Health, Justice and Security antidotes to drugs, crime and terrorism Speech to the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly PDF Print E-mail
UNODC Speeches (2002-2010)

New York, 7 October, 2009



Mr. Chairman,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


Around a decade ago, Member States had the foresight to strengthen the collective response to drugs, crime and terrorism.


•           In 1998, a special session of this Assembly focused on the threat posed by illicit drugs. A 10-year plan of action was launched with results that – as I’ll show, turned out to be significant.

•           In 1999, Member States started the negotiations for a Convention against organized crime, eventually adopted by the General Assembly in November 2000 and signed in Palermo a month later.

•           In 1999, after the murderous attacks in Kenya and Tanzania, the Security Council created the 1267 Committee.  Following 9/11 the Council moved quickly to strengthen the multilateral response to international terrorism through resolutions 1368 and 1373.

By any standard this represents an excellent crop of meetings, deliberations and resolutions.

Last Updated on Friday, 15 April 2011 13:15
Why do we need a comprehensive approach to combating illicit trafficking? PDF Print E-mail
UNODC Speeches (2002-2010)

Geneva, 28 September 2009



Ladies and Gentlemen,


I would like to begin by looking at the big picture, and asking some basic questions. What do we mean by a comprehensive approach to combating illicit trafficking, and why do we need one? How can it help?


To answer these questions, we need to understand what trafficking is, and how it works.

Last Updated on Friday, 15 April 2011 13:14
Launch of Half the Sky PDF Print E-mail
UNODC Speeches (2002-2010)

New York, 15 September 2009


Secretary-General,   Sheryl and Nicholas,   Ladies and Gentlemen,


A couple of hundred years after the formal ending of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the moral imperative to fight its contemporary version – people trafficking, has finally found its way onto policy agendas. 


The compassionate message of religions, the call to equality by political leaders and the recognized supremacy of human rights advocated by the United Nations, have broken the silence and turned on the spotlight on a crime that shames us all.  Volunteers have also played a key role.  Thanks to awareness campaigns in the media (by activists like you, Nicholas, with your editorials), commitment by civil society (so many NGOs are present here today), the engagement of celebrities (like Ross Bleckner, also here), and political leadership -- I add thanks for your own personal engagement, Secretary General—the world has woken up to the tragedy of modern slavery.

Last Updated on Friday, 15 April 2011 13:13
How can Parliaments fight organized crime? G8 Presidents of Chambers Meeting PDF Print E-mail
UNODC Speeches (2002-2010)

Rome, 13 September 2009



President Fini,

Honourable Presidents of the Chambers

Ladies and Gentlemen,


I thank you all for this invitation.  It is a honour to meet with the representatives of the people from 3/4 of humanity and review what can be done against one of today’s main threat:  transnational organized crime.


We all are familiar with the origin of the problem.  Initially, in Italy we called it mafia.  Elsewhere in Europe, North America and the Far East the jargon evolved into cartels, mobsters, syndicates, yakuza, triads etc.  This was the time when criminal groups were national in size and culture, generally imbedded in the wealthy economy of nation states, with limited cross-border ties.   A quarter century later, the threat looms larger, more serious and widely spread.

Last Updated on Friday, 15 April 2011 13:12
Il ruolo dei Parlamenti nella lotta al crimine organizzato Conferenza dei Presidenti delle Camere del G8 PDF Print E-mail
UNODC Speeches (2002-2010)

Roma, 13 Settembre 2009


Presidente Fini,

Onorevoli Presidenti delle Camere,

Signore e Signori


Grazie a tutti voi per l’invito. E’ per me un onore avere l’opportunità di incontrare i rappresentanti di un terzo della popolazione mondiale e considerare assieme ciò che può esser fatto per contrastare una delle più gravi minacce alla sicurezza e alla prosperità delle società mondiali: il crimine organizzato transnazionale.


Tutti quanti conosciamo le dinamiche all’origine del problema. Da un secolo a questa parte, in Italia, si é parlato di Mafia, dando vita ad una densa letteratura a riguardo. Altrove, invece, di volta in volta si é cominciato a parlare di cartelli, gangsters, yakuza, triadi ecc. Invero, in principio i gruppi criminali avevano cultura e dimensione locali ed erano radicati nell’economia nazionale, mentre i legami oltreconfine erano deboli e poco estesi. Al contrario, oggi, un quarto di secolo più tardi, lo spettro del crimine organizzato incombe in maniera più grande, più grave e più diffusa.

Last Updated on Friday, 15 April 2011 13:11
The socio-economic crisis increases the vulnerability to, and the consequences of uncivil behaviours ECOSOC 2009 Coordination Segment PDF Print E-mail
UNODC Speeches (2002-2010)

Geneva, 13 July 2009


Reducing vulnerability to crime 


Countries that are poor and where governments do not control the territory are vulnerable to uncivil behaviour.  Illicit activity takes place:

  • drug cultivation (in parts of Afghanistan and Colombia)
  • drug trafficking (through West Africa, the Caribbean or Central America)
  • piracy in East Africa
  • illicit exploitation of natural resources (in the DRC or the Niger Delta)
  • human trafficking/smuggling of migrants
  • grandiosecorruption, with national assets stolen
  • violence in urban ghettos.


UNODC is helping governments establish the rule of law.  This is necessary to reduce the vulnerability to drugs, crime and terrorism (e.g. Balkans, West Africa, the Caribbean, and Central America.)  This is not sufficient, however:  without development and socio-economic growth society will remain vulnerable to uncivil behaviours.  Put otherwise:    

  • development (not UNODC business) is one of the major tools to promote peace and security.  The rule of law makes development attainable  
  • Conversely, lawlessness is an impediments to achieving development (i.e. MDG), while continuing backwardness makes crime and insecurity all more likely.
Last Updated on Friday, 15 April 2011 13:10
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