Vienna, 10 December 2016 - Human rights empower every area of our lives. When viewed together they create the building blocks for every nation and every society. From governments to the smallest communities, human rights are the guarantors of peace, security and development.
Part of UNODC's DNA, human rights are visible in the UN conventions on drugs, corruption, and transnational organized crime, in particular its protocols on human trafficking and smuggling of migrants, and the numerous terrorism instruments.
UNODC's projects and progammes, delivered through our field network, are bound to human rights standards through the connected principles of the rule of law and the use of evidence-based, good practices for drug abuse prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, and HIV/ AIDS prevention and care.
Our global efforts are designed to help protect people from drug trafficking and to uphold the rights of the vulnerable drug user, the abused human trafficking victim and the isolated prisoner, among many others. Each of these individuals needs to know that their fundamental rights will be upheld and protected.
The work of strengthening human rights has been given a powerful boost by the adoption of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. Due to these 17 goals there is now a clear pathway towards safeguarding and enhancing human rights.
UNODC's own work was catalysed by the 2030 Agenda, particularly Goal 16 on creating inclusive and peaceful societies. This goal links tackling violence, corruption, and promoting fair criminal justice systems to achieving sustainable development. Such work can also help entrench human rights, including gender rights, and create a culture of lawfulness, as well as inclusivity.
On Human Rights Day, I pledge to continue the crucial work of tackling drugs, crime, corruption and terrorism, while ensuring that human rights are upheld, and everyone's dignity is respected.
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