Yury Fedotov

Director-General/Executive Director

Enhancing Global Security: A Shared Responsibility

International Meeting of High Representatives on Security Issues

Hosted by the Security Council of the Russian Federation

Sochi , 5 October 2010


Dear participants, ladies and gentlemen,

First of all, I would like to thank the Security Council of the Russian Federation for the timely initiative in organizing this important event which addresses the most urgent threats to stability the world faces today. Without broad international cooperation these problems cannot be solved.  This is the reason why it is extremely important to organize representative forums, similar to the present one, which gather heads of organisations and institutions working in the field of security for exchange of experience and information on the most effective means of tackling global challenges and threats. I am especially honoured to appear today in my new capacity as Executive Director of the United Nations Organization on Drugs and Crime and share with you some views on existing problems and ways to solve them.

Absence of stability and security weakens efforts to achieve sustainable development. This is especially true for countries engaged in or emerging from conflict. It is difficult to imagine sustainable development without stable and functional structures based on the rule of law and untainted by corruption. True security in the largest meaning of this word cannot be ensured without the rule of law, equal access to justice and respect for fundamental human rights. It is the balance of these fundamental principles that forms the basis for accountable national and international institutions.

For the last three years under the auspices of UNODC, Governments have launched a series of regional programs aiming at reinforcing security and rule of law. These regional programs are aligned with national and regional strategies and priorities and are carried out in cooperation with other international partners.

I will refer to the example of Afghanistan.

This country is undoubtedly in need of international support and assistance. The security of the whole region and beyond depends on this. As underscored by the 2010 Afghanistan Opium Survey, which UNODC released last Thursday, the direct link between opium poppy cultivation and insecurity in Afghanistan remains strong.

According to the Survey, in comparison with the previous year the areas under poppy cultivation remain at the same level of 123,000 hectares. Moreover, about 87 % of opium production is concentrated in the South of the country, which underlines the connection between organized crime and instability in the regions that are exposed to threats to security.

Although in comparison with 2009, the production of opium in 2010 has decreased by half, this sharp decrease in production can be explained exclusively by natural factors-contamination of opium poppy plantations by a plant disease. At the same time, raw opium prices increased dramatically, which would undoubtedly be a stimulus for its cultivation next year. That is why there is no real ground for optimism yet. International efforts in assisting Afghanistan must be strengthened.

One of the mechanisms in ensuring wide-scale cooperation in the struggle against the drugs threat in Afghanistan is the Paris Pactunder the auspices of UNODC.  The Pact will be holding a meeting of all partners in Vienna in November. I expect that its participants would support the proposal to hold a 3rd Ministerial Conference early next year. Such a forum would help to identify clear benchmarks and practical measures to reduce the vulnerability to drugs and crime in that region and beyond.

The Paris Pact mechanism is supplemented by the Rainbow Strategy coordinated by UNODC, which is aimed at identifying and disrupting transnational trafficking networks, strengthening regional justice capacity, and building security and confidence in the region.

The Triangular Initiative has been developed with the participation of UNODC to foster intelligence sharing and enhance border management cooperation among Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. Joint border patrolling - and more importantly - its efficiency, have increased, resulting in drug seizures and the arrest of traffickers.

UNODC also launched the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre (CARICC) to promote cooperation among law enforcement agencies in the region and enhance counter-narcotic activities.

UNODC is developing an operational comprehensive Regional Programme for Afghanistan and neighbouring countries. One of the principles of the Regional Programme is a shared responsibility and a more active involvement not only of Afghanistan, but of other countries, in countering drug trafficking. Afghanistan is not only a part of the problem but also a part of its solution.

We need to work towards similar comprehensive regional approaches to encourage cooperation in other vulnerable regions where drugs, organized crime and corruption converge, for instance in Africa and East and South Asia, Central and Latin America. UNODC is present in all of these regions.

All of these issues are interrelated, and cannot be addressed in isolation. They are also transnational. And they are too big for countries to confront on their own. This is why international cooperation-bilateral, regional and transnational-is critical.

In June, UNODC published the first comprehensive global threat assessment of transnational organized crime. This report shows that billions of dollars are being diverted into criminal markets around the world. Organized crime has gone global and become one of the world's foremost economic and armed powers. Such findings underscore the need to ensure that development and security-sector reforms go hand in hand.

Next month the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime convenes in Vienna.  I am confident that the Convention will emerge stronger and vested with a renewed commitment from all its Parties. Organized crime and other threats to security can be challenged only if countries display a collective will to confront them; if they are able to cooperate with each other; and if they redouble their collective efforts to ensure the efficient implementation of the powerful instrument that UNTOC and its Protocols embody.

UNODC is engaged in such specific programmes and projects as fighting piracy, cybercrime, threats to international information security and environmental crimes. I will undertake to develop these new areas of our work.

National security is ultimately based on the security of every citizen in every city, every village and every street. It is also based on people's confidence that they can live without fear of becoming victims of terrorists, criminals and drug dealers; that they can work towards a more prosperous future for themselves and their families. This is the main criterion for the effectiveness of our common work.

Thank you for your attention.