ISLAMABAD: The Norwegian government will provide nine million Norwegian krone – approximately equal to $1.1 million – to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to help enhance the capacity of police in Punjab and prosecution departments in Gujranwala and Rawalpindi divisions.
According to a statement, an agreement to this effect was signed here on Thursday by Norway’s Ambassador Tore Nedrebo and UNODC’s Country Representative Cesar Guedes. The funding would be provided over a period of three years.
The statement says that the criminal justice systems in Pakistan are overburdened, and there is need for enhancing investigative and forensic skills of police officers. It adds that efforts must be made to train police officers on international standards to ensure effective prosecution.
The statement notes that the situation in Punjab is comparatively improving in the investigation and overall crime scene management.
Meanwhile, Guedes, while highlighting the achievements of UNODC, said that the agency had an extensive experience in implementing programmes with police and prosecution in Pakistan with a specific focus on Punjab.
“Since 2012, UNODC is providing assistance to the police in Gujranwala region with a focus on investigation, forensics and training. Building on previous efforts with the support of the Government of Norway, UNODC aims at furthering its engagement with the support of Norway,” underlined Guedes.
He emphasised on the good working relationship of UNODC and the government of Punjab and the continuous support and coordination they had revived.
“I am very pleased to sign this agreement with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Country office in Pakistan on behalf of the Government of Norway,” said Nedrebo in his address while signing the agreement.
The envoy said the signing ceremony “marks the confirmation of good cooperation and continuation of efforts through another very useful project assisting Punjab police to enhance their training and investigation capacity”.