UNODC contributions to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development


On 25 September 2015, Member States of the United Nations adopted 'Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,' and with it 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is intended as "a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity that seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom."

The United Nations system also has a key role in the new global agenda. This is based on its culture of shared responsibilities, collective action and benchmarking for progress. Through its work at global, regional and national levels, UNODC provides support to Member States to reach their Targets under several SDGs.

Indeed, supporting countries in meeting the SDG commitments forms the backbone of UNODC Regional Programme, with a strong focus on SDG 3 and SDG 16. UNODC  also contributes to SDG 5 on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment as a cross-cutting goal of its activities. Whilst there is a main focus on SDG 3, 5 and 16, it is important to highlight that UNODC also contributes to meeting other SDGs throughout its activities. For instance, it also contributes to SDG 10 which aims to "reduce inequalities within and among countries" since one of the goal's targets is directly linked to combating trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants (Target 10.7: "Facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies"). While UNODC activities to combat maritime crime contribute to SDG 16, they also have an impact on SDG 14 that aims to "conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development by reducing illegal fisheries". Many more examples of these interlinkages exist due to the integrated and cross-cutting approach adopted by UNODC.


Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages


UNODC's work on drugs and health is inextricably linked to multiple targets of SDG 3, especially target 3.5 to "strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol". UNODC assists States in meeting this target through prevention and repression activities against drug trafficking and drug use disorders in West Africa. Moreover, research work supports countries in monitoring and reporting on SDG 3 by implementing drug monitoring systems to collect reliable data. Finally, support to countries' forensic capacity and, in particular, the identification and detection of substance abuse is a crucial step for evidence-based interventions, including treatment.


Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls


Given the cross-cutting nature of SDG 5, gender equality and women's empowerment is integrated throughout the implementation of UNODC activities. Indeed, UNODC contributes to targets 5.1 and 5.5 to "end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere" and to "ensure women's full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life" by promoting the designation of women as participants to its activities, as well as by delivering training modules on fair and non-discriminatory treatment. On 8 March 2018, UNODC adopted its Strategy for gender equality and the empowerment of women (2018-2021) and established a permanent Working Group on Gender in the region to support the promotion of gender equality and the inclusion of women in projects and initiatives implemented in the region.


Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels


UNODC provides normative, analytical and operational assistance to Member States for strengthening the effectiveness, fairness and accountability of their criminal justice institutions to tackle crime, corruption and terrorism. Thus, UNODC contributes to all the targets od the SDG 16.

UNODC published its Midterm report on the Regional Programme in November 2018. This Report is an analytical review of activities delivered and results achieved by the different UNODC programmes and projects between 2016 and 2018. To respond efficiently to threats and challenges in West Africa and the Sahel, UNODC adopted an integrated, evidence-based, response anchored in partnership. This response was also based on the Sustainable Development Goals, mainstreaming human rights and gender throughout its implementation. Thus, in the Report, the aim is to objectively identify progress in tackling the numerous challenges in the region and to highlight the efforts made to achieve the SDGs. Specific short stories on the SDGs are to be found throughout the Report.

For more information:

SDG 16: Promote Peaceful and Inclusive Societies for Sustainable Development, Provide Access to Justice for All and Build Effective, Accountable and Inclusive Institutions at All Levels

UNODC and the Sustainable Development Goals

Midterm report of the UNODC Regional Programme and its SDG stories