Your right, your role: Say no to corruption” - UNODC New York Office marks the 2021 International Anti-Corruption Day


New York, 9 December 2021

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in New York co-organized a side event together with the Permanent Missions of Colombia, Egypt, Peru and the United Arab Emirates to mark the International Anti-Corruption Day and to share good practices and concrete progress in the implementation of the recommendations of the UNGASS Political Declaration Against Corruption.

This year’s theme for the International Anti-Corruption Day was “Your right, your role: Say no to corruption”, emphasizing the rights and responsibilities of everyone in tackling corruption, as well as the need for policies, systems and measures to be in place for people to be able to speak up and say no to this crime.

2021 has shaped up to be a milestone year for the anti-corruption agenda. The COVID-19 crisis has derailed development progress, while corruption, bribery and illicit financial flows have stolen away resources when we can least afford it. In every region of the world, corruption has compromised emergency responses, health care, education, leaving member states less equipped to recover, and leaving ever more people behind.

I hope that 2021 will be remembered as a year of international action against corruption, and as a turning point in a time of great need, when Member States, the UN and all our partners came together in collaboration to implement the commitments we have made to date, and to generate change of mindset towards better governance and integrity and a corruption-free society”, mentioned Ms. Delphine Schantz, Representative of the UNODC New York Office.

The side-event, the first initiative taking place at the UNHQ following the UNGASS on Corruption and subsequent adoption of a bold Political Declaration calling for a global action to step up the fight against corruption, provided a unique platform to discuss measures contributing to effective, accountable, and transparent institutions towards a culture of integrity and fairness. In this respect, speakers recalled the importance of maintaining the political momentum in fighting corruption as a crucial element to achieve sustainable development, the promotion of rule of law and accountability.


The General Assembly appraises the UN Global Plan of Action to Combat Human Trafficking

New York, 22-23 November 2021

A high-level meeting of the General Assembly provided an opportunity for delegates to appraise the progress achieved in the implementation of the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons which was adopted in 2010. This appraisal takes place every four years and provides an important forum to reflect on the progress made in the fight against human trafficking, whilst also turning attention to enduring and emerging gaps and challenges.

The 2021 event highlighted that trafficking in persons continues to take place in every region of the world and takes many forms. Women and children, particularly girls, are amongst the most vulnerable persons to be trafficked, especially for the purpose of sexual exploitation.


The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened economic and social inequalities that are among the root causes of human trafficking, and has also exacerbated the impact of misuse of information and communication technology on trafficking in persons, including in the identification, recruitment, and exploitation of victims.

During the event, speakers stressed the importance of taking strong, concerted action on a global scale to end the crime of trafficking in persons. The President of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid, stressed that: “As we recover better from a devastating pandemic, we must look ahead to a safer, more just, and more equitable future. Human Trafficking must not be a part of that future.”

Throughout the event, speakers  highlighted the importance of ensuring that survivors/victims’ voices are at the very centre of the fight against trafficking. UNODC Executive Director Ms. Ghada Waly, urged those present to use the opportunity of the meeting to “pledge to ensure that joint responses are adapted to the needs of victims.”  Founder and CEO of Footprint to Freedom and survivor of trafficking, Ms. Malaika Oringo stated: “The survivor’s narrative is significant in crafting the right policies and practices because survivors know first-hand how human traffickers operate and the strategies they use to bond victims to slavery.

Through the adoption of the 2021 Political Declaration, Member States reaffirmed the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons and evinced their strong political will to take decisive concerted action to end human trafficking.

A series of virtual side events took place in the margins of the High-level Meeting, including topics such as the interaction between trafficking in persons and COVID-19, public-private partnerships, financial inclusion, migration, gender, education, and the future of research.

For more information about the 2021 Appraisal of the Global Plan of Action, please click here. The video contributions to the panel discussions of international organizations, civil society, the private sector and academics can be found on UNODC’s Youtube Channel here, and the written contributions can be found on UNODC’s website here


Creating Pathways for Education for Victims/Survivors of Trafficking in Persons – Side Event on the margins of the High Level Meeting on Trafficking in Persons


New York, 23 November 2021

Ms. Kendall Alaimo, artist, activist and survivor of trafficking in persons, has spent many years on a journey of recovery. She explains that when survivors emerge from trafficking situations “they need to desperately dig themselves out and find their way home. They really need education to get home.” It was Ms. Alaimo’s story that inspired the Seats4Survivors side-event held on 23 November 2021 in the margins of the High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Appraisal of the Global Plan of Action to Combat Human Trafficking.

