EU-UNODC brochure


Please see below a non-exhaustive selection of news items to reflect the richness of contacts and joint activities happening between the EU and UNODC.


31 January 2018: UNODC presented the first UN publication on: “Children Recruited and Exploited by terrorist and Violent Extremist Groups: the Role of the Justice System.

UNODC took part in the seminar “Child returnees: managing the return of European children from jihadist conflict zones” organized by the ALDE group at European Parliament. The seminar addressed key questions about the future of child returnees in Europe, tackling both security related challenges and reintegration issues. UNODC presented its contribution to the subject by introducing the first United Nations publication on: “Children Recruited and Exploited by terrorist and Violent Extremist Groups: the Role of the Justice System.” The UNODC Handbook analyses the implications of States’ responsibility to protect all children below 18 years of age, but also includes tailored strategies and measures to take into account the impact of violence of children as well as risks to public safety, and tailor policies and programmes accordingly. 

In the course of the past week, UNODC Justice Section and Terrorism Prevention Branch jointly met with multiple European stakeholders in Brussels, to present the new UNODC Handbook, as well as the broader work carried out in the framework of the project on Children Recruited and Exploited by Terrorist and Violent Extremist Groups. Such work, which builds on the combined mandates of UNODC in counter-terrorism and justice for children, is implemented in the framework of the Global Programme on Violence against Children. Its objective is to support national justice systems in fulfilling their duel role to ending impunity and ensuring accountability, while at the same time promoting and fulfilling children’s rights. UNODC met with EU Commission officials (DG HOME; DEVCO; DG NEAR), as well as with representatives of the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Commission on the Rights of the Child, and the Counter-Terrorism Department of OCAM, who recognized this issue as apriority within and beyond European countries.

  • Further information here
  • Live stream of the seminar organized by the ALDE Group at the EP


30 January 2018: EU-UNODC exchanges on corruption in sport 

IMAGE © DG EAC Mr Ronan O'Laoire, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer at UNODC Vienna, was invited by the EU's DG for Education and Culture (DG EAC) to attend the Erasmus+ Sport Info Day in Brussels. Significant risks of corruption and criminality have accompanied the dramatic evolution of sports over the last decade, resulting in activities designed to exploit sport for illicit and often illegal gain. As these threats have been identified and publicised, there is growing recognition that more efforts need to be undertaken and resources devoted to tackle them effectively. While many national initiatives are underway, there is also a realisation that many of the most profitable illicit and illegal activities involve a strong international dimension. The EU recognized the need to comprehensively address these risks when the international level co-sponsored resolution 7/8 on Corruption in Sport, by the Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption at its seventh session, held in Vienna in November 2017. UNODC is now actively working with the EU to find ways to implement the resolution. 


25 - 26 January 2018: Consultations with EU Member States on monitoring firearms flows to and from Europe

On 25 January in Brussels, UNODC’s Global Firearms Programme presented to EU member states its updated data collection and analysis methodology on the monitoring of illicit firearms trafficking flows. The meeting, organized by the EU Directorate-General Migration and Home Affairs (DG Home), was part of a series of regional workshops aimed at improving the evidenced based understating of global firearms flows. The meeting gathered more than thirty firearms experts from EU member states as well as representatives of EUROPOL, FRONTEX and the statistical office of the European Union EUROSTAT, and focused on the need to set up a permanent data collection system on global firearms trafficking routes. During the meeting, UNODC presented its updated methodology on data collection on illicit firearms trafficking as well as preliminary result of a pilot study it launched towards the end of 2017 to fine tune it. National experts were able to provide their feedback of the different data collection questionnaires and made relevant proposals to streamline information, particularly taking into account the need to standardise the systematic registration of firearms seizures, as well as the need to monitor and attain Sustainable Development Goal Target 16.4  which aims at “significantly reducing arms flows and combating all forms of organized crime”. Various experts also made particular emphasis on the need of developing an evidence-based intelligence picture that can contribute to the fight against illicit firearms trafficking to and from the EU. This was the third meeting of its kind organized by UNODC, it follows similar workshops with African and Latin American countries that altogether have gathered more than 60 Member States. These meetings are part of a EU funded project aimed at improving the monitoring of trafficking flows globally. 

On 26 January, UNODC’s Global Firearms Programme took part in the second meeting of EU and South East Europe Firearms Experts in Brussels, where it addressed its priorities for the fight on illicit firearms trafficking in the Western Balkans. Apart from its data collection initiatives, the Global Firearms Programme has recently increased its initiatives in the sub region through a series of capacity building activities as well as bringing together practitioners to ensure the appropriate criminal justice response to firearms trafficking.  

The UNODC team also held various meetings with different EU bodies in order to explore ways of strengthening cooperation in the fight against illicit trafficking flows and its links to organized crime and terrorism.  

  • The latest news on UNODC's Global Firearms Programme here
  • Follow the Global Firearms Programme on  


15 December 2017: Exchanges on Pakistan’s Action to Counter Terrorism (PACT) project

Mr. Cesar Guedes, Representative of the Country Office in Pakistan and Mr. Syed Arslan, Senior Programme Officer, undertook a mission to Brussels to brief the EEAS counterparts about the progress of Pakistan’s Action to Counter Terrorism (PACT) project which is being implemented in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.  

PACT is aiming to strengthen the capacities of the federal and provincial counter-terrorism and criminal justice institutions. Particular focus will be paid to the quality of the investigation, prosecution and adjudication phases of the criminal justice process for improving Governance and Rule of Law. The EU was satisfied with the progress of the project and showed keen interest in future cooperation.    

Stories from UNODC Pakistan


11 December 2017: EU - UNODC sign agreement to combat wildlife crime and trafficking of natural resources in Central Africa 

Press release originally published by UNODC Headquarters 

Libreville, 11 December - The European Union (EU) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have signed an agreement worth € 6.1 million to address wildlife and forest crime, and the illicit trafficking of natural resources in the Central African region. This signature seals the first partnership of its kind between the EU and UNODC in the region. 

The four-year programme will be implemented by UNODC's Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime in close collaboration with its Regional Office for West and Central Africa. The programme primarily aims to strengthen the national and regional capacities of law enforcement officers, prosecutors and the judiciary in the 10 countries of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). 

The programme seeks to strengthen cooperation among Member States to combat wildlife, forest crime and illicit trafficking in natural resources, and to significantly increase the national capacity of beneficiary countries to address corruption and money laundering that facilitate such crimes. For the first time, the programme addresses illicit minerals trafficking in selected areas in Central Africa. 

Closely aligned with the EU's 2016 'Action Plan to Combat Wildlife Trafficking', the programme supports the implementation of the bloc's 2014-2020 Regional Indicative Program for Central Africa, which was adopted in June 2015 and focuses on improving the management of natural resources in ECCAS Member States. 

UNODC will collaborate with the ECCAS Secretariat and its Member States, national institutions, as well as non-governmental organizations, including TRAFFIC, the Eagle network, the ASPINALL Foundation and the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) in the implementation of activities. More here.       

European Union:



7 December 2017: Fifth Conference on Rule of Law of the Ministers of Justice of Central Asia and the European Union Rule of Law Initiative for Central Asia

Mr. Alexandre Schmidt, the Chief of the Regional Section for Europe, West & Central Asia at UNODC Vienna, undertook a mission to Brussels to attend the Fifth Conference on Rule of Law of the Ministers of Justice of Central Asia and the European Union Rule of Law Initiative for Central Asia. The Rule of Law Initiative was launched in November 2008 and is a key element of the EU Strategy for Central Asia. UNODC’s programme for Central Asia is actively supporting the national efforts undertaken to further build Rule of Law capacities. 

The mission also provided the opportunity to follow up on the agreement with DG NEAR within the Integrative Internal Security Governance for the Western Balkans (IISG) framework.

The latest news on UNODC's Regional Office for Central Asia here


7 December 2017: Exchanges on the fight against corruption

Picture © UNODCMs Yujing Yue, from the Corruption and Economic Crimes Branch at UNODC in Vienna, participated in a panel hosted by the Belgian Ministry of Economy on “SMEs against corruption & policy making.” The panel was part of a half day event organized by the Ministry on the occasion of the International Anti-Corruption Day (celebrated annually on 9 December), titled “Supporting SMEs Against Corruption.” Panellists discussed the work of organizations such as UNODC, the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the International Chamber of Commerce in supporting small and medium sized enterprises in the fight against corruption, and highlighted experiences by Belgian SME Schréder. 


