16 March 2004
United Nations and Europol Expand Partnership against Organized Crime
VIENNA, 16 March (UN Information Service) -- An agreement to expand cooperation between the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the European Police Office (Europol) was signed today in Vienna by Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of UNODC, and Jürgen Storbeck, Director of Europol. The event took place during the forty-seventh Session of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND).
The challenges we face -- whether its fight against trafficking in drugs or human beings, organized crime or terrorism -- require strong partnerships in all corners of the globe. The most recent tragic events in Madrid serve as a grim reminder of the importance of information-sharing and joint activities in countering the threat. Europol is a key partner in the tasks ahead of us. With the forthcoming expansion of the European Union to include ten new Member States, the Europols role will increase, Mr. Costa said during the signing ceremony.
Europol's Director Jürgen Storbeck stated: Drug trafficking along with trafficking in human beings and terrorism pose today an extremely serious threat to the fundamental freedoms and values of our democratic societies. It is imperative that the international community strengthens its cooperation and coordinates its action in fighting these disastrous criminal phenomena. Our cooperation agreement with UNODC is of high value and importance and will help Europol and its Member States in their efforts to combat organized criminal networks in Europe and worldwide.
Europol and UNODC have agreed to enhance cooperation in areas of common interests such as the collection of accurate data and statistics on crime and trafficking offences, the early identification of current and emerging trends, the strategic analysis of such information and its fast and effective promulgation.
Specifically, UNODC is planning to explore a close cooperation with Europol and national European enforcement agencies and experts in the design of its container control programme.
UNODC can greatly benefit from Europols expertise and promotion of good police practice. We can use those experiences in providing assistance to the UN Member States worldwide. Similarly, we bring to this partnership the access to global assistance programmes and specialists engaged in crime prevention, Mr. Costa said.
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