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united nations office for drug control and crime prevention

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is a United Nations agency that was established in 1997 as the Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention by combining the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) and the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division in the United Nations Office at Vienna, then renamed in 2002.

UNODC was established to assist the UN in better addressing a coordinated, comprehensive response to the interrelated issues of illicit trafficking in and abuse of drugs, crime prevention and criminal justice, international terrorism, and corruption. These goals are pursued through three primary functions: research, guidance and support to governments in the adoption and implementation of various crime-, drug-, terrorism-, and corruption-related conventions, treaties and protocols, as well as technical/financial assistance to said governments to face their respective situations and challenges in these fields.

The agency, employing about 500 staff members worldwide, is headquartered in Vienna, with 21 field offices and a New York City liaison office. The agency is led by an Executive Director appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General. Presently, that position is filled by Antonio Maria Costa, an Italian native who also holds the position of Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna. The long-term aims of the office are to better equip governments to handle drug-, crime-, terrorism-, and corruption-related issues, maximise knowledge on these issues among governmental institution and agencies, and also to maximise awareness of said matters in public opinion, globally, nationally and at community level. Approximately 90% of the Office's funding comes from voluntary contributions, mainly from governments.

Since its inception, the United Nations Drug Control Programme (UNDCP), as well as the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ). UNODC also incorporates the secretariat of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB).


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