5 December 2017: European Union Invests 30m Euro to Counter the Illegal killing and Trafficking of Wildlife in Southern, Eastern Africa and the Indian Ocean 

Joint press release originally published by the EEAS and CITES

Picture EEAS © Nairobi, Kenya: As part of a 30m Euro intervention, the EU today signed a € 17.2 million agreement with three UN institutions working jointly to reduce the illegal killing of wildlife and the trafficking of wildlife products throughout Eastern and Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean. The new ‘cross-regional wildlife programme’ will focus its activities in the regions’ most important protected areas, national transit points, and in some of Africa’s most important transboundary ecosystems. 

After signing the agreement at the United Nations Headquarters in Africa, Mr. Stefano A. Dejak, the European Union ambassador to Kenya said ‘"Illegal killing and trafficking of wildlife now runs into billions of dollars. To combat it, we need find new ways to work together more effectively. This new initiative brings together the European Union and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, as well as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and the Convention on Migratory Species. The aim is to build on our various strengths and experiences in protecting wildlife across borders." 

The new project aims at tackling the illegal killing of wildlife and the trafficking of wildlife products at three levels:

  • CITES, through its MIKE Programme, will lead the implementation of activities to reduce the illegal killing of wildlife at a number of priority protected areas located in critical transboundary ecosystems throughout Eastern and Southern Africa;
  • At the national and regional level, UNODC will lead activities focused on reducing the international trafficking of wildlife products by strengthening and expanding their highly successful Container Control Programme,  improving criminal justice responses and enhancing capacities through the criminal justice chain under the Global Programme for Combatting Wildlife and Forest Crime;(*) and
  • At the regional level, activities under CMS will focus on developing and strengthening the governance and collaborative management mechanisms for some of the regions’ most important transboundary conservation areas. 

“The Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON), Ms. Sahle-Work Zewde, said “As we move rapidly towards 2030 - Providing technical assistance to Member States as they strive to achieve the bold targets of the sustainable development goals is a challenge of scale.  Goal 15 is no exception and the European Union, with its generous financial contribution, is helping ensure that the children of Africa will be able to witness the magnificent diversity its land has to offer.”

Mr. John Scanlon, Secretary General of CITES added that ‘CITES is delighted to continue its longstanding, positive relationship with the European Union. This new initiative enables us to enhance our current work and expand our support to those who are serving in the front-line to stop the illegal killing of Africa’s wildlife. It also strengthens the links between CITES and CMS, the world’s wildlife conventions, in a highly effective manner and draws upon the expertise of UNODC and our other ICCWC (International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime) partners.’

After the signature of the agreement, UNODC’s Regional Coordinator for the Container Control Programme and the Wildlife and Forest Crime programme, Mr. Javier Montano, said “the comprehensive approach of this programme, will certainly go a long way in bringing systemic change as well as enhancing the criminal justice responses to wildlife crime in the regions”.

Laura Cerasi, representing CMS on behalf of its Executive Secretary, Mr. Bradnee Chambers said ‘CMS looks forward to working with CITES and UNODC and others across Eastern and Southern Africa, to strengthen management in some of the continent’s most important transboundary conservation areas. This project significantly supports the delivery of the joint CITES and CMS work plan and the outcomes of CMS CoP 12 held in Manila last month.’

More on UNODC's component under the project: It builds upon the work under the Global Programme for Combatting Wildlife and Forest Crime aimed at enhancing preventive, investigative, and prosecutorial measures against wildlife crime. The regional wildlife law enforcement measures will build on the works of initiatives such as the UNODC/ICCWC Wildlife Forest Crime Analytic Toolkit, as well as the UNODC/WCO Container Control Programme (CCP) which focus on assisting governments to create sustainable enforcement structures in selected sea/dry ports and air cargo terminals in order to minimize the risk of maritime containers and air freight being exploited and used for trafficking of wildlife and forest products, illicit drug trafficking, transnational organized crime and other forms of illicit activity. 


23 - 24 November 2017: Experts meet to provide inputs to the development of the Handbook on Protection and Assistance to Migrants in Vulnerable Situations

Aimée Comrie and Eurídice Márquez, both Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officers from the Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Section at UNODC  in Vienna, participated in an Expert Group Meeting to discuss the development of a Handbook on Protection and Assistance to Migrants in Vulnerable Situations. IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in the framework of GLO.ACT, is developing the Handbook, which aims to further operationalize current protection mechanisms for migrants in vulnerable situations.


23 November 2017: UNODC presented its work under the FISHNET Global Programme and its fisheries crime approach at the EP

Picture © European ParliamentOn November 23, the European Parliament hosted a conference “Combating Transnational Organised Crime in the fishing industry: Global Challenges and International Cooperation”. The conference gathered policy-makers and stakeholders with the aim to follow-up on ongoing and new international programmes to combat fisheries crime also highlighting results and lessons learned so far. Concrete fisheries crime cases were presented as well as the work of the EU in terms of fight against IUU fishing as well as the need to improve inter-agency and international cooperation for better enforcement against crimes in the fisheries sector. While no international legal definition of Fisheries crime exists, such concept is used in this context to refer to a wide range of criminal offences (e.g. documentary fraud, tax evasion, money laundering, human trafficking, forced labour, organized criminality) along the fisheries value chain. UNODC presented its work under the FISHNET Global Programme and its fisheries crime approach. 

  • UNODC's presentation "Combating Transnational Organized Fisheries Crime: Global Challenges and International Cooperation".
  • More information on fisheries crime here


14-15 November 2017: 11th Steering Committee of AIRCOP- Airport Communication Project in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Middle East

AIRCOPRepresentatives from UNODC, Interpol and the World Customs Organisation met in Brussels on 14 and 15 November to discuss achievements and future activities of AIRCOP in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Middle East. The meeting was also attended by representatives of the European Union, the Cocaine Route Monitoring and Support Project (part of the EU-financed Cocaine Route Programme), and UNODC Container Control Programme

Discussions covered the progress made in establishing new Joint Airport Interdiction Task Forces, most recently in Burkina Faso, Jordan and Nigeria (Abuja), with a total of 20 operational task forces, 2 established and 5 under establishment. The participants also discussed the training and mentoring actions undertaken in 2017, the outcomes of the INTERPOL-led joint operation ADWENPA III and Europol-led Global Airport Action Days, the upcoming WCO-led joint operation COCAIR VI, new partnerships with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as well as recommendations and lessons learned. The Steering Committee agreed on the need to strengthen existing task forces to address emerging threats, including terrorism and amphetamines/methamphetamines and to expand the AIRCOP network as criminal networks adapt quickly and constantly move to airports where law enforcement measures might be weaker.

UNODC implements the global Airport Communication Project (AIRCOP) in partnership with Interpol and the World Customs Organization (WCO). Funded by the European Union, Canada, Japan, Norway and the USA, AIRCOP aims at building capacities in selected international airports for the detection and interdiction of illicit trafficking and high-risk passengers in origin, transit and destination countries, in terms of passengers, cargo and postal mail. More here


9 November 2017: Exchanges on drug use prevention, treatment and care

Gilberto Gerra, Chief of the Drug Prevention and Health Branch at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime was invited by the Council to the EU to address the Horizontal Working Party on Drugs (HDG), the EU working party responsible for the coordination of the EU antidrug policy. This provided an opportunity to brief the Working Group on UNODC’s work on drug use prevention, treatment and care, and in addition on the 2016 Special Session of the UN General Assembly on the world drug problem (UNGASS) outcomes. During his presentation, Mr Gerra stressed that the biggest achievement of the 2016 UNGASS on drugs was the recognition that drug dependence was a complex, multifactorial health disorder, and that the UN Drug Conventions did not impose conviction or punishment neither for possession of drugs for personal consumption nor for drug related crimes in cases of “minor nature”. Mr Gerra expressed that imprisoning people in such minor cases could lead to negative consequences, such as an increase overdose risk, prison overcrowding and many other consequences. The expert elaborated on a variety of alternatives to imprisonment, clearly indicating that individuals with drug use disorders do not need to be criminally punished. Mr Gerra also informed the Working Group  about the preparation of the UNODC-WHO Handbook on the Treatment and Care of People with Drug Use Disorders in Contact with the Criminal Justice System: Alternatives to Conviction or Punishment.


8 - 9 November 2017: Exchanges with EU on Trafficking in Persons 

Mr Ilias Chatzis, Chief of UNODC's Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Section and Ms Kristiina Kangaspunta, Chief of UNODC's Crime Research Section, were invited by Ms Myria Vassiliadou, the EU Anti Trafficking Coordinator, to attend a joint DG HOME - DG DEVCO meeting to discuss the current state of affairs in relation to Trafficking in Persons (TiP) as well as EU and UNODC priorities. During the meeting, the EU colleagues expressed their strong commitment to the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons and their appreciation of UNODC's work, especially for the consistency in providing solid information about global trends through the 2016 UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons. It was stressed that addressing TiP for sexual exploitation is the EU's top priority. This will be reflected in the EU-UN Spotlight initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls which includes also issues on trafficking in women and girls. The mission was very successful and re-confirmed EU's strong support both at the policy and financing level. 

