Belgium and UN boost collaboration on drug trafficking and organised crime

Belgium will work more closely with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in its efforts to fight large-scale drug trafficking, Justice minister Paul Van Tigchelt said on Tuesday. Cooperation is also being initiated with Colombia.

The UNODC is a key player in the international fight against drug and human trafficking, corruption and organised crime. In 2023, the agency seized 250 tonnes of cocaine in source ports, often in South American countries such as Colombia and Ecuador.

It also provides training and technical support for authorities in various countries and brings them together in port control units to promote cooperation and exchange of information.

Belgium is releasing 250,000 euros to strengthen its work with the UNODC and exchange information more efficiently with source countries about suspicious vessels or cargoes. 

Van Tigchelt has also had a meeting with the Colombian ambassador, “which resulted in concrete commitments to expand cooperation”, he said. Last year, the government concluded a cooperation agreement with Costa Rica and Panama and similar arrangements with Peru and Ecuador may follow. 


A member of a Colombian police anti-drugs unit guards seized marijuana packages displayed to the press, March 2013 © PHOTO LUIS ROBAYO / AFP

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