UNODC Strategic Vision for Africa: Investing in a transformative approach to promote peace, security, and development

 © UNODC

Vienna (Austria), 11 June 2021 – The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, joined the UNODC Executive Director, Ghada Waly, to present UNODC’s Strategic Vision for Africa 2030 at a high-level event organized in New York. With less than ten years remaining to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, Africa is at a crossroads. The Decade of Action is a crucial time for securing the well-being of Africa’s people, their societies, economies and their environment.

In the ever-evolving security challenges and its impact on economic growth and sustainable development, the Strategic Vision frames how UNODC and Member States will partner to strengthen Africa’s responses to drug control, transnational organized crime, terrorism, corruption and illicit financial flows.

Opening the event, the Deputy Secretary-General highlighted that “UNODC’s Strategic Vision aims to harness largely untapped power for positive transformation. It aims to leverage all of the continent’s capacities, and the potential of its 226 million young people, to create renewed momentum towards achieving the 2030 Agenda and the African Union Agenda 2063.”

The event comprised 12 high-level speakers including the Deputy Chair of the African Union Commission, H.E. Monique Nsanzabaganwa, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, World Bank Managing Director Mari Pangestu, the Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, Åsa Regnér and the Chair of UN Peace Building Commission, H.E. Mohamed Fathi Ahmed Edrees, amongst other distinguished panellists.

“The Strategic Vision recognizes that Africans are Africa’s most precious resource, and that we can do so much more to empower youth, women, and civil society, to leverage their potential for innovation and action towards safe and prosperous communities,” said Ms. Waly in her opening statement.

Speakers highlighted various actions that need to be prioritized to achieve greater impact on the ground and contribute to peace, security, and development agendas. Interventions also focused on the necessity to enable action through strong partnerships with UN agencies, IFIs and other stakeholders. The Deputy Chair of the African Union Commission, H.E. Monique Nsanzabaganwa highlighted that the Strategic Vision “sets in motion a stronger and more ambitious partnership with our continent, building on shared interests and values. We look forward to strengthen the collaboration and mechanisms for joint programme planning, resource mobilization and implementation.”

“The five Investment Areas articulated in the Vision are the core of our work and link well with our strategic and thematic continental frameworks,“ she added.

Statements from representatives from the current three African members of the UN Security Council (Kenya, Niger and Tunisia), as well as Eritrea as the Chair of the Africa Group echoed the numerous complex challenges posed by organized and economic crime, illicit financial flows, terrorism, illicit exploitations of natural resources and drug trafficking, notably at a critical moment as the continent recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy and Chair of the G20, H.E. Stefano Stefanile supported the Strategic Vision and commended UNODC’s support to African countries, institutions, and people in strengthening crime prevention, criminal justice and improving the rule of law.

Positive partnerships between UNODC and other UN organizations were underlined by the deputy Executive Director of UN Women who underlined the joint work to combat criminal actions and stop impunity on gender-based violence, and by the Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, who emphasised how both organizations are “bringing new emphasis on innovation, data and technology (…) through a common approach in the area of technology as an ideal segway into our joint partnership.” “Another example of our good collaboration is in the development of the UN Common Position on Incarceration, on which DPO, UNODC and OHCHR worked as co-penholders. This position paper was launched in 2021 and couldn’t have been timelier in view of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.

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The UNODC Strategic Vision for Africa 2030 outlines our mission to provide more safety to Africa’s people, government and institutions from drugs, crime, corruption, terrorism and illicit financial flows. Through three value propositions, five investment areas and six change enablers, our Vision seeks to strengthen crime prevention, enhance justice, address organized crime, ensure a balanced response to drugs, improve the rule of law and bolster resilience.

Building on decades of partnership and engagement with African countries, UNODC will work within our unique mandate towards these goals with a focus on whole-of-society approaches and inclusion of the most vulnerable and marginalized populations.