More on UNODC's work on human trafficking and migrant smuggling 


30 - 31 October 2017: EU - UNODC exchanges on achievements, trends and future cooperation perspectives in the Sahel, West and Central Africa

UNODC Regional Representative for West and Central Africa, Mr Pierre Lapaque, and the Deputy Regional Representative, Mrs Chantal Lacroix, met with the European Union partners in Brussels on 30 and 31 October to discuss achievements, trends and future cooperation perspectives between the EU and UNODC in the Sahel, West and Central Africa. Discussions revolved around new threats and trends in the implementation of the UNODC Regional Programme for West Africa 2016-2020 and the UNODC Sahel Programme, in particular in the areas of trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, terrorism prevention and strengthening the criminal justice chain. Collaboration between the UNODC Regional Office for West and Central Africa (ROSEN) and the EU centers on the support for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission in combatting drug trafficking, as well as support towards the Airport Communication Programme (AIRCOP) and the West African Coast Initiative (WACI). What is more, concrete discussions will also follow this ROSEN mission to Brussels to firm up collaboration in the area of maritime crime, as well as support to building capacity of the civilian component of the G5 Sahel’s Joint Force.

More information:  


17 October 2017: GLO.ACT marks EU Anti-Trafficking Day by giving a voice to victims

Originally published by GLO.ACT here

According to UNODC 2016 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, 79 percent of all detected trafficking victims are women and children. Tikirit was only 10 years old when she became a slave in Niger. Marcela was only 17 when she was trafficked for sexual exploitation from Colombia to Japan. Urmat, a little boy in the Kyrgyz Republic, was trafficked for forced begging while Sang was only 15 when she was trafficked from Laos to Thailand for domestic servitude. 

Poster UNODC / EESC © To mark the 11 th EU Anti Trafficking Day, GLO.ACT organized an exhibition entitled "Hear their voices. Act to protect."The exhibition and opening reception, hosted by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), featured testimonies of victims of human trafficking. The testimonies have been obtained from countries around the world. The idea to display the testimonies on life-sized cutouts originated from an anti-trafficking awareness raising campaign in the Kyrgyz Republic, one of GLO.ACT's target countries. 

For the European Union, the main objective of EU Anti Trafficking Day is to raise awareness on trafficking in human beings and increase the exchange of information, knowledge and best practices amongst the different actors working in this field. Opening the exhibition, Mr. Gonçalo Lobo Xavier, Vice-President in charge of Communication EESC said, "The EESC is delighted to be able to support efforts in raising awareness about human trafficking so that more action to combat this crime will be taken." 

Meanwhile, Mr. Jean-Louis Ville, DG DEVCO (Acting) Director, stated during his remarks that "A victim-centred approach is at the core of the European approach to addressing human trafficking". He went on to say that "GLO.ACT is our flagship project on human trafficking, tackling problems in all regions of the world". In her role as EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator, Ms. Myria Vassiliadou, gave an impassioned speech saying, "The exhibition is very important because it makes the invisible visible." However, she also reminded the audience that "we must also shine the spotlight on the perpetrators and that we cannot forget the profit element as a key driver of trafficking in human beings". Concluding the round of opening speeches, Mr. John Brandolino, Director, UNODC, referred to the testimonies saying, "Their stories are real stories. They speak to the suffering that these victims have endured, but also to their courage and resilience."

Hear their voices. Act to protect. It is simple message but one with substance. We must listen to the voices of victims so that we can better prevent human trafficking, improve and strengthen our response and, most importantly, meet our obligations to victims.  

Testimonies by victims of human trafficking from around the world 

GLO.ACT Special Edition Newsletter October 2017

For more information:

Follow GLO.ACT on Twitter: @glo_act


11 October 2017: Exchanges on the Western Balkans Integrative Internal Security Governance Initiative 

Mr Alexandre Schmidt, Chief of the UNODC Regional Section for Europe, West and Central Asia / Regional Representative for South Eastern Europe and Ms Katharina Kayser, Chief of the UNODC Independent Evaluation Unit - met in Brussels with the representatives of DG NEAR and other partners, to discuss the innovative partnership UNODC has entered into with the EU (in particular with DG NEAR) within the Western Balkans Integrative Internal Security Governance Initiative (WB IISG) which foresees capacity building activities in the area of anti-money laundering, counter-financing of terrorism, as well as formative evaluation of the effectiveness of the approaches of the EU and its partners in the Western Balkan region in order to further improve the delivery of assistance as well as complementarity of actions by different actors, within and outside the EU umbrella. The meeting was aimed to make the final review of the workplan prior to the technical launch of the WB IISG in Vienna on 1 December 2017.

More on UNODC's Independant Evaluation Unit (IEU)  and the latest news on UNODC's work in South Eastern Europe


5 - 6 October 2017: UNODC @ the EU 'Our Ocean' 2017 Conference in Malta

Photo © EEASThe EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella co-hosted the fourth edition of Our Ocean conference in Malta, with the aim to inspire joint solutions and ambitious commitments in managing seas and oceans. More than 40 ministers and other leaders from more than 100 countries across the globe and several top managers from international companies attended the meeting announcing substantial and concrete pledges. Public and private actors from 112 countries around the world made commitments worth over $7 billion. The resources will be invested to strengthen the fight against marine pollution and enlarge protected areas, reinforce security of the oceans, foster blue economy initiatives and sustainable fisheries and intensify E.U. efforts against climate change, in line with the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals under Agenda 2030.

Mr Fedotov, the UNODC Executive Director, was invited to participate in the Panel Session on Maritime Security at Sea and he delivered two commitments on Maritime Security and Fisheries on behalf of UNODC: first, on developing effective sea patrols and responses to counter drug trafficking, piracy and all forms of maritime crime using satellite imagery; and second, he said UNODC would help counter crimes along the fisheries value chain. The Executive Director also held a bilateral meeting with HR/VP Federica Mogherini to thank the EU for their substantial contribution to the Maritime Crime Programme over the years. 

More information on: 


14 September 2017: HAPPY 20th Anniversary 

20th Anniversary - UNODC Originally published by the UN News Centre.

Marking the twentieth anniversary of the establishment of UNODC, Secretary-General António Guterres underscored the importance of justice to prevent conflict, promote peace and security, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). "I am proud of the support UNODC provides to countries to tackle the interlinked problems of drugs, organized crime, terrorism and corruption," said Mr. Guterres in a video message at a special event to commemorate the agency's anniversary. In his message, the UN chief also applauded the work and commitment of the agency's staff and reaffirmed his support the UN agency. In a keynote address, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedetov said that the anniversary was an opportunity to reflect on the changes, acknowledge the challenges and renew UNODC's commitment to strengthen future cooperation. "We have come a long way in these past 20 years […] now we have conventions and instruments that have been ratified by nearly every country in the world," he said, noting important progress in fighting heinous crimes.  


14 - 15 September 2017: exchanges with the EU on UNODC Global Firearms Programme 

Ms Simonetta Grassi, Head of UNODC Global Firearms Programme met with representatives from DG HOME, DEVCO and EEAS in Brussels on separate occasions. The EU is one of the donors supporting the Programme. Ms Grassi briefed DG Home on the implementation of the project funded by them to support the global monitoring of illicit arms flows and enhance information exchange and cooperation among countries along the major trafficking routes from and into the EU, and its contribution to support the achievement of the SDG 16.4. She also discussed with DEVCO the continuation of the global programme and its expansion to South and Central America as well as Africa. Ms Grassi highlighted the importance of the fight against illegal manufacturing of firearms, illicit trafficking of firearms, and firearms-related criminality. She pointed out the connection of these issues with many other challenges faced by the international community, such as terrorism and drug trafficking. 

UNODC Global Firearms Programme was created to assist states in building adequate criminal justice systems to effectively respond to the challenges posed by organized criminality specifically related to trafficking in firearms its parts and components. Through the Global Firearms Programme, UNODC is assisting governments to address the issue of illegal manufacturing of and illicit trafficking of firearms, and firearms-related criminality through a holistic and multipronged approach based on five main pillars and cross-cutting issues.  

  • Legislative and policy development
  • Preventive and security measures
  • Criminal justice response
  • International cooperation and information exchange
  • Data collection and analysis

More on UNODC's Global Firearms Programme


14 September 2017: UNODC briefs COTER Member States on UNODC's Counter-Terrorism work

Mr Mauro Miedico, Chief a.i. of the UNODC Terrorism Prevention Branch (UNDC/TPB) attended the meeting of the Counter-Terrorism Working Group of the Council of the European Union (COTER) in Brussels on 14 September 2017. Mr Miedico briefed COTER on work of UNODC on terrorism prevention and thematic and regional priorities for upcoming technical assistance. The presentation highlighted the progress achieved in the implementation of the European Union funded contributions to UNODC, including (i) UNODC's five year initiative on Strengthening the Legal Regime against Terrorism for MENA and South Eastern European countries, (ii) UNODC-CTED's initiative on Effective Counter-Terrorism Investigations and Prosecutions while Respecting Human Rights and the Rule of Law in the Maghreb region, (iii) the Nigeria-EU-UNODC-CTED Partnership on Strengthening Criminal Justice Responses for Multidimensional Security and (iv) the Pakistan's action to counter terrorism with a special reference to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province (PACT).

