Chief of UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Yury Fedotov makes his first official visit to Brazil

On 7 May, the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) will arrive in Brazil for his first official visit to the country.

3 May 2013 - Fedotov will arrive next Tuesday in Rio de Janeiro, where he will visit the Police Pacification Unit (UPP in Portuguese) at Pavão-Pavãozinho/Cantagalo in order to know the social and public security programs implemented in these communities. "Like many countries in the region, Brazil confronts a number of challenges in the areas of illicit drugs and organized crime. I will travel to Brazil to see these issues at first hand and discuss how UNODC can assist in developing local responses that build on a global strategy for drugs, crime and terrorism", Fedotov said.

During the visit to the UPP, the UNODC Executive Director will also meet with former drug lords who are part of the talkshow Commandos and the Employability project, which promotes the reintegration of ex-prisoners in the labour market and has created more than 3.000 job opportunities since its inception in 2008. Both initiatives are coordinated by Grupo Cultural AfroReggae.

On Wednesday, 8 May, Fedotov will participate in the launch of UNODC's Liaison and Partnership Office in Brasília, together with the new National Secretary of Drug Policy, Vitore André Zílio Maximiano, and other authorities. According to Fedotov, "Brazil is a crucial partner for UNODC in Latin America. This is why we are opening a new Liaison Partnership Office in Brasília. The office will become the focal point for all our activities in Brazil and a major link to our network of integrated regional programmes".

Based on the concept of the international community's shared responsibility on drug and crime issues, the event will mark the new operational format of UNODC's office in Brazil - which also covers Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay - with an emphasis on promoting collaboration and dialogue with strategic countries in the region. For this, UNODC and the Brazilian government will develop a joint working plan with the aim of creating a neutral platform for international cooperation.

On Thursday, 9 May, Fedotov will meet with the Minister of Justice, José Eduardo Cardozo, to sign a joint statement indicating the beginning of this new partnership between UNODC and Brazil. Next, Fedotov will attend the national launch of the Blue Heart Campaign in Brazil, at the Ministry of Justice. Implemented by UNODC in 10 countries, the Blue Heart Campaign aims to mobilize public opinion to combat trafficking in persons. Its symbol is the Blue Heart, which represents the sadness of the victims of such crimes and reminds us of the cold-heartedness of those who buy and sell other human beings. The use of the blue colour also demonstrates the UN's commitment in combating trafficking in persons.

Related information:

Biography - Yury Fedotov

For local Brazilian and regional media, please contact:

Ana Paula Canestrelli

Communications Assistant - UNODC LPO Brazil

Tel: (+55 61) 3204-7206

Mob: (+55 61) 8143-4652

For international media, please contact:

David Dadge

Spokesperson - UNODC

Tel: (+43 1) 26060-5629

Mob: (+43-699) 1459-5629


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