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    UNIS/CP/632
    29 November 2010

    UNODC, UAE Work Towards Closer Ties to Fighting Crime, Drug Threats

    ABU DHABI/VIENNA, 29 November (UN Information Service) - The Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov, has held meetings with senior officials in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

    Mr. Fedotov's meetings with representatives from the Ministries of Presidential Affairs, (First Deputy Minister and Secretary General of the Ministry Ahmed Al Hamery), Interior (Deputy Minister and Head of the Supreme Council Lt. Gen. Saif Al Shafar) and Foreign Affairs (Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gragash) were held against the backdrop of an enhanced working relationship which looks set to strengthen the country's responses to the interconnected threats of drugs, crime and terrorism in the region.

    UNODC has established a sub-regional office in Abu Dhabi, which will officially be inaugurated in the first quarter of 2011 in partnership with the Ministry of Interior.

    Mr. Fedotov noted that "the relationship between the United Arab Emirates and UNODC is an expanding one. Abu Dhabi's leadership has expressed its interest to further the emerging partnership between the country and my Office - something which we are keen to do. As a critical area in the region, the United Arab Emirates is positioned both geographically and economically to make a tangible difference in fighting crimes such as in the trafficking of drugs and humans."

    In recent years several critical initiatives have been developed between UNODC, the UAE and its neighbours in the Gulf. These include:

    • The first grant by the UAE for the establishment of the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT). Since its creation in March 2007 through money provided by Abu Dhabi, UN.GIFT has been instrumental in raising awareness about human trafficking amongst Governments, individuals and the private sector.
    • The signing of an agreement in 2010 between the UAE's National Rehabilitation Council and UNODC on drug demand reduction and treatment based on a human rights-based approach. The formation of the council is a critical move given the UAE's position as a drug trans-shipment country from Afghanistan.
    • The partnership agreement with the Institute for Naturalisation and Ports which aims to build capacity amongst competent authorities dealing with trafficking in all its forms and to become the region's centre of excellence and to provide computer-based training to tackle these crimes.
    • The hosting of the Gulf Criminal Information Centre by Qatar. Within this structure, UNODC is providing technical assistance to build the capacity of Gulf countries in information software in order to tackle organized crime in the region in a coordinated, intelligence-driven manner.
    • The partnership with Naif Academy for Law Enforcement in Saudi Arabia which promotes the exchange of knowledge and capacity-building for law enforcement and criminal justice officials in the region.

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    For further information contact

    in Abu Dhabi:

    Hatem Aly
    Representative, GCC Office
    Telephone: (+ 971-56) 123-5951

    in Vienna:

    Preeta Bannerjee
    Public Information Officer, UNODC
    Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-5764
    Email: preeta.bannerjee@unodc.org