As for thematic focus, UNODC, in line with Member States' priorities, is redoubling its efforts to provide support on criminal justice aspects of responding to the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters, especially travelling and returning fighters, the radicalization to violence and terrorist recruitment in prison settings, on the use of the information and communication technologies, such as the Internet and social media, by terrorists, as well as gender dimensions of criminal justice responses to terrorism, and children recruited or exploited by terrorist and violent extremist groups, to name just a few.

Strengthening the cross-border judicial and law enforcement cooperation in terrorism related matters remains TPB's top priority, and has been further enhanced following the adoption of resolution 2322 by the Security Council on 12 December 2016. As for the geographical priorities, technical assistance to countries in the MENA (especially Iraq and Libya), to the Sub-Saharan Africa (especially the Sahel and Nigeria), and Asia (with a focus on South and South-East Asia) is of first importance. Mr Miedico also acknowledged the excellent cooperation and collaboration TPB enjoys with the EU counterparts, as well as with the UN system entities in the framework of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, especially the newly established United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism. The meeting offered a platform to discuss the work of the UNODC and its national and regional counterterrorism efforts, especially those implemented with the partnership of the EU. 


4 - 12 September 2017: Exchanges on the Container Control Programme 

The Container Control Programme (CCP), jointly implemented by UNODC and the World Customs Organization (WCO), assists Governments to create sustainable enforcement structures in selected sea ports, dry ports and airports in order to minimize the risk of cargo containers being exploited for illicit activities, transnational organized crime and other forms of black market activity. Through securing port facilities and international best practices, the Programme also aims to facilitate legitimate trade and state revenues. Dedicated inter-agency port control units, comprising customs and other relevant law enforcement officers, are created at selected locations. The staff of the inter-agency port control units are trained and equipped to identify and inspect high-risk freight containers with minimum disruption to legitimate trade and business. The Programme is operational in Panama, Guatemala, Ecuador, Paraguay, Surinam, Guyana, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Argentina, Brasil, Perú, El Salvador, Honduras and Cuba. 

After having successfully completed the initial training phase a work study tour to a benchmarking port is arranged for newly trained participants (operational members) of each Port Control Unit. Identification of the study tour location is done by UNODC in consultation with the WCO and the Port Control Unit. This study visit provides selected Port Control Unit officers with the unique opportunity to learn first-hand from experienced law enforcement officials and discover different working techniques to compare with their home port. It enables them to acquire new skills and experiences which they can apply in their home countries and to build useful professional links for future cooperation. In this sense the regional coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean, Mr Bob Van den Berghe and Port Control Unit officers from Suriname, Guyana, Ecuador and Dominican Republic participated in a study visit to the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp. Mr Bob Van den Berghe and his colleague Mr Norbert Steilen form the WCO also met with representatives of the EEAS and with DG HOME to exchange on the CCP. 


30 - 31 July 2017: First Giving Day to #EndHumanTrafficking 

UNTF folderOn World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for the victims of Trafficking in Persons has launched, in partnership with the crowd funding platform Charidy, the first annual Giving Day to End Human Trafficking with the ambition to collect USD 50,000 in 24 hours. Thanks to the many partners, supporters and donors, the fundraising campaign picked up an amazing buzz on social media channels and became a success story since the initiative reached its fundraising goal within one day ! Thanks to the generosity and commitment of the many donors, the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for the victims of Trafficking in Persons, managed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, can continue to provide direct protection and assistance to victims of trafficking worldwide. It has so far provided USD 2 million to 34 NGO projects in 30 countries, assisting an average of 2,500 victims per year. More on the Trust Fund here.  


30 July 2017: World Day against Trafficking in Persons: 'Act now' to help and protect trafficking victimsOriginally published by the UN News Centre

Blue Heart logo Criminal groups feed off the instability created by conflicts, and as links between wars, trafficking and migrant smuggling become more widely known, the United Nations is calling on the international community to act now to help and protect trafficking victims and to end this crime forever. "Conflict is a breeding ground for criminal activity," said Yury Fedotov, UNODC Executive Director. "People forced from their homes are falling prey to human traffickers as they try desperately to escape the violence." 

In Syria, for example, women and children there were less likely to be trafficked before 2011, according to the latest UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons. "Since the start of the Syrian crisis, however, an increasing number of countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East have detected trafficking victims from this country," Mr. Fedotov said.

"As evidence grows of conflict's ability to nourish crime, the international community is increasingly recognizing the need to confront people's vulnerability to trafficking during conflicts," Mr. Fedotov said, recalling that in 2016, UN Security Council passed its first-ever resolution on this issue, and last year's New York Declaration calls for the need to vigorously combat human trafficking and migrant smuggling, as well as provide support and assistance under the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

His comments come on the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, which is being held this year under the theme of "Let's act now to protect and assist trafficking victims." In line with this year's theme, the UN is promoting the Trust Fund for trafficking victims, as well as the Blue Heart Campaign, which is being adopted across the world. "Resources, well-supported advocacy, cooperation under international law, and action on the ground are the starting points for tackling this dehumanizing crime that shames everyone," said Mr. Fedotov. More here


19 July 2017: Exchanges on Counter Terrorism Projects in the MENA region

The UNODC Terrorism Prevention Branch attended the event “Enhancing a coordinated implementation of EU-funded Counter Terrorism projects in the MENA Region” convened by DG DEVCO and DG NEAR. The meeting mostly focused on the "PURSUE" pillar of the EU Counter Terrorism Strategy, i.e. "to pursue and investigate terrorists across our borders and globally, to impede planning, travel, communications, to disrupt support networks, to cut off funding and access to attack materials, and bring terrorists to justice". This event provided an opportunity to reflect on the work done and ahead by UNODC and different stakeholders in addressing challenges of Counter Terrorism in the MENA region from a practitioners’ perspective. 


19 July 2017: Mid-term review of the European Agenda on Migration 

Ms Morgane Nicot, Crime Prevention and Criminal justice Officer, was invited to represent UNODC at the consultative meeting for the mid-term review of the European Agenda on Migration, chaired by DG HOME in Brussels. The meeting gathered representatives from key partners, including NGOs, international organisations, academia and think tanks.

The European Agenda on Migration was adopted by the European Commission in 2015 and is articulates around 4 pillars: (1) reducing the incentives for irregular migration, (2) border management – saving lives and securing external borders, (3) Europe’s duty to protect: a strong common asylum policy, (4) a new policy on legal migration. All pillars were discussed concurrently during the consultative meeting. 

Learn more about:

- The European Agenda on Migration

- UNODC's work on Migrant Smuggling 


18 July 2017: Report on Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa's counter terrorism response launched under a EU-funded programme

Photo © UNODC PakistanUnderstanding the Counter Terrorism Response - Case Analysis of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Report was launched by UNODC in collaboration with the Home and Tribal Affairs Department of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and NACTA under a European Union funded programme. The report was completed under the auspice  of 'Pakistan's Action to Counter Terrorism with a special reference to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa' project, which is supported by the European Union and aims to build national capacities of law enforcement and criminal justice agencies in effectively countering terrorism. More here

During the launch, HE Jean-François Cautain, Ambassador of the European Union to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, stated that security is an important topic in the EU-Pakistan cooperation. The Ambassador emphasised that the report launched today is the first step in implementation of 7 million euros counter terrorism project funded by the EU, and it highlights the issues that may be overcome and lead to success in fighting terrorism only by close cooperation of all criminal justice institutions in the country. 


27 June 2017: Trafficking of Persons and Smuggling of Migrants within and from the Horn of Africa

Mr Johan Kruger, Head of Transnational Organized Crime and Terrorism Programmes at the Regional Office for Eastern Africa located in Kenya, recently attended the 6th Steering Committee meeting of the Better Migration Management (BMM) programme hosted by the GIZ Brussels Representation in Brussels. The BMM programme, financed by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and co-financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), has at its overall objective to improve migration management in the region, and in particular to address the Trafficking of Persons and Smuggling of Migrants within and from the Horn of Africa - especially Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South-Sudan and Sudan. 

