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The South Caucasus Anti-Drug Programme organizes a seminar for forensics experts from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia

Friday, November 14
The South Caucasus Anti-Drug (SCAD) Programme has brought together thirty forensics experts from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia for a regional forensics seminar held from 13-14 November in Tbilisi.

The seminar aimed to strengthen the capacity of laboratories in the region whilst broadening the network between laboratories to increase information exchange and share new analytical methods. The seminar also provided a chance for specialists from the region to learn about new methodologies of drugs expertise and identification, including synthetic drugs, from an international forensics expert.

The complexity of illicit drugs and their ever-changing modes of production, trafficking and use present a notable scientific challenge. Forensics laboratories must often rapidly identify a large number of psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals and, increasingly, rely on a variety of institutions, including those in neighbouring countries, for data and expertise.

The regional seminar is the outcome of consultations with representatives of laboratories in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, including those of the Ministries of Justice and Interior. The regional seminar will be followed early next year by a study tour to two forensics laboratories in the European Union as a means of continuing to build the capacity of laboratories in the South Caucasus in new analysis methods, as well as to create and sustain practical links between laboratories in the South Caucasus and the European Union.

The SCAD Programme is the response of the European Union, UNDP and national Governments of the South Caucasus to reinforcing drug control capacities whilestsimultaneously bolstering the capacity of national stakeholders to prevent drug abuse and provide continuum care to drug addicts. The overall objective of the SCAD programme is the gradual adoption by beneficiary authorities of EU good practices in the field of drug policies. SCAD covers both supply and demand reduction and facilitates the implementation of the drug-related components of the action plans of the European Neighbourhood Policy.