United Nations Ofﬁce on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
Ensuring Security and Justice for All
The mandate of the United Nations Ofﬁce on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is to support Member States in the prevention of illicit drugs, crime and terrorism. From headquarters at the Vienna International Centre and through a network of ﬁeld ofﬁces around the world, UNODC helps Member States to reduce their vulnerability to drugs and crime, and to promote security and justice for all.
UNODC's approach is to help States implement the normative instruments that have been developed to control drugs and crime, to carry out research to enable evidence-based policy, and to provide technical assistance to help States counteract drugs, crime and terrorism.
The normative instruments include three drug control treaties, the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime with its supplementary Protocols on migrant smuggling, the trafﬁcking of human beings and ﬁrearms control. There are also 16 international instruments to counter terrorism.
UNODC research provides the world with in-depth information on drugs and crime. The Ofﬁce's ﬂagship publication, the World Drug Report, as well as crop surveys of coca and opium are considered the gold standard in this ﬁeld. Governments, the media and even intelligence agencies rely on this information for authoritative data and analysis on drugs. Other reports focus on regional challenges-such as drugs, crime and security in the Balkans, Caribbean, Central America and West Africa-or pertinent issues such as human trafﬁcking. The Ofﬁce also has a laboratory that carries out forensic work and trains drug experts from around the world.
The Ofﬁce has a range of expertise that is put at the disposal of Member States in order to respond to their drug control and crime-ﬁghting needs. This ranges from anti-money laundering and criminal justice reform, to ﬁghting corruption, preventing terrorism, and preventing and treating drug dependence. In order to share this expertise and to build the capacity of experts within Member States, UNODC has developed a wide range of specialized toolkits and handbooks, as well as software products.
As crime trends evolve, UNODC adapts in order to help States address new challenges like cyber-crime, identity-related theft, environmental crime, and piracy.
Drugs and crime are not only national issues. They have a local impact as well as transnational characteristics. The Ofﬁce therefore works with cities to ensure that they have effective crime prevention programmes and drug treatment facilities, and encourages regional cooperation to contain the threat posed by drugs and crime. For example, UNODC has brokered the establishment of a centre for counter narcotics information sharing in Central Asia, and has devised regional strategies to combat drugs and crime in the Caribbean, Central America and West Africa, as well as the Paris Pact initiative to counter the trafﬁc in, and consumption of, Afghan opiates.
The Ofﬁce looks at drugs and crime in a broad perspective. It promotes development in regions vulnerable to growing illicit drugs or caught in the cross-ﬁre of drug trafﬁcking. It promotes security and the rule of law in order to ensure that crime control is based on justice and respect for human rights. Health is at the centre of the Ofﬁce's approach to drug control: encouraging abstinence, prevention, early detection and treatment, as well as reducing the harm that drugs pose to individuals and societies at large, including the spread of HIV/AIDS through injecting drug use.
UNODC encourages a community-based approach to issues that affect societies as a whole, such as corruption, human trafﬁcking, and drug abuse. It reaches out to civil society, the media, the private sector and the entertainment industry in order to broaden the impact of its work.
Yury Fedotov is Executive Director of UNODC. About 400 staff work for UNODC.
Because it is a relatively small ofﬁce with big mandates, UNODC works in close partnership with others: teaming up with the World Bank to carry out a Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) Initiative; the World Health Organization to scale up drug treatment facilities; development banks to reduce socio-economic vulnerability to drugs and crime; and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations to reduce the threat posed by organized crime in post-conﬂict settings.
In this way, UNODC contributes to a safer and healthier world where there is security and justice for all.
For information contact:
Spokesman and Speechwriter
United Nations Ofﬁce on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
Vienna International Centre
PO Box 500, 1400 Vienna, Austria
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-5629
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-5629