Cablegate: Seizing the Opportunity: Unodc Pakistan Country Program


DE RUEHUNV #0062/01 0501306
ZNR UUUUU ZZH (CCY AD26449F MSI4790-695)
P 191306Z FEB 10


C O R R E C T E D COPY MRN 000062 VICE 000055


E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Seizing the Opportunity: UNODC Pakistan Country Program


1. Summary: The UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) hopes that its
soon to be released (late spring 2010) Pakistan Country Program will
offer a comprehensive strategy to address drugs, crime, terrorism
and governance issues in Pakistan. After a rocky few years, where
the Government of Pakistan (GOP) viewed UNODC activities with
suspicion and occasional out-right hostility, and where UNODC lost
credibility due to a leadership crisis and an ineffective ad-hoc
approach to programming, UNODC officials say they have hit the
"restart" button and are on the way to delivering a high quality
program worthy of donor attention. UNODC officials say the GOP is
increasingly open to UNODC assistance in implementing conventions
and delivering technical assistance. UNODC is pleased with the new
UNODC representative in Pakistan and intends for him to become an
effective interface between an invigorated donor community and a
more constructive GOP. We should closely examine UNODC's new
approach and country program in order to determine possible areas of
closer engagement (and funding). We would in particular encourage
an evaluation of the Pakistan Terrorism Prevention Branch (TPB)
program with a view to possible funding, as well as continued
support for UNODC's growing container control program. End

UNODC Suffered From Ad-Hoc Projects,
Lack of Credibility,
and a Suspicious Pakistan

2.Mark Shaw, chief of UNODC's Integrated Planning Unit, and Smera
Rehman, UNODC's Pakistan Country Desk Office, met with UNVIE
officers February 9 to discuss the developing Pakistan Strategic
Country Program. Shaw, who had just returned from an assessment
visit to Pakistan, noted that UNODC currently is running a number of
programs with a budget totaling approximately US $10 million (of
which US $5 million is secured from donor contributions). However,
as Shaw admitted, UNODC's work in Pakistan is very ad-hoc, and
certainly neither comprehensive nor strategic. While Shaw noted that
donors have been unable to prioritize their own assistance, UNODC
and the GOP bear the most responsibility for the current state of
its work in Pakistan. Until recently, the GOP has been suspicious
of any UN assistance work, especially that of UNODC. Seen as
internal interference, UNODC attempts to assist Pakistan in
implementation of conventions and improving governmental systems was
met by GOP with a deaf ear, and sometimes outright rejection.

3. Shaw also pointed the finger squarely at UNODC. Previous
country representatives were ineffectual, Shaw posited, and the
abrupt departure of country representative Christy McCampbell
(former INL DAS) in winter 2008 after just a few months on the job,
left UNODC with a total leadership deficit in country and a sense
among donors and the GOP that UNODC was not a substantial partner.
(Note. UNVIE largely agrees with this assessment of UNODC's track
record in integrated program development for Pakistan. While some
of UNODC's individual projects likely have had a positive impact,
overall, UNODC has not been able to develop its Pakistan program in
the same way as it has in Afghanistan (reftel). End note.)

3. Nevertheless, Shaw reports that UNODC pressed its own reset
button some months ago and has reinvigorated its Pakistan program.
This was possible, emphasized Shaw, because of an increased
receptiveness among the Pakistani ministries to work with the UN on
security, governance and criminal justice issues-albeit outside of
the "One UN" system. Shaw explained that while Pakistan is a "One
UN" country, which calls for full integration under the UN country
representative, the GOP insisted early on that security-related
issues (for example, assistance to criminal justice officials,
border officials, prison rehabilitation) be handled separately from
the overall UN framework. Shaw stressed that the UN agreed to this
division, and that UNODC's close working relationship with the UN
country team and the UN country representative has ensured this
division is merely a technicality and that the UNODC is fully
integrated in the overall UN system in-country. Shaw also noted that
the GOP is now providing security support to the UN in-country, and
is working with UNODC to re-locate its offices into a more secure

4. Desk Officer Rehman added,UNODC's perception that donors are
becoming increasingly clear on their own priorities and ready to
start implementing assistance in the field. Shaw credited much of
UNODC's success in reinvigorating its Pakistan presence and program
to the new UNODC country representative Jeremy Douglas (Canadian),
whom Shaw believes has brought a strategic focus to program
development. Working with Shaw's Integrated Planning Unit, Douglas
has developed and released a series of assessment reports that have
established UNODC's reputation as an organization that can deliver
expert analysis and concrete results. Further, donors are now using
these reports to determine where to direct funding assistance in the
drugs, crime, and terrorism context. (Note. UNVIE worked with
Douglas during his previous assignment in Vienna as program officer
in charge of developing UNOC's Global Synthetic Drug Monitoring
Analyses Report and Trends (SMART) program. UNVIE was very
impressed with Douglas' programmatic approach, clear vision and
managerial savvy. Although we were initially disappointed to see
the Pakistan country representative position downgraded from a D1 to
a P4 upon McCampbell's departure, we believe Douglas is a good
choice for the position. UNVIE would welcome Embassy Islamabad's
views of Douglas' work on the ground. End note.)

