NATIONS OFFICE FOR DRUG
AND CRIME PREVENTION
ORIGINS AND BACKGROUND
At present, the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP) consists of the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) and the Centre for International Crime Prevention (CICP). ODCCP was established in November 1997 to enable the organization to focus on and enhance its capacity to address the interrelated issues of drug control, crime prevention and international terrorism in all its forms.
The United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP), which was created by General Assembly resolution 45/179 of 21 December 1990, took over the functions of the previously existing United Nations drug control entities: the Division of Narcotic Drugs (DND), the secretariat of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) and the United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control (UNFDAC).
All countries are affected by the devastating consequences of drug abuse and illicit trafficking: adverse effect on health; upsurge in crime, violence and corruption; draining of human, natural and financial resources that might otherwise be used for social economic development; restructuring of individuals, families and communities; and undermining of political, cultural, social and economic structures.
ODCCP is headed by an Executive Director, at the Under-Secretary-General level, who reports to the United Nations Secretary-General.
UNDCP receives funding from two sources: in the 1998-1999 biennium approximately 10% of this was from the regular budget of the United Nations, and the remainder was from voluntary contributions. The programme’s operational budget for 1998-1999 was about US$127 million.
CICP’s regular budget for the programme of activities for the biennium 1998-1999 was US$5.5 million; the regular budget for technical cooperation amounted to US$1 million, and extra-budgetary resources amounted to US$5 million.
ODCCP employs approximately 410 people at its headquarters in Vienna (Austria) and 21 field offices, 18 of which are UNDCP and three of which are ODCCP. It also has liaison offices at UN headquarters in New York and Brussels (ODCCP), Latvia (UNDCP) and Lebanon (CICP). Based on a UNDCP/UNDP working agreement, UNDP represents UNDCP where the latter does not maintain its own office.
UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL DRUG CONTROL PROGRAMME (UNDCP)
UNDCP’s principal objectives are to:
-- coordinate and provide leadership for United Nations system drug control activities and promote coordination and cooperation with other regional and international organizations involved in drug control activities;
-- monitor and ensure implementation of international drug control conventions and resolutions and provide advice to assist Member States to fulfil their obligations under the treaties (the objective of which is to limit the manufacture, sale and consumption of drugs and psychotropic substances to the quantities required for medical and scientific purposes and to prevent illicit trafficking in controlled substances and thus prevent misuse);
-- provide substantive secretariat services to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and its subsidiary bodies and the International Narcotics Control Board, and provide substantive services to the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly and other committees or conferences dealing with drug control matters as required;
-- develop technical cooperation programmes for drug control worldwide and assist governments in developing and implementing programmes aimed at reducing the cultivation of illicit narcotic crops and the production, trafficking and abuse of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances;
-- as the UN Secretariat’s repository of technical expertise in international drug control, advise other UN agencies and programmes and Member States on related questions; and
-- network with research institutes, associations and universities to secure and share information on the latest research related to drug control and participate in joint projects.
Outcome and Follow-Up to the General Assembly Special Session
(8-10 June 1998)
The drug issue touches almost every aspect of human behaviour; the spectrum of activities supported by UNDCP is thus extremely broad. The programme pursues a balanced approach, aiming to reduce both drug abuse and illicit trafficking.
At the special session of the General Assembly held in New York in June 1998 on countering the world drug problem, international consensus was reached to tackle the problem. The General Assembly adopted a Political Declaration and the Declaration on the Guiding Principles of Drug Demand Reduction. The following action plans were also adopted with target dates of 2003 and 2008:
-- Action Plan against illicit manufacture, trafficking and abuse of amphetamine-type stimulants and their precursors;
-- control of precursors;
-- measures to promote judicial cooperation;
-- countering money-laundering; and
-- Action Plan on international cooperation on the eradication of illicit drug crops and on alternative development.
To reduce illicit drug consumption and therefore demand, UNDCP assists in assessing the extent and patterns of drug abuse in selected countries. It also sponsors activities aimed at informing the public of the dangers of drug abuse, targeting young people in particular. Some programmes introduce specially designed components into school curricula; others reach out to vulnerable groups, such as school drop-outs and street children. Activities in this sector also include the establishment or strengthening of treatment and rehabilitation programmes and support for former abusers, including vocational training, with a view to promoting their reintegration into society as productive citizens.
