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    UNIS/CP/907
    9 May 2016

    UNODC and LAS launch second Regional Programme for the Arab States at high profile Cairo event

    Regional Programme for the Arab States 2016-2021 affirms importance of addressing illicit trafficking, organized crime, terrorism, integrity and justice, as well as drug prevention and health in Middle East.

    CAIRO/VIENNA, 9 May (UN Information Service) - High-level officials and representatives of the international community came together today at an event in Cairo for the launch of a joint UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and League of Arab States' (LAS) Regional Programme for the Arab States (2016-2021).

    In his opening remarks, the UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, said: "the Regional Programme was the result of our excellent continuing cooperation, and it exemplifies the strong ownership of Member States and the spirit of shared responsibility."

    Mr. Fedotov, who launched the programme jointly with the Secretary General of the League of Arab States, Dr. Nabil El-Araby, added that the Regional Programme will help guide UNODC's efforts in the Middle East and North Africa in the next six years. As a consequence, he underlined, "It will further strengthen national, regional and global efforts to combat transnational organized crime, drugs and terrorism."

    Developed from the success of the first Regional Programme, the Programme also includes refinements that will enhance UNODC's regional activities in three key areas.

    First, the programme links justice, the rule of law, and peace to the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. As a second priority, it reflects the support for effective, fair, humane and accountable criminal justice systems developed by the Doha Declaration and adopted at last year's 13th UN Crime Congress.

    Finally, the programme incorporates the outcome document from the UN General Assembly special session on the world drug programme adopted in April this year, which reaffirmed the importance of cooperation against illicit drugs under the three international drug control conventions.

    Mr. Fedotov closed his remarks by encouraging Arab States to "further strengthen regional cooperation, and to make use of UNODC's technical expertise, tools and services." He also called for partners and potential donors to extend their support for the new programme and to help UNODC meet the "aspirations and objectives of the region."

    The launch of the Regional Programme for the Arab States came during the UNODC Executive Director's three-day mission to Cairo. During the mission he will meet with prominent government ministers and officials to discuss a wide range of topics such as drugs, crime, corruption and terrorism.

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    For further information please contact:

    David Dadge
    Spokesperson, UNODC
    Phone: (+43 1) 26060-5629
    Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-5629
    Email: david.dadge[at]unvienna.org