UNODC - through the Regional Office for Eastern Africa and the Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa - will, as one of the implementing partners of the programme, be responsible for coordinating implementation of key components of the project: Coordinating implementation of activities related to regional policy and legislative harmonization, especially the incorporation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants; and coordinating capacity building activities related to improved victim-centred law enforcement and prosecution responses to Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants.


26 June 2017: International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

Elyx by YAKOn Monday 26 June 2017, we observed the International Day against Drugs to raise awareness about the impact of drug abuse and illicit trafficking of drugs. This year we asked everyone to Listen First: Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe. 'Listen First' is an initiative to increase support for the prevention of drug use that is based on science and is an effective investment in the well-being of children and youth, their families and their communities. 

In his message on World Drug Day, the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres said “Together, we must honour the unanimous commitments made to reduce drug abuse, illicit trafficking and the harm that drugs cause, and to ensure that our approach promotes equality, human rights, sustainable development, and greater peace and security”.  You can read his full statement here.

Executive Director, Mr Yury Fedotov states that "UNODC, on this day, remains committed to peacefully and effectively addressing the challenge of illicit drugs based on the international drug control conventions, and their key principle of protecting the health and welfare of humankind". You can read his full statement here.

More information on the campaign is available on the UNODC website.  


22 June 2017: The World Drug Report 2017 marks twenty years of our flagship publication

Photo © UNODC The 2017 World Drug Report was launched on 22 June. This marks twenty years of UNODC’s flagship publication and comes at a time when the international community has decided to move forward with joint action.  It provides a global overview of the supply and demand of opiates, cocaine, cannabis, amphetamine-type stimulants and new psychoactive substances (NPS), as well as their impact on health. It highlights the scientific evidence for hepatitis C causing greatest harm among people who use drugs; and brings into view further diversification of the thriving drug market, as well as changing business models for drug trafficking and organized crime. According to the report, in 2015 about a quarter of a billion people used drugs. Of these, around 29.5 million people - or 0.6 per cent of the global adult population - were engaged in problematic use and suffered from drug use disorders, including dependence. Opioids were the most harmful drug type. Disorders related to the use of amphetamines also account for a considerable share of the global burden of disease. And while the market for new psychoactive substances (NPS) is still relatively small, users are unaware of the content and dosage of psychoactive substances in some NPS. This potentially exposes users to additional serious health risks.  The Report finds that hepatitis C is causing the greatest harm among the estimated 12 million people who inject drugs worldwide. 

At the launch of the Report,  UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, remarked that "Globally, as few as one in six people in need have access to drug treatment. We are still far from meeting target 3.5 of the Sustainable Development Goals to strengthen prevention and treatment of substance abuse, and we must scale up our efforts to see tangible progress". Full statement here.

The World Drug Report and further content is available here


21 June 2017: UNODC World Drug Report 2017 presented at the Council of the European Union

Ms Angela Me, the Chief of the UNODC Research and Trend Analysis Branch, was invited by the Horizontal Working Party on Drugs (responsible for leading and managing the Council's work on drugs) to present UNODC's World Drug Report. The presentation highlighted the use of opioids as remaining the main cause of harm to health with new trends showing an increased global opium production and a more diversified opioid market; the limited access to hepatitis C treatment for the 6.1 ml of persons injecting drugs suffering with hepatitis C; an overall expansion of the market for cocaine worldwide; the continuing expansion of the ATS markets and the increased number of new psychoactive substance found in the market; the emerging of an alternative branch of the “Balkan route” to deliver Afghan heroin to Europe through the Caucasus; and the still small but fast growing role of the darknet in drug markets. The presentation also focused on the special topic of the 2017 Report: the links between drugs, corruption, illicit financial flows, organized crime and terrorism. Key issues presented included:  the role of drug trafficking for organized crime groups which remains between one third to one fifth of the overall groups profits despite a growing diversification of their illicit markets portfolio;  the proportion of drug profits which may be laundered reach 60-70% of global drug proceeds, with a third of drug proceeds probably resulting in illicit financial flows; the evidence of the linkage between drugs and terrorism is striking in Afghanistan where the Taliban controls up to 85 of the territory with opium poppy cultivation and obtain about half of its income from drug production and trafficking.  

The discussion following the presentation emphasised the relevance of the World Drug Report's findings for countries of the European Union and the soon to be adopted EU Action Plan on Drugs (2017 - 2020) which addresses the threats described in the special focus of the report such as the links between drugs, terrorism and illicit financial flows.   


20 - 21 June 2017: UNODC work on Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling promoted with the EU Anti-trafficking Co-ordinator at the EC, and at a High-Level Conference on Migration hosted by the EP

Photo © UNODC BrusselsOn 20 June 2017, Mr Ilias Chatzis, Chief of the Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Section, met with Ms Myria Vassiliadou, EU Anti-trafficking Co-ordinator, and her team, prior to co-chairing a briefing to the European Commission that she had conveyed to promote UNODC's work on human trafficking and migrant smuggling. Mr Chatzis, together with the Misses Silke Albert and Morgane Nicot, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Experts, updated Commission experts on UNODC's involvement in the latest normative developments (such as the preparation of a Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and the UN Security Council resolution on Human Trafficking in Conflict), on its policy work (such as the Case digest and the Issue Paper on Profit) and on the technical assistance provided to support States implement the Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants Protocols. On 21 June, Mr Chatzis also addressed a High Level Conference on Migration Management, hosted by the European Parliament, intervening in round tables on Managing Asylum and Migration (introduced by Mr Avramopoulos, European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship) and on Strengthening the EU's Internal Security (introduced by Mr King, European Commissioner for Security Union). 

More information:

- Case Digest: Evidential Issues in Trafficking in Persons Cases

- Issue Paper on Profit: The Concept of “Financial or Other Material Benefit” in the Smuggling of Migrants Protocol


19 - 20 June 2017: exchanges on returning foreign terrorist fighters 

Ms Solongo Dolgor, Officer-in-Charge of the Implementation Support Section 1 (Asia, the Pacific and Europe) of UNODC’s Terrorism Prevention Branch, attended a conference on responses to returning foreign terrorist fighters and their families. The event, organised by the EU Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN), and hosted by DG HOME, brought together practitioners, experts and policy makers to share their experiences and insights. Among the topics discussed were local strategies for countering violent extremism, reintegration approaches for non-convicted returnees, and support to families of returnees. Also, as part of the conference, a new RAN manual on Responses to Returnees was presented, drawing on the experience of the aforementioned practitioners. As part of her mission, Ms Dolgor also met with representatives from the EEAS and DG DEVCO on separate occasions. She discussed with them the pressing issue of returning foreign terrorist fighters in Central Asia and potential responses, as well as work the Terrorism Prevention Branch does in the region. 

 - News and events from UNODC's Terrorism Prevention Branch


13 June 2017: the GLO.ACT coordination team provides important project update to European Union in Brussels

Photo © UNODC BrusselsMs Margaret Akullo, Project Coordinator for GLO.ACT and Ms Aimée Comrie, UNODC Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer and policy lead for GLO.ACT, provided representatives of DG DEVCO with a detailed overview on the Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT). During the meeting, Ms Akullo and Ms Comrie presented updated project implementation plans, provided insights into each of the target countries’ progress to date and answered questions asked by the delegation.

GLO.ACT is a four-year (2015-2019), €11 million joint initiative by the European Union and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The project is being implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children's Fund  (UNICEF), and reaches thirteen countries across Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America.

GLO.ACT website
Twitter: @glo_act


7 and 8 June: The United Nations at the European Development Days (#EDD17)

Organised by the European Commission, the European Development Days (EDD) is Europe’s leading forum on development since 2006. The development community comes together every year to share ideas and experiences in ways that inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. This year’s edition took place on 7-8 June, 2017.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals stand at the European Development Days included a wide range of exciting and innovative features such as the #SDGstudio, virtual reality films, touch-screens showcasing data visualizations and polling mechanisms on the SDGs, and a selfie photobooth to invite visitors to show their commitment and take action on the Goals. 

- More on the #EDD17 and the UN stand


6 June 2017: #Voices4Development concert

Photo © Belgian MOFAOn the eve of the European Development Days on June 7 and 8, the most important European forum on international development, a pre event was organized: the #Voices4development event organized by the Belgian Development Cooperation and the European Commission. The event, under the Patronage of Her Majesty the Queen of the Belgians, included keynote addresses on the Sustainable Development Goals by high-level officials such as Queen Mathilde (SDG advocate), Belgian Deputy prime minister and minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo, Commissioner Karmenu Vella, UN Assistant Secretary-General Thomas Gass, Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg (SDG advocate), and the EDD youth activists. All shared their views for achieving the universal and transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and sustaining peace. 

