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About Civil Society and UNODC

To learn more about the interaction between UNODC and NGOs:

Colombian civilians commemorating the International Day against
Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on 26 June

UNODC recognizes the need to promote strong partnerships with civil society organizations in dealing with the complex problems of drug abuse and crime which undermine the fabric of society. The active involvement of civil society and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) is essential to help UNODC carry out its global mandates. NGOs, in consultative status with the UN's Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), are invited as observers to participate in the regular meetings of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) and the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ). Since 2003, NGOs have participated in the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and actively participated in the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).

A strong input from NGOs and Civil Society

UNODC's dealings with NGOs are guided by mandates from the international community. For example, the Twentieth Special Session of the General Assembly on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS), held in June 1998, adopted a landmark political declaration on the Guiding Principles of Drug Demand Reduction. In conjunction with the adoption of these principles, NGOs have been called upon to contribute to the goal of building a society free of drug abuse, emphasizing and facilitating healthy and innovative alternatives to illicit drug consumption, especially among young people.

Civil society involvement  at the 2009 Conference of State Parties
to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, Doha, Qatar

In addition, UNODC welcomes the participation of NGOs in its full range of activities at the international, regional and national levels. Specialized NGOs aid UNODC in executing projects in all parts of the world. They are involved in alternative development programmes in countries where illicit drug crops are cultivated. They undertake advocacy activities and projects aimed to prevent drug abuse and crime related activities. They collaborate with UNODC for the annual celebration of the International Day against Drug Abuse (26 June) and the International Day against Corruption (9 December). They also partner with UNODC to raise awareness about the plight of human trafficking victims, promote anti-corruption practices and the humane treatment of prisoners.

UNODC is always looking to develop partnerships with other UN organizations, including specialized agencies, to identify best practices and exchange experiences related to working with NGOs. UNODC frequently participates in meetings with NGOs and civil society focal points from international and regional organizations.