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    UNIS/CP/862
    28 October 2015

    UNODC Chief underlines rule of law's role in shielding development at meeting with Italian President

    The Italian government's support for UNODC has helped the organization focus firmly on links between criminals and terrorists, says Executive Director in Rome

    ROME/VIENNA, 28 October (UN Information Service) - "Last month's adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals acknowledged that the rule of law is essential for protecting the international development agenda," said the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Yury Fedotov today in a meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella.

    "Transnational organized crime is a clear and present challenge," said Mr. Fedotov. "If we are to succeed against criminals, it is critical to unite countries and to foster the determination to confront crime in all its forms wherever it occurs."

    To achieve this, he said, it was necessary to "promote effective international cooperation based on ratification and full implementation of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols on arms, human trafficking and migrant smuggling."

    Mr. Fedotov told President Mattarella that Italy is a strategic partner whose assistance is greatly appreciated. Italy, he said, has been a committed supporter of UNODC's work on interrupting the flow of illicit funds that benefit Da'esh/ISIL, as well as dealing with foreign terrorist fighters and the radicalization of youth.

    The UNODC Chief today also met with Culture Minister Dario Franceschini, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, and held a lunchtime meeting with General Prosecutor Giovanni Salvi.

    During a meeting with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Paolo Gentiloni, Mr. Fedotov emphasized that UNODC is promoting regional and international action against trafficking in cultural property and was enhancing its partnerships both inside and outside of the UN system on this serious issue. 

    Mr. Fedotov is on the second day of a three-day visit to Italy to promote partnerships and cooperation on a number of key issues such as the fight against the smuggling of migrants, the smuggling of cultural property, and against terrorism and radicalism. On Thursday, he will have a private audience with Pope Francis.

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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