On the supply side, UNDCP funds technical cooperation projects designed to reduce and ultimately eliminate the illicit cultivation of plants such as the opium poppy and the coca bush, and to monitor progress achieved in this direction. “Alternative development” programmes in producer countries seek to lessen the economic dependence of peasant farming communities on these crops by creating alternative sources of income and improving living standards. Such projects include improved agricultural practices and the cultivation of alternative crops; developing road-building, irrigation, electrification and drinking water schemes; building processing plants; promoting marketing opportunities; and providing health, education and social services.
Moreover, UNDCP assists governments in developing national “master plans”--an exercise in which all aspects of the drug problem in a country or region are analyzed, existing drug control efforts assessed, and additional activities required to fight drug abuse identified and planned. Once developed, the master plan becomes the key point of reference for national or regional drug control activities.
The programme also provides legislative assistance to countries where existing laws are inadequate to control drug trafficking, production and related activities, such as money laundering. Training is funded to help governments improve their law enforcement capacity and prosecute those involved in drug-related criminal activity.
UNDCP works in close collaboration with UN specialized agencies and programmes, and other international and non-governmental organizations, some of which are directly involved in the execution of UNDCP-funded projects. It maintains dialogue with other agencies, advocating drug control and encouraging those agencies to introduce drug control components into their own programmes. It also coordinates inter-agency drug control initiatives and related actions.
UNDCP increasingly carries out some activities on a multi-country and regional basis involving research, collection and dissemination of information, organization of scientific meetings and seminars, granting of training fellowships, and provision of advisory services.
UNDCP publishes a quarterly ODCCP Update, which includes information on UNDCP and the Centre for International Crime Prevention activities, and a twice-yearly Bulletin on Narcotics.
The following position papers are also available:
The Social and Economic Impact of Drug Abuse and Control
Drugs and Development
Women and Drug Abuse
Illicit Narcotics Cultivation and Processing--The Ignored
Directory of Non-Governmental Organizations Working in Drug
The World Drug Report
Volatile Substance Abuse
Amphetamine-type Stimulants: A Global Review
The Social Impact of Drug Abuse
Economic and Social Consequences of Drug Abuse and Illicit
Supply of and Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic
Drug Money in a Changing World: Economic Reform and Criminal
The Drug Nexus in Africa
The drug problem is a complex, multifaceted and pervasive one, and the active involvement of civil society in finding effective solutions, particularly in demand reduction, is of paramount importance. A new impetus was given to mobilizing civil society in the fight against drug abuse with the launching of the Decade Against Drug Abuse (1991-2000). Within the context of the decade, a number of events have been held with this particular aim: a series of international meetings of Mayors Against Drugs; four international private sector conferences on Drugs in the Workplace and the Community, held in Seville (Spain) in 1993, Porto Alegre (Brazil) in 1995, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) in 1997, and in Sundsvall (Sweden) in 1999 respectively. These were attended by representatives of the private sector, local authorities, trade unions, NGOs, international organizations and experts on substance abuse and its consequences; training courses for journalists; and activities of the Sports Against Drugs programme.
UNDCP also assisted the international NGO community in organizing an NGO World Forum on Drug Demand Reduction, held in Bangkok (Thailand) in December 1994. Key objectives of the forum were to enhance partnerships among NGOs and establish mechanisms to better coordinate their work and draw into the fight against drug abuse NGOs that had no special expertise in this area, but clearly had a part to play. With the publication of an NGO directory in 1996 and in 1999, the programme has provided a facility for NGO networking. UNDCP’s continuing financial support to NGOs made it possible for some NGO representatives to attend and contribute to the United Nations General Assembly special session devoted to Combating the World Drug Problem, referred to above. In this event civil society organizations were partners of UNDCP, and they contributed to its successful outcome. They were associated with numerous parallel events (such as the NGO Village) at United Nations headquarters, and were involved in discussions during preparatory meetings of the Commission on Narcotics Drugs.
UNDCP intensified efforts to involve young people as partners in the development of prevention activities with the holding of a number of innovative youth programmes dedicated to this agenda. For example, the World Youth Consultation for a World Free of Drugs, held in Paris on 8-9 February 1998, concluded with the adoption of The Youth Charter for a Twenty First Century Free of Drugs, focusing on important themes of drug demand reduction and identifying a number of specific actions that governments, the general public and young people themselves can take against drug abuse worldwide. The Drug Abuse Prevention Forum held in Alberta (Canada) on 14-18 April 1998 was attended by nearly 200 young people from 24 countries to share ideas about how to prevent drug abuse. The forum produced an important policy declaration, the “Vision from Banff,” which describes ways in which young people can start to solve their own drug-related problems with a little help from parents, teachers, police and other government authorities.