Photo © UNODC BrusselsBelgian Deputy prime minister De Croo also moderated an inspiring and dynamic panel discussion with five SDG Advocates: Leymah Gbowee (Director, Gbowee Peace Foundation and Nobel Peace prize laureate), Jeffrey Sachs (Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University), Alaa Murabit (Doctor, the Voice of Libyan Women), Paul Polman (CEO Unilever) and Muhammad Yunus (Founder Grameen Bank Bangladesh and Nobel Peace prize laureate). This diverse group of Advocates shared their ideas and ways to promote the SDG implementation, and their experiences as agents of peace and development. They all underlined the importance of new and innovative partnerships in this challenging development agenda, and the important role the private sector has to take on in global development. It was also highlighted that women and youth must be empowered to shape the political and economic lives of their countries and communities. 

The event included musical sessions by the Belgian artist and UNODC Goodwill Ambassador against human trafficking, Ozark Henry. For more information, check our Goodwill Ambassador page


2 June 2017: Spain becomes first country in Europe to adopt UNODC's #DeadlyBusiness campaign

Led by the Director-General of the Spanish National Police, Spain formalized yesterday its adoption of UNODC's #DeadlyBusiness campaign to raise awareness on the crime of smuggling of migrants and its associated risks, becoming the first European country to join the initiative. Being a European Union funded project, the European Commission Representation in Spain hosted the event. The campaign first took off in 2015 when Mexico became the first country in the world to adopt the #DeadlyBusiness initiative. Ever since, the campaign has gained support in many parts of the world.  During his opening remarks, Aldo Lale-Demoz, UNODC Director of the Division for Operations and Deputy Executive Director, highlighted that #DeadlyBusiness aims to reach three different audiences: law enforcement authorities, who must be sensitized to the human rights of migrants; potential migrants, who must have information on the risks of contracting the services of smugglers by land, sea and air; and the media, who plays a central role in bringing this information to migrant communities of origin and transit. During the presentation of the campaign tools, Felipe De La Torre, UNODC Programme Management Officer, said that "because of its universal language, #DeadlyBusiness is easily adaptable to the context of those countries where the prevention of this crime, as it happens in Spain, is a priority." 

- The launch event in Spain

- Migrant smuggling, a deadly business 

- #negociomortal  


30 - 31 May 2017: Exchanges on the challenges of fighting terrorism and serious crime

Ms Elena Rigacci Hay, Chief a.i. of the Implementation Support Section III of UNODC's Terrorism Prevention Branch in Vienna, and colleague Mr Ali Younes, Regional Counter Terrorism Advisor from UNODC's Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa, based in Cairo, came to Brussels to attend two separate events and to hold bilateral meetings with EU counterparts. The team, participated in the Global Counterterrorism Forum Workshop on "Soft Target Protection", hosted by the European Commission. And Ms. Rigacci Hay also participated in a hearing on the "Current challenges of fighting terrorism and serious crime", hosted by the Chair of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs of the European Parliament.  

- UNODC's work on terrorism prevention


30 May - 1 June 2017: Exchanges on cybercrime 

Photo © UNODC BrusselsThe Cybercrime Project Coordinator from the UNODC Global Programme on Cybercrime, Mr Alexandru Caciuloiu, attended the 2nd annual meeting of the Global Forum on Cybercrime Expertise, hosted by the European Union. Mr Caciuloiu presented UNODC's regional cybercrime capacity building initiative for Southeast Asia with an emphasis of the best practices, challenges faced, and the added value of the programme to the GFCE, and he held relevant bilateral discussions with current and potential donors, as well as with private industry regarding potential collaboration.

- UNODC's work to combat and prevent cybercrime in the region

- UNODC's work againt cybercrime





18 May 2017: Exchanges on the Container Control Programme

The regional coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean from the Regional Programme Office in Panama, Mr. Bob Van den Berghe, came to Brussels and held meetings with representatives from the European External Actions Service (EEAS) and the European Commission (DG HOME) to exchange on the Container Control Programme (CCP).

A short briefing on the Container Control Programme: The Programme is jointly implemented by UNODC and the World Customs Organization (WCO), for the purpose of assisting Governments to create sustainable enforcement structures in selected sea ports, dry ports and airports in order to minimize the risk of cargo containers being exploited for illicit activities, transnational organized crime and other forms of black market activity. Through securing port facilities and international best practices, the Programme also aims to facilitate legitimate trade and state revenues.

Dedicated inter-agency port control units, comprising customs and other relevant law enforcement officers, are created at selected locations. The staff of the inter-agency port control units are trained and equipped to identify and inspect high-risk freight containers with minimum disruption to legitimate trade and business. Cooperation and teamwork based upon integrity, mutual trust and understanding form the foundation of the Programme. Its success will ultimately depend upon the extent to which different law enforcement agencies are prepared to dismantle traditional areas of rivalry and mistrust, pool relevant information and work together in targeting organized crime groups that use shipping containers for illicit activities.

The Programme is operational in the following countries in the LAC region: Panama, Guatemala, Ecuador, Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, El Salvador, Surinam, Guyana, Dominican Republic and Jamaica. In the very near future the Programme will be expanding to additional countries: Honduras, Cuba and Costa Rica.
Last year the Units seized approximately 36 tons of cocaine, 47 containers where infringements of Intellectual Property Rights were detected. Cases of precursors, guns and ammunition, protected flora and fauna, tax fraud, non-declared money and false medicines were part of the results of the Joint Port Control Units (JPCU) profiling and inspections. The Port Control Units are communicating, exchanging information and cooperating with non CCP countries such as Europe, USA, Mexico, Colombia and Canada on a regular basis and this certainly contributes to the successes.

In 2015 the CCP launched its Women's Network at a global level to encourage equal participation of women in the Port Control Units and to raise awareness of gender issues. In Latin America 17% of Port Control Unit staff are women. In Cuba, we expect the future Unit to be 100% women. 

CCP is also looking for the possibility of establishing a regional CCP training center within the premises of the International Maritime University of Panama. The project is designed to enhance technical and practical training on maritime security through the Container Control Programme within the Latin American region from a capacity building approach. This initiative will be implemented in close collaboration with the relevant law enforcement authorities and representatives from academic fields and the private sector. UNODC will work closely with national counterparts.

In addition, UNODC and WCO will secure the continued support of ICPO/Interpol, the WCO Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO) network, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNEP) and other international bodies to arrange training in specialist areas including the trafficking in endangered species, counterfeit goods, and hazardous or nuclear material. 

For the CCP Air Cargo Control Programme (ACCU), cooperation with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is of particular importance.

Steps will be taken to ensure coordination with bilateral donors and international organizations to avoid any duplication of effort. UNODC will also consult with other UNODC Country and Regional Offices and Vienna Headquarters to ensure coordination and to maximize the impact of project activities. 


- The World Customs Organization 

- The CCP Annual Report 2016

- The UNODC-WCO Global Container Programme

- UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme - video

The Regional Programme Office in Panama


10 May 2017: Exchanges on the DemandAt project - Demand-side measures against trafficking  

Ms Kristiina Kangaspunta, the Chief of the UNODC Crime Research Section, came to Brussels to attend the DemandAT Final Conference. As a member of the Advisory Board of the project she moderated the panel on "Repressing or discouraging demand" which focused on criminal sanctions and complementary or alternative strategies to change certain types of behaviour and their consequences. The final DemandAT conference brought together researchers from the project consortium, NGOs, policy makers, representatives of international organisations and academics. The conference critically examined the potential and the limits of demand-side approaches. 

The DemandAT project from 1 January 2014 to 30 June 2017: In 2014, a research project "Demand-side measures against trafficking" was launched. It is funded under the EU’s 7th framework programme and it involves a multidisciplinary team from seven European countries. The aim of the project is to examine demand-side approaches in the context of trafficking in persons in different perspectives. The study maps policy debates and implemented policies through in-depth studies of particular fields (domestic work, supply chains, sex work) and approaches (law enforcement, campaigns). 

- The DemandAt project 


5 May 2017: Exchanges on the implementation of the ICCWC Strategic Programme 2016-2020

Mr Jorge Rios, Chief of the UNODC Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime met with representatives of DG DEVCO in Brussels. The meeting was attended by representatives from each of the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) partner organisations and provided an opportunity to discuss the implementation of the ICCWC Strategic Programme 2016-2020, which the European Commission has generously pledged to support. Over the course of the afternoon, representatives explored how implementation of the ICCWC Strategic Programme will complement existing and ongoing EC-funded projects at both regional and country level, with an emphasis on those locations prioritised in the EU IWT Action Plan. DG DEVCO were particularly interested in how the ICCWC Wildlife and Forest Crime Analytic Toolkit can be widely implemented in order to provide an evidence base for the design of wildlife crime responses. UNODC looks forward to working with the EC and ICCWC partners to further refine plans for technical assistance in this important area of work. 

