8 February 2011 - UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov has briefed ambassadors in New York on the work of the United Nations task force on transnational organized crime and drug trafficking.
Outlining the challenges faced by the task force, Mr. Fedotov said: "We face a complex and shifting criminal web whose strands touch almost every country and cross every region. In many of the world's regions, transnational organized crime and drug trafficking have evolved into major threats to stability, the rule of law, good governance and human rights."
In support of his opening remarks, Mr. Fedotov noted that, according to UNODC, drug trafficking and other transnational organized crime activities are estimated to generate $870 billion. He added that the total criminal proceeds of all illicit activities amounted to around 3.6 per cent of global GDP, equivalent to $2.1 trillion.
Mr. Fedotov then outlined the "One-UN" approach adopted by the task force with particular focus on the ability of partners to collaborate and cooperate at the ground level.
The meeting finished with an interactive session at which task force partners answered questions. At the end of the session, ambassadors expressed their support for the work of the task force and encouraged the partners to reconvene and provide further updates on their joint progress.
Speaking after the event, Mr. Fedotov said: "This was a very important meeting. In order to adequately support the task force's work, Member States needed to fully appreciate both the scale of the challenges we face and how we are jointly addressing them. Ambassadors also needed to appreciate the efforts being made to ensure we are effective and efficient in the spirit of the One-UN approach."
Other speakers at the high-level event held at the United Nations building in New York included the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Lynn Pascoe, and the Executive Director of UN Women, Michelle Bachelet, among others.
The task force was set up in March 2011 by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to integrate responses to transnational organized crime into the peacekeeping, peacebuilding, security and development activities of the United Nations, with UNODC and the Department of Political Affairs as co-chairs.
The task force includes representatives from the Department for Peacekeeping Operations, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Department of Political Affairs, the Peacebuilding Support Office, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the United Nation's Children's Fund (UNICEF), UN Women and the World Bank.