VIENNA, 11 November 2009 (UN Information Service) - Today in Tripoli, the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Antonio Maria Costa, signed a host country agreement with Libya's Minister of Interior, General Abdel Fatah Younes Al-Obeidi. The agreement paves the way for the opening of a UNODC sub-regional office for the Maghreb countries to be located in Tripoli.
"This office is proof of UNODC's good partnership with Libya, and our commitment to reduce the vulnerability of Maghreb countries to drugs and crime," said Mr. Costa. He praised Libya's generous support in establishing the office as a model to be followed by others.
UNODC is assisting Libya in its efforts to fight corruption, contain the spread of drug abuse and HIV (caused by injecting drug use), and to reduce the trafficking of drugs (cocaine from West Africa, heroin via East Africa), and the smuggling of migrants (mostly from East Africa to Europe). Particular emphasis will be placed on building national capacity.
"A presence in Libya will enable us to better identify and respond to threats spilling over from East and West Africa, as well as the Sahel region," said Mr. Costa.
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