Press Releases

    UNIS/CP/515
    27 April 2005

    UNODC Assists Albania in Fighting Drug Trafficking and Organized Crime

    VIENNA, 27 April (UN Information Service) -- The Government of Albania and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have launched a new US$1 million project. Senior officials of the Albanian State Police, General Customs Directorate, General Prosecution Office, and representatives of other international organizations were present during the launch ceremony in Tirana today, which was also attended by a senior official from UNODC.

    With funds donated by the Government of Italy, the project will provide a priority assistance package to the Albanian Government to counter illicit drug trafficking and other organized criminal activities. The project introduces modern concepts of an “intelligence-led” approach to police and customs enforcement services and promotes national and regional information exchange and cross-border cooperation. It will also focus on sensitive operational areas and strengthen regional cooperation.

    In addition to creating an operational intelligence capacity within the Police Anti-Drug Unit, and supporting covert operational techniques, the project will focus on support to Albania’s eastern border crossing points and green border, and will provide detection equipment and proper training. In the area of trafficking in human beings, the project will help to upgrade victim support services.

    All project measures address important elements of Albania’s National Drug Strategy and Action Plan. UNODC will work closely with various Albanian ministries, the criminal justice system, and enforcement agencies, so as to implement the National Strategy and provisions of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

    Strengthening the capacity to fight drug trafficking and organized criminal activities in Albania is a key component of the UNODC strategy for South Eastern Europe. It is a region on the ‘doorstep’ of an enlarging Europe that still sees the flow of huge amounts of illicit drugs to the lucrative Western European markets and a corresponding growth of organized crime that follows in its wake. In the coming months, UNODC will formalize its strategy for South Eastern Europe with the launch of a new and innovative programme focusing on this important region.

    ***

    For more information:

    Vladimir Fenopetov
    Chief, Europe / Central, West and Central Asia Section,
    Partnership in Development Branch, UNODC
    Tel: + 43 1 26060 4176