The side-event, hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) New York Office, together with the University Alliance on Human Trafficking (TUAHT), the Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the UN, and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, invited participants to consider the importance of empowering victims and survivors of human trafficking through education. It provided a unique opportunity to engage in a dialogue on the possibilities for creating pathways for access to education for victims and survivors.  Survivors and experts reflected on the various obstacles faced by victims of trafficking, including access to educational pathways.

Speakers stressed the importance of collaborative action across sectors in order to find solutions that will clear the path for survivors. Moreover, as noted byMs. Rachel Lloyd, Founder and CEO of GEMS, Girls Educational and Mentoring Services, policies must be intersectional, taking into consideration racial and other inequalities that impact access to educational opportunities. 

Ms. Alaimo’s experience as a survivor who has confronted immense challenges while recovering from the trauma of being trafficked, including her fight to secure economic independence and restoration through education, has informed her work as an artist. A piece painted by Ms. Alaimo on the experience of survivors, featuring a red chair symbolising empowerment and a seat at the table for survivors, was used throughout the material for the High-Level Meeting. The original painting was gifted to the President of the General Assembly, serving as a reminder of the need for survivor voices to be heard.

The full recording of the event is available here.



Launch of the Stable Seas Report on ‘Pirates of the Gulf of Guinea: A Cost Analysis for Coastal States’ in partnership with UNODC


New York, 7 December 2021

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), alongside the Permanent Missions of Ghana, Norway, and of Nigeria, hosted the launch of the Report on ‘Pirates of the Gulf of Guinea: A Cost Analysis for Coastal States’ produced by Stable Seas, in cooperation with UNODC.

The Report highlights the significant challenges and the direct, indirect, and opportunity costs that countries surrounding the Gulf of Guinea face due to piracy. Pirates not only threaten individuals and companies through hostage-taking and robbery, but also have an enormous detrimental impact on African nations that face discouraged foreign investment and impeded development of the blue economy. Dr. Curtis Bell, Director of Stable Seas, estimated that the true cost to Africa due to piracy easily equates to billions of dollars per year, with indirect costs estimated to be at least $1.4 billion a year.

Minister for National Security of Ghana, Hon. Mr. Albert Kan-Dapaah, declared Ghana’s intention to prioritize this issue during its United Nations Security Council term, noting that inadequate funding remains a major challenge in the implementation of national and regional strategies.

The Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN, H.E.  Mr. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, and the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission H.E. Mr. Osama Mahmoud Abdel Khalek Mahmoud, highlighted the growing linkages between piracy and transnational operations, including between terrorists and pirates in the region, calling for better cooperation between counter-piracy and counter-terrorism actions.  

Speakers called for enhanced capacity-building efforts to assist affected countries to address piracy and to create effective measures against transnational organized crimes at sea, as well as for increased support for national authorities and communities. Speakers also stressed the need for increased international collaboration and co-operation among states and sectors, including cross-regional initiatives, to combat this crime. Enhanced information-sharing amongst states is particularly important in order to more effectively address this maritime challenge, and more reliable and consistent data is needed to make informed policy decisions.

The final Report can be found here.


Women, Peace and Security – Human Rights Based Responses to Human Trafficking in the Context of Terrorism and Conflict

New York, 22 October 2021

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) New York Office and the UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children, co-hosted a virtual event on “Women, Peace and Security – Human Rights Based Responses to Human Trafficking in the Context of Terrorism and Conflict” to coincide with Women, Peace and Security Month.

The event provided an important opportunity to examine the intersection of trafficking in persons and terrorism, and in particular the continuing gaps in identification, assistance and protection of victims of trafficking in the context of conflict and humanitarian settings. The event drew together UN member states, civil society and humanitarian actors, including survivor-led organisations affected by trafficking in persons and terrorism.

Ms. Ghada Waly, Executive Director of UNODC, noted with concern that various forms of trafficking that affect women, children, and minorities are closely associated with conflict, including sexual exploitation by armed groups and trafficking for use as child soldiers. She outlined that research conducted by the UNODC has revealed that armed and terrorist groups systematically engage in human trafficking in areas under their control.


Many speakers highlighted recommendations to address the nexus between women, peace and security such as ensuring that due consideration is given to early indicators of vulnerabilities to trafficking, especially in refugee and internally displaced persons camps and host communities. Additionally, there is a need for effective access to legal assistance and specialized psychological, medical and counselling support especially along migration routes, in situations of forced displacement and in conflict settings.

