While commending Sri Lanka’s efforts to counter drug, human smuggling and maritime crime in general in the Indian Ocean, a top United Nations official yesterday said the UN was willing to lend its expertise both in knowledge and technical know-how towards further improving capacity of local officials who are behind these initiatives.
Alan Cole, Regional Coordinator (Maritime Crime Program) for UN Office on Drugs and Crime, currently in Sri Lanka said, he was here to brief what the UN is doing to prevent wider crime in the Indian Ocean and discuss and develop strategies in partnership with the government to further boost efforts.
“Drug smuggling and human trafficking is an enormous challenge. The UNODC think Sri Lanka has got one of the most challenging circumstances as the country is geographically located in an important supply route. Sri Lanka has done well to combat such crime and we are ready to help further improve capacity and develop strategies at prevention in partnership with the government” he added in an interview with the ‘Daily News’.
Cole said Sri Lanka in recent years has done well to prevent human smuggling by sea and described efforts in this regard in partnership with the Australian government as an overwhelming success.
Cole, the point man for the UN in its anti piracy coordination activities against Somali pirates said Sri Lanka with other countries had supported UN’s endeavours in this regard and as a result the UN considers the problem is now under control. “We came here four years ago to brief the Sri Lankan government on what the UN response to Somali piracy was and at that time Somali pirates were been found on this side of the Indian Ocean and as far over as The Maldives,” Cole said.
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