most challenging parts of the world."
27 - 31 March 2017: UNODC-WCO exchanges on the Global Container Control Programme
The World Customs Organisation (WCO) held its 36th Annual Enforcement Committee Meeting at its Brussels HQs. UNODC Representative, Ms. Yatta Dakowah attended the Opening Day of the Meeting and held a side discussion with Mr. Ketil Ottersen, UNODC Senior Programme Coordinator of the Global Container Control Programme on the expansion of the project into the Pacific Islands, the Gambia and Uruguay - all of interest to the European Union, both in terms of developing economic connectivity and at the same time preventing illicit trade entering the Union. The Global Container Control Programme briefed Heads of Customs Enforcement from across the world on the impressive results of the Programme during 2016. An information booth was set-up to further inform participants on the benefits of pre-arrival profiling for illicit trade in the containerised supply chain and interaction with this flag-ship UNODC Programme.
20 - 24 March 2017: Visit of the European Port of Rotterdam to observe Port procedures and best practices for potential implementation in Thailand
Under the framework of the UNODC-WCO Global Container Control Programme, a group of Senior Managers from the Thai Port of Laem Chabang visited the European Port of Rotterdam to observe Port procedures and best practices for potential implementation back in Thailand. Rotterdam is the main gateway to the European Union with regard to containerised sea-freight, handling approximately 30% of total European imports. Asia is an important trading and economic partner for the EU but with high volumes of licit trade comes the opportunity for transnational organised crime groups to conceal illicit trade in the hope it will go undetected. Significantly, Asia produces large quantities of drugs and counterfeit goods that target European markets, and greater cooperation between European and Asian ports can assist to stem this illicit flow. Asia is also a manufacturing base for industrial equipment and chemicals that can have dual-use in legitimate commerce and as well military application. Enhanced container profiling skills can assist, detect, deter, prevent and combat the trafficking of such strategic trade or weapons of mass destruction and safeguard that they do not fall into the hands of terrorists or other non-state actors.
The Global Container Control Programme seeks to build capacity to identify high-risk containerised consignments for selection and examination thereby detecting illicit trade, preventing terrorism and disrupting transnational organised crime. The Programme in SE Asia commenced in 2014 and hopes to attract further support from the European Union in the months ahead as it expands operations across SE Asia and into the Pacific Islands.
9 - 10 March 2017: Exchanges on Afghanistan and Central Asia
Mr Andrey Avetisyan, UNODC Regional Representative for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries and Special Adviser to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Counter-Narcotics and Ms Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia, came to Brussels to brief the NATO Deputies Committee Meeting on the narcotics situation in Afghanistan and on the NATO - UNODC Partnership for Counter Narcotics Training in Central Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The meeting was hosted by Mr James Appathurai, NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy. Both Representatives seized the opportunity to meet counterparts from the EEAS (ASIAPAC and EURCA) and DG DEVCO (Central Asia - South East Asia) for exchanges on Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries, and they briefed an EP hearing on Afghanistan hosted by the Chair of the Afghanistan Delegation.
3 March 2017 - Terrorism Prevention Branch represent UNODC at annual EU-UN Political Dialogue on Counter-Terrorism
The annual EU-UN Political Dialogue on Counter-Terrorism took place in Brussels, on 3 March 2017. The EU delegation was led by Mr. Pawel Herczynski, Director of Security Policy, EEAS, and the UN delegation was led by Mr. Jehangir Khan, Director of UN/CTITF Office and UNCCT. Representing UNODC at the annual Dialogue were Mr. Mauro Miedico, Chief a.i. of the Terrorism Prevention Branch, and Mr. George Puthuppally, Chief of TPB's Implementation Support Section for Sub-Saharan Africa. Taking advance of the presence in Brussels, on 2 March Mr. George Puthuppally also held bilateral consultations with the leadership of EU's Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP): Mr. Oliver Nette, Head of Unit IcSP, and Mr. Philippe Bartholme, Team Leader, Crisis Response ICSP. EU and UNODC are currently partnering to implement a counter-terrorism assistance project for Nigeria, fully funded by EU under IcSP, aimed at strengthening Nigeria's criminal justice responses to terrorism, in compliance with the rule of law and human rights.