The event served to reiterate that ensuring effective proper identification and protection of victims of trafficking in persons is vital to ensuring a human rights-based response to human trafficking in the context of terrorism and conflict. Finally, the event highlighted the forthcoming General Assembly Report of the Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children, which presents a series of recommendations to strengthen human rights-based responses to trafficking in persons, particularly in conflict and humanitarian settings.


Commission on Narcotic Drugs and Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice provide a briefing on their work

New York, 4 October 2021

In cooperation with the Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations in New York, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime New York Liaison Office (UNODC NYLO) organized a virtual information briefing on the work of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) and the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ). 

The briefing provided an opportunity for the Commissions to provide an update on their work and forecast of upcoming events, as well as to discuss the outcome and follow-up to the Fourteenth UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice that was held in 2021 in Kyoto, Japan.

Ms. Delphine Schantz, Representative of the UNODC NYLO, provided summary remarks after a discussion that bridged the deliberations held in Vienna and in New York, in preparation for the negotiations on the annual “omnibus” resolutions on drugs and crime that are facilitated by the Permanent Missions of Italy and Mexico.


UNODC-UNICRI Event highlights the importance of addressing the linkages between terrorism and organized crime in Africa


New York, 28 September 2021 

The nexus between transnational organized crime and terrorism is an issue of increasing concern and poses a significant threat to international security, stability, governance, and development. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) New York Office and the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) co-organized an event to highlight ongoing initiatives underway to support Member States to address the linkages between transnational organized crime and terrorism, in line with recently adopted Security Council resolution 2482 (2019).

The event highlighted that the nexus between criminal networks and terrorist groups is multi-faced and dynamic, and their overlapping objectives, identities and modus operandi present a challenge for many nations. Ms. Ghada Waly, Executive Director of UNODC, noted that the nexus is shown to have distinct characteristics in different regions but impacts nations globally, including in Africa. In some regions, members of organized criminal groups are increasingly using terrorist tactics. Conversely, terrorists are benefiting from transnational organized crime, including from the illicit trafficking of arms, persons, drugs, cultural property and artefacts, the illicit trade in natural resources, and from crimes such as kidnapping for ransom, extortion and robbery.

The event underscored the importance of the work being done by the UNODC and UNICRI to produce research, policy toolkits and including joint training.  It provided an opportunity for UNICRI to present the recently endorsed GCTF Good Practices on the Nexus between Transnational Organized Crime and Terrorism and practical Tool Kit which it has developed.


Victims’ Voices Lead the Way – UNODC New York Office marks the 2021 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons:

New York, 30 July 2021

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in New York, together with the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Belarus on behalf of the Group of Friends United against Human Trafficking, organized an event to mark World Day against Trafficking in Persons.

The event was aligned with the 2021 UN-wide theme for the 2021 World Day against Trafficking in Persons - ‘Victims Voices Lead the Way’- a theme which highlights the importance of listening to, and learning from, victims of human trafficking as key actors in the fight against the crime.


Ms. Ghada Waly, Executive Director of UNODC, noted that “each and every victim of trafficking in persons has a story we should listen to. Victim’s voices are key to preventing trafficking, supporting survivors, and bringing perpetrators to justice.”

Ms. Malaika Oringo, CEO of Footprint to Freedom, and a survivor of human trafficking, agreed that we need to acknowledge survivor leadership and recognize survivors as major stakeholders; “Survivors are creative, flexible, strong, knowledgeable, and they make powerful advocates, teachers, coaches”. Ms. Itohan Okundaye, Member of the International Survivors of Trafficking Advisory Council (ISTAC), similarly called for survivors to lead the way for solutions: “We need to move from talk to action”.

The event also provided an opportunity to reflect on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on trafficking in persons. Speakers observed that victims of human trafficking are often most vulnerable to the economic and social distress generated by crises. Speakers also recalled how human trafficking is rooted in gender-based discrimination and inequality and that the issues, therefore, need to be tacked through a gender-based approach.

The full recording of the event is available here.



Listening to, and learning from, stakeholders: President of the General Assembly holds Multi-stakeholder Hearing on Trafficking in Persons


New York, 13 July 2021

2021 marks a busy year for the anti-trafficking agenda, which will culminate in the quadrennial High-level Plenary Meeting to Review the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons to be held on 22-23 November 2021 (2021 Appraisal).

