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    UNIS/CP/861
    27 October 2015

    UNODC Chief begins Rome Mission with Italian Justice Minister and Order of Malta meetings

    Meeting between UNODC Chief and Italian Justice Minister affirms importance of using UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime to tackle migrant smugglers.

    ROME/VIENNA, 27 October (UN Information Services). Beginning a three-day visit to Rome today the head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Yury Fedotov met with Italian Justice Minister Andrea Orlando, and the Prince and Grandmaster of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta Matthew Festing.

    "Italy has a wealth of experience battling against transnational organized crime, and has played an invaluable role in developing a strategy confronting the tragedy of migrant smuggling in the Mediterranean," said Mr. Fedotov.

    In his meeting with Mr. Orlando, the UNODC Chief said he welcomed Italy's sponsorship of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Resolution 2014/23 that has strengthened international cooperation against migrant smuggling. He said "concrete action" against crime was needed and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocol on this crime was a powerful platform for the delivery of these efforts.

    Talks with Mr. Festing ranged over human trafficking, migrant smuggling and the growing issue of radical extremism as a driver for terrorism. Mr. Fedotov said, "the world was experiencing the mounting threat of radical extremism and there was a need for programmes that make young people less vulnerable to the threat of radicalisation." 

    "UNODC has a strong relationship with the Order of Malta founded on a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2012 and regular contacts with the Permanent Observer Mission in Vienna. We also have a particularly effective partnership in Namibia on HIV/AIDS and I very much look forward to working with the Order on many issues related to UNODC's mandate in the future," said the UNODC Executive Director.

    Mr. Fedotov's visit to Rome includes a meeting with the President of Italy, Sergio Mattarella, and a private audience with Pope Francis. During the visit the UNODC Executive Director will enhance partnerships and build cooperation to assist in facing emerging security and social challenges, including smuggling of migrants and terrorism and radical extremism.

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    For further information, please contact:
    David Dadge
    Spokesperson, UNODC
    Telephone: (+43- 1) 26060-5629
    Mobile: (+43) 699-1459-5629
    Email: david.dadge[at]unvienna.org