Kazakhstan Underlines Importance of Regional Counter-Narcotics Initiatives and Cooperation With Austria

ASTANA — Kazakhstan’s First Deputy Foreign Minister Kairat Umarov stressed the importance of regional initiatives amid growing global and regional instability at the opening of the 66th session of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) on March 13 in Austria’s capital Vienna, reported the Foreign Ministry’s press service.

Kazakh First Deputy Foreign Minister Kairat Umarov. Photo credit: gov.kz.

One such initiative is the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Center for combating the illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, and their precursors (CARICC), established in Almaty with the support of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

“Over the years, the CARICC has helped coordinate more than 50 counter-narcotic operations, which resulted in the seizure of 700 kilograms of heavy drugs and arrests of more than 50 members of transnational criminal groups,” said Umarov.

The Kazakh delegation attended several other events organized on the sidelines of the 66th session that will run until March 17. Umarov met with Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, Secretary General of the Austrian Foreign Ministry, and heads of international organizations in Vienna.

Launsky-Tieffenthal commended the ongoing reforms in Kazakhstan and praised the prospects for interaction between the countries. The parties agreed to intensify bilateral and multilateral cooperation between Astana and Vienna.

UNODC Executive Director Ghada Fathi Waly highlighted Kazakhstan’s leading role in the region in promoting an extensive agenda of development assistance programs. In turn, Umarov expressed gratitude for delivering national and regional projects on police reform and combating cybercrime.

At a meeting with Robert Floyd, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), the parties discussed the possibilities for the development of the Kazakh segment of the International Monitoring System and the organization of joint scientific and technical events in Kazakhstan.

Umarov also discussed with the Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Helga Schmid the current state and prospects for Kazakhstan’s cooperation with the OSCE. 

He noted his appreciation for the active participation of OSCE experts and the Parliamentary Assembly in monitoring the process of the election to the Mazhilis, the lower chamber of the Kazakh Parliament. Umarov also invited Schmid on behalf of the Kazakh Foreign Minister to participate in the Astana International Forum in June.

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