In order to support the active engagement of civil society, the private sector and other relevant stakeholders in the preparatory process towards the 2021 Appraisal, UNODC New York worked together with the President of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Volkan Bozkir, to plan a Multi-stakeholder Hearing, held virtually at UNHQ on Tuesday, 13 July 2021.

The Hearing provided an opportunity for States to hear recommendations from a range of stakeholders on what they would like to see form the basis for an ambitious, action-oriented Political Declaration expected to be adopted during the 2021 Appraisal. 

“The world needsan inclusive, robust and well-adapted action plan against one of the most enduring and exploitative forms of crime”, said Ms. Ghada Waly, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The Event also gave a voice to those who have been directly affected by trafficking in persons.


“Human trafficking is a crime against humanity. No one deserves to be enslaved. No one deserves to be sold. We are not for sale”, said Ms. Itohan Okundaye, a survivor of trafficking in persons.

Drawing on the recommendations that arose from the Multi-stakeholder Hearing, States will shortly begin negotiations on the 2021 Political Declaration.

The full recording of the morning session of the Hearing is available here with the afternoon session of the Hearing is available here.


The Peace Building Commission meets to discuss the Gulf of Guinea

New York, 30 June 2021

A virtual meeting of the Peace Building Commission provided an opportunity to take stock of ongoing efforts to strengthen maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, including measures to help address associated human security challenges and to provide livelihood opportunities for surging youth populations.

Ms. Ghada Fathi Waly, Executive Director of UNODC provided comments, noting that UNODC had conducted a study on pirate activity in the Gulf of Guinea, which would be published soon. Ms. Waly cautioned that “Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea is growing in scope and sophistication. We need to consolidate the frameworks and capacities to enforce the law in the region’s waters, before the threat escalates further.”

During the meeting, stakeholders discussed coordination among national, regional and international actors. Briefers included Mr. Annadif Khatir Mahamat Saleh, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS); Mr. François Louncény FallSpecial Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) as well as representatives from ECCAS, ECOWAS and the Gulf of Guinea Commission.


“Countering the Financing of Terrorism in the Post-COVID-19 Landscape” – UNODC New York Office marks 2021 Counter-Terrorism Week

New York, 25 June 2021

During the 2021 Counter-Terrorism Week, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in New York co-organized a side event, together with the Permanent Missions of France and India to the United Nations, the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), and the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED).

The event, which focused on terrorist financing threats and trends within the post-COVID-19 landscape, brought together more than 170 participants to discuss the misuse of digital space for terrorist financing purposes, as well as the potential risks associated with virtual assets and new financial instruments.



“Illicit financial networks are a lifeline for terrorism. The horrors perpetrated by terrorists will continue as long as such networks find ways to bankroll them”, noted UNODC Executive Director, Ms. Ghada Waly.

The event provided an opportunity to discuss means of preventing terrorists from accessing and using funds to carry out terrorist acts as well as to sustain terrorist networks, promote ideology and promote recruitment campaigns.

Speakers underscored that the digital space was a quickly evolving area and that terrorist groups acquired highly-specialized expertise in using all opportunities offered to raise and transfer funds through virtual assets platforms and well as to obfuscate the traceability of these transactions through complex blockchain mechanisms. 

UNOCT Executive Director, Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, highlighted that COVID-19 has “created opportunities for terrorist groups to exploit vulnerable populations, particularly through the digital space to raise funds for fraudulent COVID-19 relief.”

Further information about the 2021 Counter-terrorism Week is available here.


New York Presentation of the 2021 World Drug Report


New York, 25 June 2021

Around 275 million people used drugs worldwide in the last year, while over 36 million people suffered from drug use disorders, according to the 2021 World Drug Report, which was presented during a special event organized by UNODC New York on 25 June 2021.

Following a global overview of drug demand and drug supply, the 2021 World Drug Report provides an analysis of the latest estimates and trends in the markets of cannabis, opioids, cocaine and amphetamine-type stimulates.

The Report also includes an early assessment of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on drug market dynamics, including in terms of health consequences and how drug service provision has adapted to the new situation in many countries. This was also highlighted by speakers during the event, who reflected on how COVID-19 has exacerbated pre-existing inequalities affecting millions of people across the globe. Speakers also recognized the interrelationship between illicit trafficking of narcotics and other global issues such as social injustice, lack of development, corruption, organized crime, and human rights violations.

