BY,ABID SIDDIQUE CHAUDHRY
2 April 2021, Karachi: UNODC Country Representative, Dr. Jeremy Milsom met with key officials in Sindh to apprise them of UNODC’s support to Sindh Province in 2020, and plans for the coming year, in-line with the UNODC’s global strategy for 2021-2025.
UNODC has been providing technical assistance to the Government of Sindh in Pakistan to strengthen capacity of law enforcement and criminal justice officials to overcome the challenges posed by drugs, crime, and terrorism. In partnership with multiple donors UNODC has aligned its programming to complement Sindh’s efforts in implementing the Provincial rule of law roadmap. With the pandemic outbreak last year some of the planned activities were reprogrammed in consultation with provincial and federal stakeholders to make COVID-19 related support possible.
During a recent visit to Karachi, Dr. Milsom held meetings with Governor Imran Ismail, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Provincial Minister Excise Taxation & Narcotics Mr. Mukesh Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary Dr. Usman Chachar, Inspector General of Police, and Chief Collector of Customs along with Consul General of Japan and United States. He also visited the state-of-the-art Joint Maritime Information Coordination Centre (JMICC) operated by Pakistan Navy and was briefed on their role for supporting information sharing amongst 48 departments and agencies for interdicting illicit trafficking of drugs and smuggling of migrants via sea routes.
During his meeting Dr. Milsom highlighted upon UNODC’s contributions during 2020 and shared insight on the global strategy for 2021-2025, explaining that the current and future programming is designed to contribute to the priorities identified in Sindh’s rule of law roadmap.
He mentioned that in 2020 UNODC Pakistan allocated approximately USD 8 million for programming for beneficiaries in Sindh on counter terrorism, criminal justice and legal reforms, container control program, border management and drug demand prevention, in addition to COVID-19 related support during the pandemic.
Over the course of the year, UNODC trained 1,789 officials through 42 workshops and training sessions, published 50 manuals, guidelines, policy, and advocacy tools and provided support to 9 eLearning centers. Additionally, it equipped institutions with safety items during the pandemic and delivered equipment for improving operational capacity including 4,000 HIV kits for prisons, and 27 detection dogs for countering illicit trafficking of drugs.
In coming years UNODC ‘s strategy will focus on five thematic areas that include the world drug problem, organized crime, corruption and economic crime, terrorism, crime prevention & criminal justice. Under these thematic areas the UNODC Sub-Office in Sindh will work towards to strengthening Province’s legal, policy and institutional frameworks through partnership, advocacy, and capacity-building. “Our work in Sindh would continue to complement efforts of law enforcement and criminal justice agencies by promoting rule of law, governance and human rights in the province with a population of 48 million people emphasized Dr. Milsom during his meetings with stakeholders”