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United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC): Pillars and working areas

13-APR-2016 11:37

    United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) was established in 1997 through a merger between the United Nations Drug Control Programme and the Centre for International Crime Prevention to fight against illicit drugs and international crime. It operates in all regions of the world through an extensive network of field offices.

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    Pillars of the UNODC work programme

    • Field-based technical cooperation projects to enhance the capacity of Member States to counteract illicit drugs, crime and terrorism
    • Research and analytical work to increase knowledge and understanding of drugs and crime issues and expand the evidence base for policy and operational decisions
    • Normative work to assist States in the ratification and implementation of the relevant international treaties, the development of domestic legislation on drugs, crime and terrorism, and the provision of secretariat and substantive services to the treaty-based and governing bodies

    UNODC makes every effort to integrate and mainstream the gender perspective, particularly in its projects for the provision of alternative livelihoods, as well as those against human trafficking.

    Working domain of UNODC

    Organized crime and trafficking:UNODC helps Governments react to the instability and insecurity caused by crimes like the smuggling of illicit drugs, weapons, natural resources, counterfeit goods and human beings between countries and continents. It is also addressing emerging forms of crime, such as cybercrime, trafficking in cultural artefacts and environmental crime.

    Corruption: It is a major impediment to economic and social development, UNODC partners with the public and private sectors, as well as civil society, to loosen the grip that corrupt individuals have on government, national borders and trading channels. In recent years, the Office has stepped up its efforts to help States recover assets stolen by corrupt officials.

    Crime prevention and criminal justice reform: UNODC promotes the use of training manuals and the adoption of codes of conduct and standards and norms that aim to guarantee that the accused, the guilty and the victims can all rely on a criminal justice system that is fair and grounded on human rights values. A strong rule of law will also instill confidence among citizens in the effectiveness of the courts and the humanness of the prisons.

    Drug abuse prevention and health:Through educational campaigns and by basing its approach on scientific findings, UNODC tries to convince youth not to use illicit drugs, drug-dependent people to seek treatment and Governments to see drug use as a health problem, not a crime.

    Terrorism prevention:On this issue, UNODC is moving towards a more programmatic approach that involves developing long-term, customized assistance to entities involved in investigating and adjudicating cases linked to terrorism.

    In the words of UNODC Executive Director Yuri Fedotov: "If UNODC provides services that you require, or if you would like to support our work, please call on us. Working together to take action against drugs, crime, corruption and terrorism, we can increase security and improve the lives of individuals, families and communities all over the world."

    At a time when these problems without borders are becoming widely recognized as threats to individuals and nations alike, requests for coordinated UNODC initiatives at the national, regional and transnational levels continue to grow. Our work enhances security and improves the everyday lives of people across the globe.

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