In an official ceremony in Vienna Friday, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Government of Pakistan signed a USD 70 Million Country Programme.

The signing took place between the Deputy Executive Director Mr. Aldo Lale-Demoz and the Federal Secretary, Narcotics Control Division of Pakistan Mr. Ajaz Ali Khan in the presence of the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to the United Nations, Madam Ayesha Riaz, Director General ANF, Mr. Nasir Dilawhar Shah, and other colleagues from the HQ and staff of Pakistan's Permanent Mission.

The Country Programme is a result of a strong partnership between UNODC and the Government of Pakistan and it was developed in close consultation with the provincial and national stakeholders and focuses on the priority areas highlighted by the Government of Pakistan, a statement issued by the UNODC said.

The overall aim of the programme is to enhance the skills and knowledge of law enforcement and criminal justice agencies in overcoming the multi-facet threats posed by transnational organized crime and to foster greater cooperation amongst neighboring countries to effectively address the common challenges in illicit trafficking and border management, criminal justice system and legal reforms and drug demand reduction, prevention and treatment.

The Country Programme has a cross-cutting component on Research and Analysis and eLearning which aims to promote modern methods of training including Computer Based Training (CBT) while strengthening the research and analysis practices for developing policies and guidelines which contribute to improving the Rule of Law, Governance and Public health.

During the signing ceremony, the Deputy Executive Director of UNODC Mr. Aldo Lale-Demoz accentuated on the success of the previous Country Programme and appreciated the support rendered to the UNODC Office by the Government of Pakistan. Mr. Ajaz Ali Khan, Federal Secretary Narcotics Control Division expressed his Government's readiness to continue working with the UNODC and the international community and offered full support in the implementation of the signed programme.

On this occasion, Her Excellency Ms. Ayesha Riaz, Pakistan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Vienna appreciated the coordinated efforts of the UNODC Country Representative in Pakistan Mr. Cesar Guedes and assured her mission's full support for making it a success.

The strategic goals of the Country Programme are in line with the Government of Pakistan's Vision 2025 and complement the objectives for meeting various targets of the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).