Director General/Executive Director
Check Against Delivery
Remarks of the Executive Director, UNODC, at the Townhall Meeting with Ambassadors
12 June 2012
I am very pleased to address you today. I take this opportunity to update you on UNODC's latest activities.
We continue moving forward in our efforts to combat transnational organized crime, drug trafficking and terrorism.
At the political level, through global initiatives such as the Paris Pact, or strengthening our engagement with the main UN bodies-GA, ECOSOC, UNSC-we are building the necessary political commitment to support our activities.
At the operational level, in our partnerships, both within the UN system and beyond, we are creating multi-disciplinary approaches capable of achieving successes in the field.
And, we are designing integrated regional and country programmes that can deliver solutions to these threats.
Through these approaches, UNODC is also aligning its activities to the environments where we, and the wider UN, works.
I can give you three examples:
First, we are focusing our efforts on delivering crime and drug solutions in regions, where the sustainable development of weak and vulnerable countries is threatened.
Second, we are re-balancing our approach to the illicit drug supply and demand to promote programmes in the areas of health and prevention.
Third, we are continuing to deliver our programmes in capacity building and technical assistance in ways that protect and promote basic human rights.
If I could use just one word to describe this overall movement, it would be that UNODC is becoming more "percipient".
We try to be more conscious of the environments where we work; more alert to the threats we face, and more knowledgeable about how to meet these challenges.
Regarding the Paris Pact, and following on from February's Ministerial Conference, we consider the Vienna Declaration as a viable roadmap for future international cooperation to contain and eventually eliminate the flow of drugs originated in Afghanistan.
The 55 th Session of CND saw a total of 12 resolutions adopted, including the follow-up to the Paris Pact Conference. We look forward to working with Paris Pact partners in the implementation of phase III.
The 21 st session of CCPCJ, held in April, laid the foundations for the Thirteenth UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, to be held in Qatar in 2015.
UNODC is also continuing to promote the Task Force on Transnational Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking.
On 1 June, in Dushanbe, I co-chaired with SRSG Miroslav Jenca the first regional meeting of the Task Force in Central Asia. The meeting agreed to follow up on the joint concept letter signed by DPA, UNDP and UNODC promoting action at the regional and national levels.
UNODC has also worked to organize high-level thematic debates at the GA, particularly on human trafficking, security and drugs and crime.
On 3 April, we helped organize the GA debate on human trafficking. Early in the following month, UNODC took part in a similar debate on security in Central America.
On 26 June, on the International Day against Drug Abuse and Drug Trafficking, there will be another high level GA thematic debate on drugs and crime as an impediment to development. And I plan to take this opportunity to launch the World Drug Report during this debate.
A day earlier, on 25 June I was invited to brief ECOSOC Members. I hope it will help to enhance the role of the Council in the guiding of our activities.
We have also recently signed two important MOUs.
On 19 March, UNODC signed an MoU with UNIDO to promote grass-roots development in poor rural communities dependent on the cultivation of illicit drug crops.
During the week of the CCPCJ, another MoU was signed with the UN World Tourism Organization to eradicate human trafficking, especially child trafficking, and to fight against other forms of organised crime and terrorism.
To further develop our integrated programming approach, in May, UNODC launched its Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe.
The programme's main purpose is to disrupt the flow of opiates along the so-called Balkan route.
UNODC will also link this programme to the Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries.
We presently have 7 regional programmes, and two more, in South Asia and South Africa are being developed.
The Independent Evaluation Unit is carrying out a strategic evaluation of UNODC's integrated programming approach.
The first evaluation will take place later this year with an evaluation of the Regional Programme of South East Asia and the Pacific.
These evaluations offer us an opportunity to continue with the process of linking the theoretical to the practical delivery of solutions.
I recently undertook a mission to Afghanistan and Tajikistan.
In Kabul, I launched the Country Programme for Afghanistan. This US$117 million programme, the largest donor funded UNODC's programme, will address drugs and crime challenges through shared responsibility, advocacy and targeted implementation in the field.
The country programme will be closely linked to the Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring countries, as well as the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre-CARICC-and the Triangular Initiative.
It will also help UNODC deliver new initiatives such as the STOP programme aimed at bringing together law enforcement and alternative development.
While in Afghanistan, I had the opportunity to visit opium poppy fields in Badakshan province and the border area, and to see how eradication and alternative development efforts can compliment each other.
These visits gave me a greater understanding of the problems faced by West and Central Asia.
In my meeting with President Karzai, I stressed the need for a stronger political will at every level of the Afghan government to address the drug problem. The President has acknowleged the strategic importance of this issue for his country, including in anticipation of 2014.
In Tajikistan, I met with President Rahmon. UNODC will continue working with Tajikistan in support of the country's Drug Control Agency and to strengthen controls along the Tajik/Afghan border.
The First Tripartite AKT Ministerial Meeting between Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan was held in Dushanbe on 31 May 2012.
In a ministerial declaration issued at the end of the meeting, the three countries agreed to strengthen their commitment and cooperation.
As a follow up of the recent launch of the Balkan Programme, I had yesterday very fruitful discussions in Tirana with Prime Minister Berisha, Foreign Minister Haxhinasto and other members of the Albanian Government.
Further missions, in particular to Bosnia, Serbia and other countries are being planned in the coming days and weeks.
The Container Programme is now operating in 14 countries. Albania and Montenegro, will soon join the programme.
In Central America, the REFCO network of Central Authorities and prosecutors now involves all Central American countries, plus Mexico and the Dominican Republic.
A new sub-regional programme framework for the Caribbean region will be finalized in 2012 and launched in 2013.
UNODC has already launched the Sahel Judicial Platform and will soon start a new network of Central Authorities and Prosecutors in West Africa.
In the areas of health and reducing drug demand, UNODC is engaging with young people through its youth initiative, and working to help children and adolescents in Afghanistan to promote healthy lifestyles.
We will soon publish a technical guide on HIV Prevention, Treatment and Care for Stimulant Users.
UNODC, together with CTITF and CTED, in June is organizing a high level event in New York on 29 June on strengthening international legal implements regarding the prevention of terrorism.
Another high level policy debate on corruption is being planned on 9 July at the ECOSOC session, also in New York.
UNODC is also preparing for October's Conference of Parties for UNTOC, which presently has 167 parties.
Turning to operations and their funding, we are moving forward with our development of processes that deliver on our commitment for greater openness and transparency.
I have instigated regular updates of our financial situation at Excom meetings. This is allowing us to identify issues more proactively.
UNODC is also building its reserve funds to give the organization greater security and to provide us with a lead time allowing us to alter our course.
Currently, UNODC's income remains stable. In the biennium 2010-2011, we saw a 3 per cent increase in voluntary contribution income (to $523 million overall) and of 8 per cent in the Regular Budget.
Our activities are signs that UNODC is moving forward with its agenda on drugs crime and terrorism.
But if the inter-agency, inter-regional approaches are to succeed, we need firm financial support from Member States.
Drugs and crime are no longer social and criminal problems they are now threats and challenges to countries across the world.
If we are to deliver consistent successes based on the mandate you gave to us, our funds must match the needs of States.