UNODC Treaties

UNODC is a global leader in the fight against illicit drugs, transnational organised crime, terrorism, and corruption, and is the custodian of most of the related conventions and treaties. Specifically, these are:

Crime-related treaties

a) Convention against Transnational Organised Crime

TheĀ United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime, adopted by General Assembly resolution 55/25 of 15 November 2000, is the main international instrument in the fight against transnational organised crime. It opened for signature by Member States at a High-level Political Conference convened for that purpose in Palermo, Italy, on 12-15 December 2000 and entered into force on 29 September 2003.

The Convention is a legally-binding instrument committing States which ratify it to taking a series of measures against transnational organised crime including the creation of domestic offenses to combat the problem, the adoption of new, sweeping frameworks for mutual legal assistance, extradition, law enforcement cooperation and technical assistance and training. The Convention further supplemented by three Protocols, which target specific areas and manifestations of organised crime, namely:

  • The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children;
  • The Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Air and Sea ; and
  • The Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition.

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b) Convention against Corruption

In its resolution 55/61 of 4 December 2000, the General Assembly recognised that an effective international legal instrument against corruption, independent of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (resolution 55/25, annex I) was desirable. The text of the United Nations Convention against Corruption was negotiated during seven sessions of the Ad Hoc Committee for the Negotiation of a Convention against Corruption, held between 21 January 2002 and 1 October 2003. The Convention approved by the Ad Hoc Committee was adopted by the General Assembly by resolution 58/4 of 31 October 2003.

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Drug-related treaties

The three major international drug control treaties are mutually supportive and complementary. An important purpose of the first two treaties is to codify internationally applicable control measures in order to ensure the availability of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific purposes, and to prevent their diversion into illicit channels. They also include general provisions on illicit trafficking and drug abuse.

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Terrorism-related treaties

The universal conventions and protocols against terrorism, which have been developed under the auspices of the United Nations and its specialised agencies, are open to participation by all Member States.

Between 1963 and 1999, the international community negotiated 12 universal legal instruments relating to the prevention and suppression of terrorism. In April 2005, the General Assembly adopted the International Convention for the SuppresĀ­sion of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (resolution 59/290, annex). 2005 also saw the adoption the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, the Protocol of 2005 to the Convention for the suppression of unlawful acts against the safety of maritime navigation and the Protocol of 2005 to the Protocol for the suppression of unlawful acts against the safety of fixed platforms located on the continental shelf.

These 16 universal legal instruments are a major element of the global regime against terrorism and an important framework for international cooperation in countering terrorism. In addition, a comprehensive convention on international terrorism is being elaborated under the auspices of the United Nations.

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