UNODC to establish a national office in Argentina to strengthen programs to combat drugs and crime
14 May 2010 - Aiming at strengthening a joint response of the Southern Cone countries in relation to drug trafficking and transnational organized crime in the region, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for Brazil and the Southern Cone signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Justice of Argentina. The agreement starts negotiations aimed at setting up a UNODC national programme office in Buenos Aires, which would be subordinate to the UNODC Regional Office for Brazil and Southern Cone, based in Brasilia.
According to Bo Mathiasen, UNODC's regional representative for Brazil and the Southern Cone, the agreement represents another step toward the consolidation of a joint response of the Southern Cone countries to organized crime, which increasingly operates in different countries and has members from various nationalities. "As natural leaders of the region, Argentina and Brazil should take the lead in combating organized crime and drug trafficking in the Southern Cone, as the weaknesses found in less developed countries directly reflect on security of other countries", said Mathiasen.
Accordingly to the Minister of Justice of Argentina, Julio Alak, the signing of the agreement reinforces the country's decision to move against transnational organized crime, enabling concrete measures at national and regional levels.
Based on the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, to which all Southern Cone countries are signatories, UNODC seeks to articulate governments, international organizations and civil society to strengthen institutional structures and the rule of law for an effective control of organized crime and drug trafficking.