The UNODC New York Liaison Office organizes a wide variety of meetings and events on issues related to UNODC's mandate on drugs and crime. Below are some of our most recent events and activities. Click on the menu at the side to see more of our previous events and activities.

To read about recent events held by UNODC Headquarters in Vienna, click here. 

In Focus

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.

 

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.  

 

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.