- The UNODC and Terrorism Prevention
- The EU - Nigeria - UNODC - CTED Partnership Project II: Assisting Nigeria to strenghten rule of law-based criminal justice responses to terrorism
1 March 2017 - the launch of the new EU - UN Partnership Report
Partnership between the European Union and the United Nations has benefited millions of people in more than 170 countries across the globe, according to the latest report showcasing the results and strength of the collaboration between the United Nations and the European Union. From the Millennium Development Goals to the new 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the European Union has worked together with the United Nations to ensure access to education and health, save lives, increase resilience, and promote the values enshrined in the UN Charter of peace and human rights. EU President Jean-Claude Juncker stressed the need for a greater emphasis on multilateralism and collective action to address global challenges. He emphasized the European Union's commitment to the "spirit of global solidarity at the heart of the 2030 Agenda" in an introduction to the report which covers activities of the partnership between the United Nations and the European Union 2014-2015 . The results of this ambitious and wide-ranging partnership can be seen at country level. The EU and the UN have worked, for example, with Governments in Iraq, the Central African Republic, Thailand, Ukraine and Colombia to integrate human rights in their development plans. Partnership is crucial to success. According to the report, " Saving and Empowering Lives '' in nearly 40 countries, the EU and the UN have partnered with civil society organizations and national authorities to improve protection for millions of refugees and internally displaced persons. Training is another fundamental area of cooperation to help countries promote and honour commitments to gender equality, the empowerment of women and end abuse of women and children among others. Tens of millions of vulnerable people in 49 countries in 2014-2015 benefitted from food assistance provided by the United Nations and the European Union in nations ravaged by war or malnutrition. Despite efforts by the EU and the UN, nearly 800 million people are still undernourished, and tackling hunger is critical to the partnership. In a world beset by crises, the European Union and the United Nations play a fundamental role in providing relief to the some 65 million people who were uprooted from their homes globally due to armed conflicts, climate change, population growth and unplanned urbanization. With their immense convening power, the EU and the UN helped coordinate contributions from donors, international organizations, civil society and national authorities to address the needs of refugees and internally displaced persons in Africa, the Middle East and Europe itself. Innovative initiatives using private sector partnerships and new technologies like biometrics and ATMs provide help quicker and in a more economically efficient manner. From floods, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and other emergencies, the EU and the UN have expanded cooperation on rapid response to crises, increasing resilience and recovery.The EU-UN partnership in Peace and Security continued to deepen in 2014-2015, providing a valuable contribution to the increased attention currently being paid to the importance of mediation, conflict resolution and preventive diplomacy now evident in both the European Union and the United Nations. In 2015, the EU and the UN agreed on priorities for 2015-2018 for strengthening the partnership on peacekeeping and crisis management. The EU-UN Partnership has promoted democracy, the rule of law and good governance in countries across Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Working together, the EU and the UN have expanded global access to essential services, provided training and opportunity for enhanced inclusive, green growth and decent jobs. The UN and the EU played crucial roles in the historic Agreement on Climate Change in Paris in 2015, paving the way to further develop national climate plans; the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction; the Addis Ababa Action Agenda; Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals. The historical year of 2015 marked a landmark in continuing to strengthen the partnership between the EU and the UN. The partnership was highlighted during the first-ever European Year for Development in 2015 and the annual European Development Days. The next edition of the European Development Days in June 2017 will focus on investing in development, marking a new step in forging an ever stronger partnership between the EU and the UN.
14 February 2017 - Exchanges on the Prevention of Violent Extremism in the ARF region
Ms Thanawan Klumklomchit, Terrorism Prevention Officer from the UNODC Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific (located in Thailand), was invited to attend the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Brussels - jointly organized by the Philippines, Australia and the European Union. Ms Klumklomchit participated in a panel discussion on the Prevention of Violent Extremism in the ARF region . She briefed the meeting on UNODC's work to enhance ASEAN member states' criminal justice responses to terrorism, through technical assistance to build effective legal framework and capacity to address conducts related to the spread of violence extremism such as recruitment and the use of internet for terrorist purposes. Ms Klumklomchit also highlighted the need to address radicalisation in prisons and explained UNODC's related initiatives including a Handbook on the Management of Violent Extremist Prisoners and the Prevention of Radicalisation to Violence in Prisons.
- The UNODC Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific website
- The Handbook on the Management of Violent Extremist Prisoners and the Prevention of Radicalisation to Violence in Prisons
13 February 2017 - Exchanges on Maritime Crime
Mr Alan Cole, Head of the UNODC Global Maritime Crime Programme in Eastern Africa, and his colleague Ms Siri Bjune from the UNODC Global Maritime Crime Programme in Vienna, came to Brussels to discuss maritime security and brief the key EU partners from the EEAS and DG DEVCO on the on-going activities of the Global Maritime Crime Programme.
10 February 2017 - Exchanges on post UNGASS 2016
Ms Jo Dedeyne-Amann, UNODC Chief of the Secretariat to the Governing Bodies, and her colleague Ms Doris Resch, were invited to brief the Horizontal Working Party on Drugs at the Council of the European Union on post UNGASS 2016 (Special Session of the General Assembly UNGASS) and on the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND). The UNODC Secretariat delivered presentations on the UNGASS follow up work undertaken by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs as well as a Secretariat proposal on supporting the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in the implementation of the UNGASS outcome document "Our joint commitment to effectively addressing and countering the world drug problem".
