VIENNA, 28 February - The Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov today held talks with the Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Fra' Matthew Festing. In a meeting at UNODC headquarters in Vienna the UNODC Chief discussed a range of drug and crime issues including human trafficking and combating corruption with several senior Order of Malta officials.
The wide-ranging talks covered issues of common interest such as human trafficking and migrant smuggling, anti-corruption measures, HIV/AIDS, prevention and treatment of drug abuse among youth, and social issues surrounding violence against women.
Mr. Fedotov praised the Order of Malta for its charitable work and expressed his hope that they could establish closer cooperation in supporting sustainable livelihoods and human security.
The high-level delegation from the Order of Malta also included the Grand Chancellor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Pierre Mazery, who signed a joint statement between the Order and UNODC. The statement establishes a framework for cooperation in areas of mutual interest. Mr. Fedotov welcomed the signing of the joint statement: "I expect that closer cooperation with the Order of Malta will give greater resonance and visibility to various UNODC campaigns such as those to prevent human trafficking, drug abuse and corruption."
The Order of Malta, a lay Christian order, carries out humanitarian work around the world and has Permanent Observer status with the United Nations.
Commenting on the meeting Mr. Fedotov said: "We share the same concerns about many transnational issues and our talks today will hopefully lead to a strengthened cooperation with the Order of Malta in the future."
Partnerships with faith-based organizations are an important part of UNODC's work in an inclusive, community-driven approach to tackling global threats.
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