24 April 2003

UN, Asean Forge Partnership against Drugs and Crime

VIENNA, 24 April (UN Information Service) -- Mr. Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and Mr. Ong Keng Yong, Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the interrelated issues of drugs and crime. The two organisations have agreed to work together in Southeast Asia, providing the 10 ASEAN member countries assistance in their fight against drugs and transnational crime.

This agreement will enhance the cooperation that already exists in drug control between ASEAN and UNODC, in support of the ASEAN and China Cooperative Actions in Response To Dangerous Drugs (ACCORD) Plan of Action.

This framework will deepen the partnership by developing a more comprehensive approach, including exchange of expertise on the interrelated issues of drug control and crime prevention. The Memorandum will facilitate the exchange of information relating to specific projects, programmes or activities, with a view to achieving better complementary action. UNODC and ASEAN also agreed to identify and develop joint technical co-operation projects and programmes. In addition, they will closely consult in the planning and execution of their respective technical cooperation activities in the region.

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