- the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC)

- the ICCWC Strategic Programme 2016-2020


28 April 2017: Proposed EU-UNODC Cooperation on Integrity in Sport

Sport is under threat. This is the seemingly obvious conclusion that many have come to when faced with the endless media cycle of scandals and cases involving sport and its governing bodies. Indeed, the nature of recent stories, often involving allegations of endemic corruption, involvement of organized crime, systemic cheating, and evidence of officials seemingly acting with impunity, can make for depressing reading. It is also a conclusion reached by the EU Expert Group on match-fixing, which identified the threat from organized crime groups based in and operating from inside and outside the EU (e.g. South East Asia) as being particularly noteworthy. Very recently, UNODC has supported a number of initiatives and processes which are helping to drive forward the momentum to strengthen sport integrity, namely the United Kingdom’s Anti-corruption Summit, held in May 2016, the 2nd International Forum for Sport Integrity, held in February 2017, the ongoing discussions of the G20’s Anti-corruption working Group and the upcoming Sixth International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sport, to be held in Kazan, Russian Federation in July 2017.

Building on this, and linked to applicable international legal instruments, (such as the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime) UNODC discussed a proposal with the Commission to enhance abilities of relevant criminal justice agencies and stakeholders, in the Asia-Pacific region, to investigate match-fixing and develop strategies to prevent corruption in major sporting events. The highly constructive discussions focused on two main areas of possible cooperation: namely (1) the fight against match-fixing, and (2) preventing corruption and the threat posed by organized crime in sports events.

Guides and training materials developed by UNODC: 

- Resource Guide on Good Practices in the Investigation of Match-Fixing 

- A Strategy for Safeguarding against Corruption in Major Public Event


20 - 21 April 2017: Exchanges on migrant smuggling, trafficking in persons, terrorism and border control in the MENA region

© UNODC BrusselsA delegation from the UNODC Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa came to Brussels to discuss the latest developments in the MENA region pertaining to migrant smuggling, trafficking in persons, terrorism and border control. The visit included, for the first time, direct exchanges with the Justice and Home Affaires Directorate of the Council of the European Union. Other meetings took place with DG NEAR and the EEAS. 

- UNODC stories from the Middle East and North Africa



6 April 2017: Exchange on Cybercrime

Chief of the UNODC Organised Crime and Illicit Trafficking Branch, Ms Loide LUNGAMENI, and the Chief of the UNODC Global Programme on Cybercrime, Mr. Neil Walsh, held fruitful discussions with the European Commission regarding future counter-cybercrime cooperation. Speaking after the meeting, Mr Walsh said "It was exceptionally worthwhile to have time today with our partners in the European Commission to update them on the successes of the UNODC Global Programme on Cybercrime, in particular our work in Central America, MENA and Southeast Asia. Cybercrime in particular knows no borders and there has never been a stronger need for cross-organization capacity-building cohesion. My team have a world class skill-set in countering transnational cybercrime: from cyber-dependent BotNet disruption, cyber-enabled darknet firearms supply through to the most pernicious of online child sexual exploitation and abuse. We already have close working arrangements with European partners, particularly Europol and the European Cyber Crime Centre (EC3), and I am confident that, with the Commission, we can build a close, supportive, mutually beneficial working relationship which helps to build capacity to counter cybercrime in the most challenging parts of the world."

You can learn more about the Global Programme on Cybercrime by following  and 

- UNODC's response in the fight against cybercrime


27 - 31 March 2017: UNODC-WCO exchanges on the Global Container Control Programme

 © UNODC BrusselsThe World Customs Organisation (WCO) held its 36th Annual Enforcement Committee Meeting at its Brussels HQs. UNODC Representative, Ms. Yatta Dakowah attended the Opening Day of the Meeting and held a side discussion with Mr. Ketil Ottersen, UNODC Senior Programme Coordinator of the Global Container Control Programme on the expansion of the project into the Pacific Islands, the Gambia and Uruguay - all of interest to the European Union, both in terms of developing economic connectivity and at the same time preventing illicit trade entering the Union. The Global Container Control Programme briefed Heads of Customs Enforcement from across the world on the impressive results of the Programme during 2016. An information booth was set-up to further inform participants on the benefits of pre-arrival profiling for illicit trade in the containerised supply chain and interaction with this flag-ship UNODC Programme. 

- UNODC - WCO Global Container Control Programme 


20 - 24 March 2017: Visit of the European Port of Rotterdam to observe Port procedures and best practices for potential implementation in Thailand

 © UNODC BrusselsUnder the framework of the UNODC-WCO Global Container Control Programme, a group of Senior Managers from the Thai Port of Laem Chabang visited the European Port of Rotterdam to observe Port procedures and best practices for potential implementation back in Thailand. Rotterdam is the main gateway to the European Union with regard to containerised sea-freight, handling approximately 30% of total European imports. Asia is an important trading and economic partner for the EU but with high volumes of licit trade comes the opportunity for transnational organised crime groups to conceal illicit trade in the hope it will go undetected. Significantly, Asia produces large quantities of drugs and counterfeit goods that target European markets, and greater cooperation between European and Asian ports can assist to stem this illicit flow. Asia is also a manufacturing base for industrial equipment and chemicals that can have dual-use in legitimate commerce and as well military application. Enhanced container profiling skills can assist, detect, deter, prevent and combat the trafficking of such strategic trade or weapons of mass destruction and safeguard that they do not fall into the hands of terrorists or other non-state actors. 

The Global Container Control Programme seeks to build capacity to identify high-risk containerised consignments for selection and examination thereby detecting illicit trade, preventing terrorism  and disrupting transnational  organised crime. The Programme in SE Asia commenced in 2014 and hopes to attract further support from the European Union in the months ahead as it expands operations across SE Asia and into the Pacific Islands.


9 - 10 March 2017: Exchanges on Afghanistan and Central Asia

© UNODC BrusselsMr Andrey Avetisyan, UNODC Regional Representative for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries and Special Adviser to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Counter-Narcotics and Ms Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia, came to Brussels to brief the NATO Deputies Committee Meeting on the narcotics situation in Afghanistan and on the NATO - UNODC Partnership for Counter Narcotics Training in Central Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The meeting was hosted by Mr James Appathurai, NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy. Both Representatives seized the opportunity to meet counterparts from the EEAS (ASIAPAC and EURCA) and DG DEVCO (Central Asia - South East Asia) for exchanges on Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries, and they briefed an EP hearing on Afghanistan hosted by the Chair of the Afghanistan Delegation.

- Presentation: Narcotics situation in Afghanistan

- Presentation: NATO - UNODC Partnership for Counter Narcotics Training in Central Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan

- Afghanistan Opium Survey 2016


3 March 2017 - Terrorism Prevention Branch represent UNODC at annual EU-UN Political Dialogue on Counter-Terrorism

The annual EU-UN Political Dialogue on Counter-Terrorism took place in Brussels, on 3 March 2017. The EU delegation was led by Mr. Pawel Herczynski, Director of Security Policy, EEAS, and the UN delegation was led by Mr. Jehangir Khan, Director of UN/CTITF Office and UNCCT. Representing UNODC at the annual Dialogue were Mr. Mauro Miedico, Chief a.i. of the Terrorism Prevention Branch, and Mr. George Puthuppally, Chief of TPB's Implementation Support Section for Sub-Saharan Africa. Taking advance of the presence in Brussels, on 2 March Mr. George Puthuppally also held bilateral consultations with the leadership of EU's Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP): Mr. Oliver Nette, Head of Unit IcSP, and Mr. Philippe Bartholme, Team Leader, Crisis Response ICSP. EU and UNODC are currently partnering to implement a counter-terrorism assistance project for Nigeria, fully funded by EU under IcSP, aimed at strengthening Nigeria's criminal justice responses to terrorism, in compliance with the rule of law and human rights.


