28 October 2015 - "Last month's adoption of the sustainable development goals acknowledged that the rule of law is essential for protecting the international development agenda," said the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov, today in a meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella.
"Transnational organized crime is a clear and present challenge," said Mr. Fedotov. "If we are to succeed against the criminals, it is critical to unite countries and to foster the determination to confront crime in all its forms wherever it occurs."
To achieve this, he said, it was necessary to "promote effective international cooperation based on ratification and full implementation of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols on arms, human trafficking and migrant smuggling."
Mr. Fedotov told President Mattarella that Italy is a strategic partner whose assistance is greatly appreciated. Italy, he said, has been a committed supporter of UNODC's work on interrupting the flow of illicit funds that benefit Daesh/ISIL, as well as dealing with foreign terrorist fighters and the radicalisation of youth.
The UNODC Chief also met with Culture Minister Dario Franceschini, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, and held a lunchtime meeting with General Prosecutor Judge Giovanni Salvi.
During a meeting with Foreign Affairs Minister Paolo Gentiloni, Mr. Fedotov emphasised that UNODC is promoting regional and international action against trafficking in cultural property and was enhancing its partnerships both inside and outside of the UN system on this serious issue.
Mr. Fedotov's is on the second day of a three-day visit to Italy to promote partnerships and cooperation on a number of key issues such as smuggling of migrants, smuggling of cultural property, and terrorism and radicalism. On Thursday, he will have a private audience with Pope Francis.