9 September 2013 - Prosecutors play a critical role in strengthening rule of law and combating drugs and crime, said UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov at the annual conference of the International Association of Prosecutors in Moscow on 9 September 2013.
Mr. Fedotov, in his keynote address on the rule of law at the national and international levels, emphasized that strengthening the rule of law is a prerequisite for achieving sustainable development and combating drugs and transnational organized crime.
"These crimes by their very existence threaten the rule of law, security and development. Moreover, unless the rule of law can be established and strengthened, we cannot hope to address these threats in a sustainable way. And the rule of law cannot be upheld without effective prosecution services that act with integrity and impartiality in the administration of justice," he said.
"We must support the integrity and capacity of prosecutors if we want criminal justice systems that are capable of tackling the scourges of drugs and crime, and that uphold human rights and the rule of law."
Mr. Fedotov discussed UNODC initiatives around the world to enhance prosecutorial capacity and accountability, including a recently-launched programme to improve the investigation and prosecution of crimes committed at sea, as well as new projects in Nigeria and Tunisia to support the justice sector.
The theme of the 18 th annual conference of the International Association of Prosecutors is the "prosecutor and the rule of law".