The World Drug Report and further content is available here:


Investing in a transformative approach to promote peace, security, and development - UNODC Strategic Vision for Africa presented in New York

New York, 11 June 2021

Today, the UN Deputy Secretary-General, H.E. Ms. Amina Mohammed and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Executive Director, Ms. Ghada Waly presented UNODC’s Strategic Vision for Africa 2030 during a high-level event organized by UNODC in New York. Remarks were also delivered by Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix; Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations; Ms. Mari Pangestu, Managing Director for Policy Development and Partnerships, World Bank; Ms. Monique Nsanzabaganwa, Deputy Chair of the African  Union Commission; Ms. Ms. Åsa Regnér, Deputy Executive Director of UN Women; as well as H.E. Ms. Ousseini Hadizatou Yacouba, Minister of Mining, Niger; the Permanent Representatives of Eritrea, Kenya, Tunisia and Egypt, and Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy, to the UN.


“UNODC’s Strategic Vision aims to harness largely untapped power for positive transformation. It aims to leverage all of the continent’s capacities, and the potential of its 226 million young people, to create renewed momentum towards achieving the 2030 Agenda and the African Union Agenda 2063”, said H.E. Ms. Amina Mohammed. 

UNODC’s Strategic Vision for Africa 2030 outlines UNODC’s mission to provide more safety to Africa’s people, government and institutions from drugs, crime, corruption, terrorism and illicit financial flows.

“The Strategic Vision recognizes that Africans are Africa’s most precious resource, and that we can do so much more to empower youth, women, and civil society, to leverage their potential for innovation and action towards safe and prosperous communities, said Ms. Ghada Waly during the event.

Around the globe and in Africa, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to reverse progress, hitting those most vulnerable hardest, and risking them being left behind further. Strong partnerships with UN agencies and other stakeholders are necessary to progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals in line with Agenda 2030. In this context, as outlined during the event, the Strategic Vision seeks to strengthen crime prevention, enhance justice, address organized crime, ensure a balanced response to drugs, improve the rule of law and bolster resilience.

The Strategic Vision for Africa can be found here. 


Countering Corruption through Collaboration” – Youth Perspectives highlighted during Youth Forum on Corruption organized by the UNODC New York Office


New York, 24-26 May 2021

Over the course of three days, 313 youth attendees from 93 countries came together for a virtual Youth Forum organized by the UNODC New York Liaison Office. 

The theme of the Youth Forum was “Countering Corruption through Collaboration: Youth Perspectives and Engagement”. The Forum was held as a special event to directly contribute to the United Nations  Special  Session of  the  General  Assembly (UNGASS) on challenges  and  measures  to  prevent  and  combat  corruption  and  strengthen international cooperation, held from 2 to 4 June 2021 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.  

The Youth Forum enabled young people from across the world to discuss the effects of corruption on young generations, global youth engagement in preventing and combating corruption, and to identify recommendations for Member States ahead of the UNGASS on Corruption itself.

Youth participants collectively developed a Youth Forum Statement, which was delivered on their behalf by Ms. Serena Ibrahim, Founder of Youth against Corruption, Lebanon, during the UNGASS opening session on 2 June 2021. The statement called on “you, our world leaders, to prioritize the fight against corruption and ensure that citizens’ well-being and equal access to basic services are top priorities in your national agendas, strategies and visions”.

Ms. Delphine Schantz, Representative of the UNODC New York Liaison Office, remarked that “young people as future world leaders are the most important agents as change in the fight against corruption. Over the last three days, the Youth Forum offered a unique platform to share constructive ideas and demonstrated strong commitment to end impunity for this crime”.

More information about the Youth Forum can be found here.

The Youth Forum Summary Statement delivered by Ms. Ibrahim is available here.

The Full Report of the Youth Forum is available here.



UN General Assembly high-level debate spotlights crime prevention to enhance urban safety and good governance

New York, 22 April 2021

The General Assembly gathered at a high-level on “Urban Safety, Security and Good Governance: Making Crime Prevention a Priority for All” to share national practices and lessons learnt on the development and implementation of effective and innovative crime prevention policies.

The High-level debate featured informed and constructive contributions from high-level speakers, Member States representatives and panelists on urban safety, security and good governance with a particular focus on prevention. The event offered many practice and policy recommendations that were aimed at underlining the benefits of multi-dimensional and collaborative approaches to finding practical and sustainable solutions through increased partnerships between national and local institutions, the United Nations, civil society and the private sector in effective and just crime prevention and criminal justice responses.