The first presentation, delivered on behalf of Ambassador Moitinho de Almeida, CND Facilitator for post-UNGASS matters, focused on the various steps the CND had taken so far in advancing UNGASS follow-up. The Horizontal Working Party on Drugs was further briefed on what could be expected at the upcoming 60th anniversary session of the Commission in March 2017, including a draft resolution tabled by the Chair on behalf of the Commission on preparations for the 62nd CND in 2019, the target date of the 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action. In addition the meeting was informed about a decision that would be tabled by the Chair of the Commission, on strengthening the subsidiary bodies of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. The Secretariat further informed about planned activities to be initiated upon conclusion of the 60th CND, including a planned CND work programme for the second half of the year with dedicated meetings for each of the seven thematic areas in order to deal with each of these areas in a more in-depth manner. The second presentation focused on the support that the Secretariat was providing to the CND, including proposals for enhancing the awareness for the work of the CND, for increasing its visibility and the corresponding funding needs to make the CND UNGASS follow-up work sustainable.
8 February 2017 - UNODC joined senior officials from Europe and Africa in Malta
Deeply concerned by the sharp increase of flows in refugees, asylum seekers and migrants taking dangerous journeys across the Mediterranean, European and African leaders adopted the Joint Valletta Action Plan in November 2015 to comprehensively address the challenges posed by this situation. Since then, UNODC intensified its efforts to support Member States in one of the five priorities of the action plan aiming at preventing and combatting migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings. UNODC joined senior officials from Europe and Africa in Malta from 8-9 February to take stock of the progress made since the adoption of the action plan, as they acknowledged that the fight against networks of migrant smugglers and human traffickers needed to be stepped up through a stronger focus on measures aimed at tackling these crimes, including cross-border cooperation, legislative reform and capacity building. Mr John Brandolino, Director of Treaty Affairs, reiterated UNODC's " commitment to support and collaborate with all stakeholders to address the priorities of the Joint Valetta Action Plan, including through the development of a holistic response to dismantle criminal networks involved in human trafficking and migrant smuggling, while fully assuring the protection of victims and vulnerable migrants". Providing a common framework for an effective joint response, the Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants Protocols, which complement the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, have been ratified by most participating States and yet are not sufficiently and fully implemented. As the situation in the European vicinity remains dramatic, with a new record of lives lost at sea in 2016, and while the business of smugglers and traffickers keeps on thriving, the United Nations (UN) as whole is mobilizing to develop a Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration. " It is only when safe, regular migration and mobility exist in a solid human rights framework, and when issues such as smuggling of migrants and trafficking in human beings are addressed through human rights-based responses, that adequate protection is possible and the development benefits of migration can become truly tangible", said Ms Barbara Pesce-Monteiro, UNDP Director, while delivering a statement on behalf of the UN at the Valletta meeting.
- John Brandolino's statement at the Valletta Senior Officials Meeting
- HR/VP Federica Mogherini's statement at the Valletta Senior Officials Meeting
- United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocols Thereto
31 January 2017 - EU-UNODC Project Steering Committee of the Global Action to Address Trafficking in Persons and Migrant Smuggling (GLO.ACT)
The GLO.ACT Project Coordinator and Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer, supported by the UNODC Representative in Brussels, participated in the biannual EU-UNODC Project Steering Committee of the Global Action to Address Trafficking in Persons and Migrant Smuggling ( GLO.ACT). The meeting was hosted by the donor, DG DEVCO, with the participation of colleagues from DG HOME, DG NEAR, the EEAS, the EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator's Team, and EU Delegations in GLO.ACT countries via videolink (Brazil, Colombia, Morocco and South Africa) as well as the EU Delegation in Vienna. Also participating via videolink from Vienna was the UNODC Chief of the Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Section which implements GLO.ACT and five Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officers supporting GLO.ACT implementation at the country level. In addition, GLO.ACT implementing partners IOM and UNICEF joined the meeting via teleconference. The main focus of the meeting was to update the EC on the national workplans being developed and implemented in close cooperation with GLO.ACT beneficiary countries.
20 January 2017 - Preparation of the Valletta Senior Officials Meeting on Migration
UNODC Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Section, represented by Ms. Morgane Nicot, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer, visited the UNODC Brussels Liaison Office to support the Office during the 3rd plenary meeting for the preparation of the Senior Officials Meeting to be held in Valletta, Malta (February 2017). The meeting, focusing on the follow up to the Valletta Summit and Joint Action Plan on Migration since its adoption in November 2015, provided an opportunity to introduce the progress reports of the Rabat and Khartoum Processes. These reports will inform the identification of priorities for the implementation of the Joint Action Plan, including in the field of human trafficking and migrant smuggling where UNODC is already stronly engaged along States participating in the two processes.
Read our past stories here.