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April 26, 11

NEWS / Senior UN official stresses Kyrgyzstans key role in regional anti-drug efforts

26 April 2011 – The United Nations anti-drug chief today highlighted the key role of Kyrgyzstan in countering illicit drug trafficking, as he met with officials in the Central Asian nation to discuss a range of issues, including drug treatment services and prison management.

Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), pledged that his agency would continue to assist Kyrgyzstan, particularly with the re-established State Service on Drug Control and in building the country’s capacity to combat drug trafficking.

“The formation of this agency is critical in combating the interconnected ills of drug trafficking and organized crime,” Mr. Fedotov said on the sidelines of his meeting with Vitaly Orozaliev, Chairperson of the State Service on Drug Control.

“UNODC is proud to be able to work with authorities in assisting the people of Kyrgyzstan and the wider region in reducing the threat of illicit drugs and we look forward to expanding our existing partnership.”

He noted that, given its proximity to Afghanistan, the country has a key role in tackling the movement of drugs produced in Afghanistan to Europe, Russia and China.

While in the capital, Bishkek, Mr. Fedotov met with President Roza Otunbayeva and Prime Minister Almazbek Atambaev, as well as the Speaker of Parliament, Akhmatbek Keldibekov, and the Foreign Minister, Ruslan Kazakbaev.

They discussed UNODC’s expanding partnership with Kyrgyzstan, which has come to include mutual legal assistance, enhancing cross-border cooperation, combating transnational organized crime, effectively promoting drug dependence treatment, responding to HIV and AIDS as it relates to both drug users and in prison settings, and countering human trafficking.

As part of the visit, Mr. Fedotov visited a pre-trial detention centre in Bishkek to discuss issues of prison management, which forms part of a ˆ3 million European Union-funded project to support comprehensive prison reform activities in Kyrgyzstan.

“UNODC is committed to working with the Kyrgyz Government to improve the quality of prisons in the country, and to help the Government implement rule of law and criminal justice reforms,” the Executive Director pledged.




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