UNODC Pitches Integrated
Country Program

5. Shaw and Rehman noted that the GOP and UNODC are currently
developing an integrated strategic country program, which will
likely be budgeted at US $30 million over three years. The current
draft framework contains a three-pillar structure of: Illicit
Trafficking and Organized Crime; Criminal Justice Reform; and Health
and Human Development. To this end, UNODC has already conducted
three assessments: prison reform, crime-facilitating migration
between Afghanistan and Pakistan (which focuses on organized crime's
facilitation of irregular migration, kidnapping, human trafficking
and illicit trade), and border management between China and Pakistan
(which focuses on how to plan for the potential illicit trafficking
risks that will come with a more open Pakistan-China border). In
addition, UNODC plans to conduct a future assessment of public
health threats posed by drugs. UNODC hopes to transform these
assessments into concrete pieces of the three-pillar structure, but
noted that it is the Pakistanis who must finalize the program in
order to gain the necessary political support. The UNODC program
will also incorporate ongoing counter-terrorism and border security
projects, along with work on prison reform and drug treatment
programs. Simultaneously, the GOP intends to roll out its vision for
UNODC's Pakistan office during the March 2010 CND. Shaw indicated
his belief that, given the marked improvement in cooperation with
Pakistani authorities, the UNODC integrated country program should
be able to complement the Pakistani vision.

--------------------------------------------- ---
TPB in Pakistan: Good News but Needs Resources
--------------------------------------------- ---

6. With UNODC's push to better integrate all thematic elements into
country programs, the TPB project to strengthen the legal regime
against terrorism in Pakistan is slated to be folded into the new
country program. This project focuses on strengthening the capacity
of Pakistan to fight terrorism through the development and
implementation of a comprehensive Pakistani counter terrorism legal
framework and includes capacity building assistance for the criminal
justice system. To date, the TPB has conducted two study tours for
Pakistani criminal justice officials, an expert workshop on the
ratification and implementation of the universal counter terrorism
instruments, and, most recently, Pakistani criminal justice
officials participated in the new TPB online training course. The
TPB has also provided assistance to Pakistani officials through
Organization of The Islamic Conference (OIC) regional workshops. In
conjunction with UNODC's overall revitalization of its presence in
Pakistan, the TPB now has a national consultant in country to work
with the GOP to identify priority needs and pinpoint further
activities. The two-year budget (2010-2012) for TPB activities in
Pakistan is around US $2million, with nearly all outstanding.
Without an injection of funding, it is unlikely the TPB can
intensively implement its Pakistan program. Although the European
Union recently agreed to provide counter terrorism capacity building
assistance for Pakistan (approximately US $20 million), that will be
implemented via European assistance agencies. However, EU officials
are looking closely at ways to assist the TPB.

An Eventual "Umbrella Program"
To Encompass Iran, Afghanistan
and Pakistan?
7. Shaw and Rehman also spoke of the eventual need for a larger,
"umbrella UNODC program" that would cover Afghanistan, Pakistan and
Iran. While noting possible Pakistani resistance to being
"subsumed" into a larger framework, Shaw and Rehman echoed U.S.
priorities by saying that the problems afflicting the region need to
be dealt with regionally, and that UNODC initiatives like Central
Asian Regional Information and Coordination Center (CARICC), the
Triangular Initiative, The Rainbow Strategy and Paris Pact-while all
valuable in their own right-need to be once and for all articulated
as a single and truly regional UNODC program.


8. UNODC has laid considerable groundwork for the creation of a
strategic country program that is aimed at effectively integrating
UNODC's various mandates into a single unified vision for Pakistan.
UNODC could become a serious international partner for the U.S. in
Pakistan, but that will ultimately depend on UNODC being able to
follow through on these recent positive developments. Specifically,
Douglas and his team will need to prove to donors that they can be
an effective interface between donors and the GOP, while at the same
time demonstrating to the Pakistanis (and donors) that UNODC can
actually deliver tangible and sustainable technical assistance.

9. To date, the U.S. has only provided modest in-kind technical
assistance to UNODC's container program in Pakistan, but we hope
further U.S. funding for this program will be imminent. We will
continue to send Washington the current individual elements of
UNODC's program in Pakistan in order for Washington to consider
increased involvement with UNODC's Pakistan programs. We continue
to encourage Washington to consider, at least on an interim basis
util the integrated country program is issued, U.S.funding for the
TPB legislative counter-terroris program and further support for
the container cntrol program, both of which have already proven
heir value-added. End Comment.


© Scoop Media

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