1 March 2017 - the launch of the new EU - UN Partnership Report

EU -UN Partnership ReportPartnership between the European Union and the United Nations has benefited millions of people in more than 170 countries across the globe, according to the latest report showcasing the results and strength of the collaboration between the United Nations and the European Union. From the Millennium Development Goals to the new 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the European Union has worked together with the United Nations to ensure access to education and health, save lives, increase resilience, and promote the values enshrined in the UN Charter of peace and human rights. EU President Jean-Claude Juncker stressed the need for a greater emphasis on multilateralism and collective action to address global challenges. He emphasized the European Union's commitment to the "spirit of global solidarity at the heart of the 2030 Agenda" in an introduction to the report which covers activities of the partnership between the United Nations and the European Union 2014-2015 . The results of this ambitious and wide-ranging partnership can be seen at country level. The EU and the UN have worked, for example, with Governments in Iraq, the Central African Republic, Thailand, Ukraine and Colombia to integrate human rights in their development plans. Partnership is crucial to success. According to the report, " Saving and Empowering Lives '' in nearly 40 countries, the EU and the UN have partnered with civil society organizations and national authorities to improve protection for millions of refugees and internally displaced persons. Training is another fundamental area of cooperation to help countries promote and honour commitments to gender equality, the empowerment of women and end abuse of women and children among others. Tens of millions of vulnerable people in 49 countries in 2014-2015 benefitted from food assistance provided by the United Nations and the European Union in nations ravaged by war or malnutrition. Despite efforts by the EU and the UN, nearly 800 million people are still undernourished, and tackling hunger is critical to the partnership. In a world beset by crises, the European Union and the United Nations play a fundamental role in providing relief to the some 65 million people who were uprooted from their homes globally due to armed conflicts, climate change, population growth and unplanned urbanization. With their immense convening power, the EU and the UN helped coordinate contributions from donors, international organizations, civil society and national authorities to address the needs of refugees and internally displaced persons in Africa, the Middle East and Europe itself. Innovative initiatives using private sector partnerships and new technologies like biometrics and ATMs provide help quicker and in a more economically efficient manner. From floods, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and other emergencies, the EU and the UN have expanded cooperation on rapid response to crises, increasing resilience and recovery.The EU-UN partnership in Peace and Security continued to deepen in 2014-2015, providing a valuable contribution to the increased attention currently being paid to the importance of mediation, conflict resolution and preventive diplomacy now evident in both the European Union and the United Nations. In 2015, the EU and the UN agreed on priorities for 2015-2018 for strengthening the partnership on peacekeeping and crisis management. The EU-UN Partnership has promoted democracy, the rule of law and good governance in countries across Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Working together, the EU and the UN have expanded global access to essential services, provided training and opportunity for enhanced inclusive, green growth and decent jobs. The UN and the EU played crucial roles in the historic Agreement on Climate Change in Paris in 2015, paving the way to further develop national climate plans; the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction; the Addis Ababa Action Agenda; Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals. The historical year of 2015 marked a landmark in continuing to strengthen the partnership between the EU and the UN. The partnership was highlighted during the first-ever European Year for Development in 2015 and the annual European Development Days. The next edition of the European Development Days in June 2017 will focus on investing in development, marking a new step in forging an ever stronger partnership between the EU and the UN.

- The Saving and Empowering Lives EU - UN Partnership Report


14 February 2017 - Exchanges on the Prevention of Violent Extremism in the ARF region

Photo credit UNODC Brussels Ms Thanawan Klumklomchit, Terrorism Prevention Officer from the UNODC Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific (located in Thailand), was invited to attend the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Brussels - jointly organized by the Philippines, Australia and the European Union. Ms Klumklomchit participated in a panel discussion on the Prevention of Violent Extremism in the ARF region . She briefed the meeting on UNODC's work to enhance ASEAN member states' criminal justice responses to terrorism, through technical assistance to build effective legal framework and capacity to address conducts related to the spread of violence extremism such as recruitment and the use of internet for terrorist purposes. Ms Klumklomchit also highlighted the need to address radicalisation in prisons and explained UNODC's related initiatives including a Handbook on the Management of Violent Extremist Prisoners and the Prevention of Radicalisation to Violence in Prisons.

  • The UNODC Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific website
  • The Handbook on the Management of Violent Extremist Prisoners and the Prevention of Radicalisation to Violence in Prisons


13 February 2017 - Exchanges on Maritime Crime

Mr Alan Cole, Head of the UNODC Global Maritime Crime Programme in Eastern Africa, and his colleague Ms Siri Bjune from the UNODC Global Maritime Crime Programme in Vienna, came to Brussels to discuss maritime security and brief the key EU partners from the EEAS and DG DEVCO on the on-going activities of the Global Maritime Crime Programme.


10 February 2017 - Exchanges on post UNGASS 2016

Ms Jo Dedeyne-Amann, UNODC Chief of the Secretariat to the Governing Bodies, and her colleague Ms Doris Resch, were invited to brief the Horizontal Working Party on Drugs at the Council of the European Union on post UNGASS 2016 (Special Session of the General Assembly UNGASS) and on the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND). The UNODC Secretariat delivered presentations on the UNGASS follow up work undertaken by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs as well as a Secretariat proposal on supporting the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in the implementation of the UNGASS outcome document "Our joint commitment to effectively addressing and countering the world drug problem".

The first presentation, delivered on behalf of Ambassador Moitinho de Almeida, CND Facilitator for post-UNGASS matters, focused on the various steps the CND had taken so far in advancing UNGASS follow-up. The Horizontal Working Party on Drugs was further briefed on what could be expected at the upcoming 60th anniversary session of the Commission in March 2017, including a draft resolution tabled by the Chair on behalf of the Commission on preparations for the 62nd CND in 2019, the target date of the 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action. In addition the meeting was informed about a decision that would be tabled by the Chair of the Commission, on strengthening the subsidiary bodies of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. The Secretariat further informed about planned activities to be initiated upon conclusion of the 60th CND, including a planned CND work programme for the second half of the year with dedicated meetings for each of the seven thematic areas in order to deal with each of these areas in a more in-depth manner. The second presentation focused on the support that the Secretariat was providing to the CND, including proposals for enhancing the awareness for the work of the CND, for increasing its visibility and the corresponding funding needs to make the CND UNGASS follow-up work sustainable.


8 February 2017 - UNODC joined senior officials from Europe and Africa in Malta

Photo credit UNODC BrusselsDeeply concerned by the sharp increase of flows in refugees, asylum seekers and migrants taking dangerous journeys across the Mediterranean, European and African leaders adopted the Joint Valletta Action Plan in November 2015 to comprehensively address the challenges posed by this situation. Since then, UNODC intensified its efforts to support Member States in one of the five priorities of the action plan aiming at preventing and combatting migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings. UNODC joined senior officials from Europe and Africa in Malta from 8-9 February to take stock of the progress made since the adoption of the action plan, as they acknowledged that the fight against networks of migrant smugglers and human traffickers needed to be stepped up through a stronger focus on measures aimed at tackling these crimes, including cross-border cooperation, legislative reform and capacity building. Mr John Brandolino, Director of Treaty Affairs, reiterated UNODC's " commitment to support and collaborate with all stakeholders to address the priorities of the Joint Valetta Action Plan, including through the development of a holistic response to dismantle criminal networks involved in human trafficking and migrant smuggling, while fully assuring the protection of victims and vulnerable migrants". Providing a common framework for an effective joint response, the Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants Protocols, which complement the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, have been ratified by most participating States and yet are not sufficiently and fully implemented. As the situation in the European vicinity remains dramatic, with a new record of lives lost at sea in 2016, and while the business of smugglers and traffickers keeps on thriving, the United Nations (UN) as whole is mobilizing to develop a Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration. " It is only when safe, regular migration and mobility exist in a solid human rights framework, and when issues such as smuggling of migrants and trafficking in human beings are addressed through human rights-based responses, that adequate protection is possible and the development benefits of migration can become truly tangible", said Ms Barbara Pesce-Monteiro, UNDP Director, while delivering a statement on behalf of the UN at the Valletta meeting.


31 January 2017 - EU-UNODC Project Steering Committee of the Global Action to Address Trafficking in Persons and Migrant Smuggling (GLO.ACT)

The GLO.ACT Project Coordinator and Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer, supported by the UNODC Representative in Brussels, participated in the biannual EU-UNODC Project Steering Committee of the Global Action to Address Trafficking in Persons and Migrant Smuggling ( GLO.ACT). The meeting was hosted by the donor, DG DEVCO, with the participation of colleagues from DG HOME, DG NEAR, the EEAS, the EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator's Team, and EU Delegations in GLO.ACT countries via videolink (Brazil, Colombia, Morocco and South Africa) as well as the EU Delegation in Vienna. Also participating via videolink from Vienna was the UNODC Chief of the Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Section which implements GLO.ACT and five Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officers supporting GLO.ACT implementation at the country level. In addition, GLO.ACT implementing partners IOM and UNICEF joined the meeting via teleconference. The main focus of the meeting was to update the EC on the national workplans being developed and implemented in close cooperation with GLO.ACT beneficiary countries.


20 January 2017 - Preparation of the Valletta Senior Officials Meeting on Migration

UNODC Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Section, represented by Ms. Morgane Nicot, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer, visited the UNODC Brussels Liaison Office to support the Office during the 3rd plenary meeting for the preparation of the Senior Officials Meeting to be held in Valletta, Malta (February 2017). The meeting, focusing on the follow up to the Valletta Summit and Joint Action Plan on Migration since its adoption in November 2015, provided an opportunity to introduce the progress reports of the Rabat and Khartoum Processes. These reports will inform the identification of priorities for the implementation of the Joint Action Plan, including in the field of human trafficking and migrant smuggling where UNODC is already stronly engaged along States participating in the two processes.


Read our past stories here.