The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is the United Nations secretariat responsible for combating illicit drug trafficking and organized crime.
It was born in 1997 from the fusion of the United Nations Program for International Drug Control (UNDCP) and the Center for the Prevention of International Crime (CIPC).
The mission of UNODC is to assist Member States in achieving the goal of security and justice for all by making the world safer from crime, drugs and terrorism. UNODC activities are based on three pillars:
1/ Technical cooperation in the field: UNODC develops and implements country programs, regional programs as well as thematic programs;
2/ Research and analytical work: UNODC publishes in particular an annual report on drugs as well as regional reports on drugs and crime;
3/ Normative work: UNODC provides the secretariat for the three international drug control conventions, as well as the Palermo conventions against transnational organized crime and the Merida conventions against corruption, but also the development of norms and standards, in particular in criminal justice matters.
UNODC provides secretarial services to two functional commissions of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) made up of 53 and 40 member states, respectively. These commissions meet once a year in plenary session:
- The Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CDS), which analyzes the world drug problem and puts forward proposals to strengthen the international drug control system. This commission also oversees the implementation of the three international conventions relating to the control of narcotic drugs (the 1961 Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and psychotropic substances).
- The Commission for Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CPCJP), whose priorities are the fight against organized crime, the promotion of the role of criminal law in the rule of law, the prevention of crime and the improvement of effectiveness of criminal justice systems. This commission also oversees the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols (Palermo Convention) and the United Nations Convention against Corruption (Merida Convention).
UNODC employs more than 1,500 people, spread between the Viennese headquarters and its network of offices in more than 150 countries.
The current Executive Director is Ms. Ghada Fathi Waly, an Egyptian national, has been the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in office since February 1st, 2020. Since UNODC is a division of the United Nations secretariat , the executive executive management is appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN). For the same reason, the Executive Director is also Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna (ONUV) which manages the activities of the United Nations in Vienna.