9 November 2004
United Nations, Croatia Intensify Cooperation in Response to Drugs and Crime Threat in the Region
VIENNA, 9 November (UN Information Service) -- Antonio Maria Costa, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna and Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) met today with Dr. Miomir uul, Croatian Minister of Foreign Affairs, to discuss Croatias initiative in combating the problems of drugs, crime and terrorism.
Mr. Costa commended the measures taken by Croatia at the national level and the leading role the country has played in organizing regional initiatives. He expressed his appreciation for the active participation of the Croatian law enforcement agencies in the implementation of the currently ongoing US$2.2 million UNODC project in the region, which aims at strengthening the capacities of the seven South-Eastern European governments to collect and analyse criminal intelligence in the region.
Because of its geographical position in South-East Europe, Croatia, like its neighbours, is a transit country for drugs and other illicit trafficking operations conducted by international criminal networks. Croatia designated the year 2004 as the Year for Combating Drug Abuse and organized a number of activities aimed at preventing drug addiction.
Minister uul reiterated his support towards UNODCs work and informed the Executive Director about the steps taken by Croatia towards ratifying the United Nations Convention against Corruption. Croatia is party to the three United Nations Conventions on Drug Control and to the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
Mr. Costa and Minister uul also agreed in principle to jointly work on a regional programme for Balkan countries to address drugs and crime prevention, illicit trafficking, corruption and terrorism. Further details of the programme would be discussed during a regional workshop hosted by Croatia in March 2005. Mr. Costa also confirmed that he would pay an official visit to Croatia during the first half of next year.
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