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    UNIS/CP/650
    14 June 2011

    United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Shanghai Cooperation Organization Sign Agreement to Boost International Health, Safety and Security

    VIENNA/ASTANA, 14 June (UN Information Service) - The United Nations Office and Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote partnerships across a range of areas related to international health, safety and security.

    The SCO which was formed in June 2001 is a regional organization comprising China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan with a focus on promoting effective cooperation in politics and trade as well as security and stability in the region.

    The MoU signing coincides with the 10th anniversary of the SCO when the countries assess the results of the work and the prospects for the future. The MoU is set to look at several core areas including illicit trafficking, drug use, organized crime, international terrorism, human trafficking and other forms of transnational organized crime.

    UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov, head of the UN delegation to the SCO Summit, noted the importance of this move towards building closer ties, particular given the nature of crime in today's world: "It is impossible to consider responses to the threats posed by drugs, organized crime and terrorism in isolation. Criminals do not respect national borders and we must respond by cooperating on regional and international levels."

    Mr. Fedotov also commented that the SCO member states collectively represent close to one and a half billion people - a significant portion of the global population which require this type of coordinated response to lead safe and secure lives.

    The issue of drug trafficking in particular is a key concern for the SCO and one which looks to be further enhanced through the MoU and other multilateral actions. In September 2010 the SCO signed a cooperation agreement with the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre (CARICC). The Centre, which is based in Almaty, Kazakhstan (the current Chair of the SCO), was established with the support of UNODC to improve counter-narcotics work between national and regional law enforcement agencies of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

    The MoU also builds on the April 2010 'Joint Declaration on Cooperation' which was signed by the United Nations and SCO Secretariats.

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    For further information please contact:

    In Almaty, Kazakhstan:

    Tofik Murshudlu
    Head, UNODC Programme Office, Kazakhstan
    Telephone: (+7-727) 258 2637
    Mobile: (+7-777) 705 6408
    Email: tofik.murshudlu {at} unodc.org

    In Vienna, Austria:

    Kevin Town
    Associate Public Information Officer UNODC
    Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-5575
    Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-5575
    Email: kevin.town[at]unodc.org