Uzbekistan has hosted a celebration of the 20th anniversary of two key European initiatives for border security and anti-drugs action in the Central Asian region
The 20th anniversary of the EU-funded flagship programmes: Border Management in Central Asia (BOMCA) and the Central Asia Drugs Action Programme (CADAP) was celebrated in Uzbekistan. The event, which included a handicraft competition and an exhibition of artworks reflecting local traditions of the border regions, brought together more than a hundred partners and beneficiaries of both programmes from the five Central Asian countries, including state institutions, international organisations and embassies, and representatives of civil society.
“BOMCA and CADAP, both not only being the flagship programmes for the region, but also among the longest programmes we have been implementing worldwide. These two EU initiatives represent a significant commitment to regional development and security and as the donor we have been closely following this journey. So, 20 years is indeed a huge milestone which deserves due celebration”, underlines Charlotte Adriaen, EU Ambassador to Uzbekistan.
CADAP has systematically invested in drug policy development in Central Asia over the past 20 years. The exchange of experience and the introduction of international standards in the work of national partners has strengthened work not only on drug policy, but also on data collection and analysis, prevention of drug use and treatment of people with drug disorders. The Programme also supported building of regional alliances and networks of professional of Central Asia and strengthening cooperation with EU MS Agencies in the field of drug policy.
“I would like to take a moment to acknowledge and appreciate the hard work and dedication of all those professionals and institutions involved in the different phases of the programme over the years. Congratulations to BOMCA and CADAP for these 20 years. I wish you success to continue your journey facing the new challenges in the region and adapting yourselves to a changing reality in pursuit of sustainability”, congratulates Ms. Maria Gonzalez, Manager of FIIAPP, International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies, which leads current 7th Phase of CADAP. “Today’s anniversary is a great opportunity not only to look back for the achievements obtained, but also to look forward towards a new horizon in which the bi-regional cooperation can serve as the vehicle to foster stronger bonds between the EU and Central Asia”.
BOMCA was launched by the EU in 2003 with the aim to support the EU-Central Asia dialogue in border security and facilitate collaboration between the five Central Asian countries for more effective border management. In the past two decades BOMCA has supported national partner agencies in their work on the institutional development, has kept enhancing skills of border, customs and veterinary agencies participating in the border process by bringing lessons learned from the EU MSs.
“Over its 20 years BOMCA has undergone a thematic transformation, shifting from a primary focus on border management to encompass trade facilitation, migration management, and collaborative efforts in border areas. In its current, 10th phase, BOMCA has started to work closely with the communities of border areas to improve local livelihoods, empowering women and focusing on migrants involving civil society”, says General Guntis Pujats, BOMCA 10 Project Coordinator.