Individual cities face increasingly acute security challenges as a result of local vulnerabilities heightened by the activities of criminal gangs and groups, including transnational organized crime groups, that pursue their illegal economic operations, including drug trafficking and other crimes. Considering that more than half of the global population now lives in urban areas, and that by 2050 that share will rise to two thirds, understanding the impact of crime at the city level is becoming more important than ever. In its 2019 Global Study on Homicide, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) outlined that, although rapid urban growth itself is not a driver of higher homicide rates, the presence of organized crime, income inequality, poor governance and infrastructure in fast urbanizing areas do lead to higher crime rates.


At the outset, H.E. Mr. Volkan Bozkir, President of the 75th session of the General Assembly, highlighted the importance of enhancing community resilience and prioritizing innovative measures to build and strengthen strategic partnerships on crime prevention, safety and good governance in cities. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres further emphasized that solutions start with participatory, accountable and transparent decision-making, with effective rule of law grounded in strong, people-centred institutions.

Cities have served as epicentres for the global pandemic, and for some of the worst terrorist attacks in recent memory. The consequences of drugs, crime, violence, and corruption have perpetuated cycles of exclusion. Because cities are most affected by today’s toughest challenges, interventions in cities can also have the greatest positive impact”, “said the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Ghada Waly, in her opening remarks. “To build forward towards a sustainable, just future that leaves no one behind, we must take care of our cities by strengthening the rule of law, striking a beneficial balance between urban and rural development, and reducing violence, crime, and victimization”.

Throughout the discussion high-level speakers and government officials highlighted the need to develop and to implement inclusive urban designs and sustainable planning approaches as essential prerequisites to crime prevention and the development of safe cities and resilient communities, in accordance with SDG-11 (sustainable cities and communities) and SDG-16 (peace, justice, and strong institutions).

A panel of speakers from the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), Igarapé Institute, the European Forum for Urban Security, National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice (Washington, DC) and Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (Geneva) engaged in an interactive discussion on “Addressing risks and challenges to city safety, security and good governance: the role of innovative practices and crime prevention strategies in building resilience in the urban environment”. Through this unique platform, panelists emphasized the importance of whole-of-government approaches as the key to harnessing the benefits of urbanization, underscoring that tailored crime prevention strategies and cooperation are the pillars of any effective strategy, as stated in the Kyoto Declaration recently adopted at the 14th UN Crime Congress.


“Trafficking in Persons: Persistent and Emerging Challenges: A virtual briefing on the 2020 UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons”

New York, 4 February 2021

The New York launch of the 2020 UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons took place on 4 February 2021.

The 2020 UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons is the fifth edition of the report and covers data from the world’s largest database on trafficking victims, compiling figures from official sources across 148 countries. It also analyses 489 court cases from 71 different countries, providing more qualitative information on the perpetrators and the characteristics of this crime.

The event was chaired by Ms. Schantz, Representative of the UNODC New York Liaison Office, who noted that it is “an important time to take stock of all that we have achieved to date as an international community in the fight against trafficking”, as well as to reflect on some of the persistent and emerging challenges that continue to hinder our efforts, and require our urgent attention.

Executive Director, Ms. Ghada Waly, delivered welcoming remarks, underscoring that the Report paints a picture of urgency, as the COVID-19 crisis widens disparities in our societies and deepens economic woes, leaving millions of women, children and men at risk of being trafficked. Ms. Waly called for data and research to inform targeted responses, noting the UNODC Global Report steps up to this challenge as the primary resource on trafficking patterns and trends worldwide.

H.E. Mr. Volkan Bozkir, President of the General Assembly highlighted the ongoing work and promotion of international cooperation yet noting the important work that needs to continue. He highlighted that social media and internet platforms had opened up new channels for trafficking and underlined the need to build on learnt experiences by adopting proactive and innovative decisions to address the abuse of digital platforms and reinforcing strategic efforts to combat this crime.

Ms. Mira Sorvino, UNODC Goodwill Ambassador for the Global Fight against Trafficking, highlighted the importance of coming together in collective responsive to trafficking in persons, noting the need to address the outstanding issues in countering trafficking that require our particular attention.

The findings of the report were presented by Ms. Angela Me, Director of the  UNODC Research and Trend Analysis Branch.

Eleven Permanent and Deputy Permanent Representatives then made statements following the presentation of the report findings.

The launch of the 2020 Global Report marks the beginning of a busy year of anti-trafficking in persons activities in New York, leading to the Appraisal of the Global Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons to take place later in 2021.   

The 2020 Global Report can be found here.