PRESS RELEASE

UNODC Executive Director Meets U.S. Delegation, Discusses Regional Instabilities and Worldwide Criminal Trends

Vienna. 02 September 2011. The Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Yury Fedotov, met yesterday with seven United States Congressmen and the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Vienna.

In a wide ranging meeting covering several topics at UNODC headquarters, Mr. Fedotov and the U.S. delegation discussed the current situations in Mexico and Colombia, drug production and trafficking in Afghanistan, cyber security, money laundering, piracy, as well as human trafficking and migrant smuggling.

Noting the interconnections between the various forms of illicit crimes across the globe, the U.S. delegation showed a particular interest in the linkages between transnational organized crime, drug trafficking and terrorism.

The congressional delegation expressed concerns about organised crime and listened to information about the links between opium production in Afghanistan and the instability in the country caused by the insurgency, as well as illicit money flows stemming from piracy activities off the Horn of Africa. In both of these areas the United States has been a key partner; the U.S. Government has been collaborating with UNODC in the Office's new Country Programme for Afghanistan, while counter-piracy work has been ongoing, particularly under the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia of which the U.S. has been a keen supporter.

Commenting on the meeting, Mr Fedotov said, "This meeting was of enormous help in strengthening the already good cooperation between UNODC and the United States in the areas of our mandate. Hopefully, it is the first of many such discussions and we will continue to work together in areas of mutual interest." In 2010 the United States pledged US$ 34.3 million to assist in implementing UNODCs work across the globe and is a lead supporter of the Office's programmes.

On the subject of the linkages between transnational organized crime, drug trafficking and terrorism, Mr. Fedotov focused on the need for an integrated approach to all forms of crime. "UNODC is already doing everything possible to mainstream the issues of transnational organized crime both inside and outside the United Nations system and I am glad that the congressional delegates showed such a keen understanding of these trends."

The U.S. congressional delegation consisted of Rep. Harold Rogers (Republican, Kentucky), Rep. Norman D. Dicks (Democrat, Washington [state]), Rep. Edward Lopez Pastor (Democrat, Arizona), Rep. Steve Austria (Republican, Ohio), Rep. Ken Calvert (Republican, California), Rep. Steven A. Womack (Republican, Arkansas) and Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr. (Republican, Tennessee).

For further information please contact:

Kevin Town, Associate Public Information Officer: UNODC

T: (+43-1) 26060-5575 | M: (+43-699) 1459-5575 | E: kevin.town{at}unodc.org

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