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Published:April 16th, 2008 10:43 EST
NATO-Russia brainstorm to counter narcotics

NATO-Russia brainstorm to counter narcotics

By SOP newswire

Senior counter-narcotics experts gathered in Brussels on 14 and 15 April to review activities of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) project on counter-narcotics training of Afghan and Central Asian personnel.

This follows the decision at the NRC summit meeting in Bucharest on 4 April to move beyond the pilot phase and make the project an ongoing NRC initiative.

The meeting involved representatives and experts from donor nations and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Participants welcomed the project's newest contributor, Bulgaria. Other donors are Canada, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Russia, Spain, Turkey, the United States and the United Kingdom.

The aim of the meeting was to review the project's activities, and to plan and coordinate the project's training courses, curricula and overall strategy for the coming years.

Lessons learned from courses conducted over the previous two years were examined. Discussions included input from an independent evaluation commissioned by the UNODC and the results of two high-level steering committee meetings that were held with the project's beneficiary countries in 2006 and 2007.

Overall, the purpose of the meeting was to ensure that, as it evolves, the project responds effectively to the beneficiary countries' counter-narcotics training needs. To date, 419 trainees from Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have been trained through this project.

Launched in December 2005, this NRC initiative aims to strengthen the capacity of law-enforcement officers from agencies involved in countering illicit drug trafficking. Experts from NATO countries and Russia train the participants. The UNODC acts as the pilot project's executive agent.

Source: www.nato.int