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Members of the Parliament of Albania and the Albanian deputy minister of foreign affairs attend a tailored seminar on national security strategy imperatives for countering narcotics and illicit trafficking April 10 and 11 at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. (DOD Photo by Karlheinz Wedhorn/RELEASED)

GCMC PAO staff report

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN (May 1, 2014) – Countering narcotics and illicit trafficking in the country of Albania took focus during a two-day tailored seminar for parliamentarians at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies April 10-11.

The seminar highlighted the connection between illicit trafficking and corruption and the role corruption serves in facilitating all aspects of illicit trafficking.  Presentations and discussions centered on the importance of combating corruption, meritocracy in government, and the rule of law and good governance. 

Presentations were provided by Giorgi Baramidze, the deputy chairman of the Parliament of Georgia; and Khoo Boon Hui, senior deputy secretary, Singapore Ministry of Home Affairs. The presentations facilitated discussions related to real-world case examples of countries that tackled corruption by focusing political will on enforcing rule of law and good governance. 

Discussions highlighted the “positive parallels of improved economic performance and favorable conditions for attracting foreign direct investment as a result of combating corruption.”  Seminar attendees also received presentations from the participants of the Program on Countering Narcotics and Illicit Trafficking that highlighted various global and regional illicit trafficking challenges and possible solutions. 

The Albanian parliamentarians came from national security, foreign affairs, finance and European integration departments.

The closing sessions of the seminar allowed the parliamentarians to comment on the status of the current Albanian national security strategy development process—the drafting of which is being facilitated by the Marshall Center.

“The objective of this seminar was to provide a forum for members of the Albanian parliament to conduct cross-party dialogue on the national security imperatives of countering narcotics and illicit trafficking and the associated elements of corruption in Albania” – said Professor Joseph Vann, co-director of the Marshall Center’s Program on Countering Narcotics and Illicit Trafficking.

Retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Keith W. Dayton, director of the Marshall Center, and the Dean of the College of International Security Studies, Dr. Robert B. Brannon, welcomed the parliamentarians and engaged in various discussions and activities during the seminar. Marshall Center faculty members Vann and Dr. Valbona Zeneli, professor of National Security Studies, led the two-day event.