The International Kick Off Conference for the EU-funded Project titled “Fight Against Trafficking from/to Afghanistan” with the ECO Member States
(The ECO Secretariat, 24th January, 2011)
1) The International Kick Off Conference for the EU-funded Project titled Fight Against Trafficking from/to Afghanistan with the ECO Member States was held on January 24, 2011 at the ECO Secretariat, Tehran. H.E. Amb. Mahmood Bayat, Director General (International Relations), Drug Control Headquarters of the Islamic Republic of Iran chaired the Conference. It was jointly organized by the German International Cooperation (GIZ) and the Drug and Organized Crime Coordination Unit (DOCCU) of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO). The Conference brought together 40 delegates from the ECO Member States, the EU Member States and the concerned international organizations working for the fight against trafficking. From the ECO Member States, delegates of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Republic of Turkey and Turkmenistan attended the Conference. The Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Hungary were represented by their Ambassadors in Tehran. The participants from the international stakeholders included among others were the German Ministry of Interior, German Federal Criminal Police (BKA), UNODC from its headquarter in Vienna and Tehran Office, INTERPOL, EUROPOL and WCO.
2) The Conference marked the start-up of the project and provided the opportunity for the ECO Member States to discuss and assess their current national counter narcotic policies in the fight against drugs and their expectations towards the project in the presence of all consortium partners of the EU-funded project which included the German Interior Ministry, GIZ, German Federal Police (BKA), UNODC and INTERPOL. It also provided an opportunity to the regional and international stakeholders to share their experience and knowledge highlighting the challenges, needs and key issued in the fight against drug-trafficking. The Conference fulfilled the objective of informing all relevant stakeholders on the project approach and to strengthen trans-regional political commitment and interagency operative cooperation.
3) H.E. Mr. Mohammed Yahya Maroofi, Secretary General of ECO, H.E. Syed Ali Mohammed Mousavi, Director General of International Economic Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran, H.E. Mr. Bernd Erbel, Ambassador of Germany in Tehran and the Chairman of the Mini Dublin Group and Ms. Andrea Christel Schumacher, Head of Division from the Interior Ministry of Germany were the important speakers who make their statements during the inaugural session. In the statements it was highlighted that drug problem is not a phenomenon that is confined to national boundaries or certain regions but it is a problem that has cross-border lately global implications.
4) The project is consisted of following four components:
Component I: Strengthening the capacities of the ECO-DOCCU. Component Leader is Germany (GIZ).
Component II: Establishing 1-24/7 as the central communication system for information and intelligence exchange at the regional and trans-regional levels to reinforce the exchange of criminal intelligence between INTERPOL countries beneficiaries NCBs in Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan as well as ICPO-INTERPOL headquarters. Component Leader is ICPO Interpol.
Component III: Developing a network of border control cooperation at Land/Air/Sea Ports of Entry for container control to stem the flow of drugs, precursors and other illegal trafficking. Component Leader is UNODC and WCO.
Component IV: Establishing a network of forensic laboratories in the ECO region, notably with regard to drugs, precursors and forged documents but possibly also other elements of evidence. Component Leader is the German Federal Criminal Police (BKA).