The UN Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) has said it believes that tackling illegal activities around the world is paramount in helping to unlock investment and sustainable progress in developing countries.
UNODC executive director Yury Fedotov, speaking at the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Vienna, said, “We know that weak and fragile states, especially those damaged by conflict, are more vulnerable to drugs and crime.
“And we know that crime undermines sustainable development, hinders access to education and employment, and drives away foreign and domestic investors.”
He added that tracking illegal profits was crucial for the 2015 millennium development goals, the programme launched by the UN to end poverty, promote education and fight diseases.
UNODC’s pledges follow an investigation by US magazine Mother Jones in January, which linked violent crime with lead pollution.
Fedotov explained that the UNODC was committed to tackling such things as terrorism and the creation of fake medicines, but also human trafficking, wildlife trade and the sale of armaments.
UNODC believes that while these activities still have a market, criminals have the power to keep developing countries in an underprivileged position. This, in turn, discourages much-needed investment.
Therefore, it is important that between the millennium development goals there is sustainable investment to promote improvement in these areas.
Fedotov added, “We must take advantage of this to ensure that our work in the area of rule of law and justice is properly aligned to sustainable social and economic development”.
UNODC is planning to alleviate criminal networks through its regional programmes, announcing three new plans for south-east Asia, southern Africa and the Caribbean.
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