UNODC's work is guided by a broad range of international legally binding instruments and a set of United Nations standards and norms on crime prevention and criminal justice.

United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC)

The United Nations Convention against Corruption, which entered into force in December 2005, is the fi st global legally binding instrument which covers public and private, domestic and international corruption. It includes strong anticorruption measures on prevention,criminalization and law enforcement, international cooperation and assetrecovery.

United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC)

This Convention (adopted at Palermo in 2000) is the first comprehensive and global legally binding instrument to fight transnational organized crime. It includes measures on the criminalization of participation in an organized criminal group, combating money-laundering,assistance and protection to victims and witnesses, special investigative techniques, mutual legal assistance, extradition and international cooperation.

The UNTOC is supplemented by three related Protocols:
• Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Traffi cking in Persons, Especially
Women and Children;
• Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air;
• Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Traffi cking in Firearms, their Parts and Components and Ammunitions.

International legal framework on drug control

Three major international drug control treaties, which are mutually supportive and complementary, provide the legal foundation for action against drug-related offences. They codify internationally applicable control measures to ensure the availability of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical and scientifi c purposes, and to prevent their diversion into illicit channels. General provisions on illicit traffi cking and drug
abuse are also included. The three treaties are:

• 1988 Convention against the Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances;
• 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances;
• 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.

International legal framework against terrorism

The universal legal regime against terrorism consists of the relevant Security Council resolutions on counter-terrorism, especially 1373 (2001) as well as the universal instruments related to the prevention and suppression of international terrorism. In addition, in 2006, the General Assembly, for the first  time ever, adopted a comprehensive global counter-terrorism strategy that recognizes UNODC as the lead office for the delivery of legal assistance in preventing terrorism.

United Nations standards and norms in crime prevention and criminal justice

Over the years a considerable body of United Nations standards and norms related to crime prevention and criminal justice have been developed. These standards and norms cover issues such as juvenile justice, treatment of offenders, international cooperation, good governance, victim protection, violence against women and urban youth crime prevention. They represent "best practices" that can be adapted by States to meet national needs.