Press Releases

    UNIS/NAR/761
    30 August 2002

    TACKLING DRUGS AND CRIME IS VITAL FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, UNITED NATIONS DRUG CONTROL AND CRIME PREVENTION CHIEF TELLS JOHANNESBURG SUMMIT

    VIENNA, 30 August (UN Information Service) - Without good governance, the rule of law and the absence of corruption development can never be sustainable warned Antonio Maria Costa, the Executive Director of the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP) in a speech today to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa.

    Addressing the Plenary Session of the Summit, Mr. Costa said the scourge of drugs and crime is a threat to peace and human security: "Trafficking of people, smuggling of drugs and firearms and the combination of international terrorism and organized crime threaten sustainable development."

    The Executive Director highlighted ODCCP’s contribution to sustainable development. He stressed the office’s alternative development programmes, technical cooperation and active support to Member States "to strengthen the resilience of social fabrics".

    Corruption was one of the stumbling blocks to sustainable development Mr. Costa told delegates: "How many countries, some endowed with rich natural resources, have been plundered by unscrupulous leaders, leaving behind generations struggling in despair?" The Executive Director of ODCCP said that his office has been working with Member States on an International Convention against Corruption which should be agreed upon by the end of next year.

    Money laundering, trafficking in people as a modern form of slavery and drug and firearms smuggling were also highlighted by Mr. Costa in his speech. It is estimated that such forms of organized crime produce illegal profits as high as 3-4 per cent of global GDP every year.

    His office is working with the international community to tackle these elements of ‘uncivil society’ Mr. Costa told the delegates: "We at ODCCP believe there cannot be sustainable development unless the concerns which are at the heart of our mandate – crime, narcotics, terrorism, trafficking in human beings - are also addressed."

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