As a special initiative in support of the decade, a Japanese non-governmental organization, the Drug Abuse Prevention Center (DAPC) of Tokyo, is organizing annual campaigns with a dual aim: increase awareness among young people of the dangers of drug abuse and raise money for UNDCP. The campaigns have raised almost US$2.6 million for a special fund administered by UNDCP to support drug demand reduction activities carried out by national NGOs in developing countries and Eastern Europe. Grants awarded have ranged from as little as US$1,200 to US$20,000. The grants are intended for grassroots organizations where a modest amount of money can make a big difference.
CENTRE FOR INTERNATIONAL CRIME PREVENTION (CICP)
CICP’s principal objectives are to:
-- promote international cooperation in crime prevention and control;
-- help build up criminal justice systems; and
-- assist Member States in tackling challenges and threats posed by new criminal trends, such as transnational organized crime.
The centre supports its inter-governmental legislative organ, the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, in developing global crime-fighting policies. It promotes international standards and norms in crime prevention and criminal justice and gives technical assistance such as expertise, training and project funding to requesting Member States. The centre also collects, analyses and distributes data as well as other information on crime-related matters, mainly to assist member countries in policy development.
Currently, a major United Nations priority and centre activity is to improve international instruments aimed at fighting transnational organized crime. Emphasis is placed on migrant smuggling, the smuggling and illicit manufacturing of firearms, corruption, and combating trafficking in human beings, especially women and children for sexual abuse or forced labour.
Responding to new challenges posed by transnational organized crime, Member States have decided to cooperate in fighting this menace by drafting a legally-binding treaty--the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. This instrument will include global measures to criminalize participation in criminal groups, confiscate assets, boost national cooperation between law enforcement and judicial authorities and banish money laundering, regardless of the source of income. The centre is assisting Member States to ensure the treaty will be drawn up by the year 2000 and that steps are taken to put it into effect.
The centre, together with its research arm--the United Nations Interregional Criminal Justice and Research Institute in Rome (Italy)--has initiated three global programmes focusing on vital concerns of the international law enforcement and justice community.
The Global Programme against Corruption is providing technical expertise and support to a selection of countries with developing or transition economies. It is analyzing current problems and policies in these countries, helping set up mechanisms to make public sector tendering more transparent, and promoting anti-corruption measures.
The Global Programme against Trafficking in Human Beings is addressing migrant smuggling and trafficking in women and children. In a selection of countries field projects are being carried out to test promising strategies, such as new ways for police immigration, victims’ support and the judiciary to collaborate, both within countries and internationally.
The third programme, Global Studies on Organized Crime, is assessing trends in organized criminal groups as well as their “dangerousness” worldwide. Its main focus is to predict the future moves and strategies of such groups, so that preventative action can be planned.
COMMISSION ON CRIME PREVENTION AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
This commission, whose 40 Member States are elected by the Economic and Social Council, guides the centre by drawing up international policies, which the centre implements, and coordinating activities in crime prevention and criminal justice. The commission offers a forum for governments to exchange views and set up global crime-fighting mechanisms. It also organizes periodic Congresses on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders.
Tenth Crime Congress
The centre will host the Tenth United Nations Congress in Vienna from 10-17 April 2000. Under the theme Crime and Justice, Meeting the Challenges of the 21st Century, the congress will gather together hundreds of high-level representatives of governments, academia, non-governmental organizations and the media.
The congress will discuss:
-- how to promote the rule of law and strengthen criminal justice systems;
-- international cooperation in combating transnational organized crime--new challenges in the 21st century;
-- effective crime prevention--keeping pace with new developments; and
-- offenders and victims--accountability and fairness in the justice process.
In addition, four workshops will be held on combating corruption, computer crimes, community involvement in crime prevention and women in the criminal justice system.
The congress will adopt a declaration that will include the conclusions and recommendations of Member States and set out an international agenda in crime prevention and criminal justice at the beginning of the new millennium. The commission has prepared a draft of the declaration that will be considered by the congress. The draft focuses on the need for nations to cooperate more closely in tackling transnational crime.
The following publications are available:
-- The Global Report on Crime and Justice
-- International Study on Firearm Regulation
-- Basic Education in Prisons
-- The United Nations and Juvenile Justice: A Guide to International Standards and Best Practice
-- Strategies for Confronting Domestic Violence: A Resource Manual
-- Crime Prevention--Seeking Security and Justice for All
-- Compendium of United Nations Standards and Norms in Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice
-- United Nations Crime and Justice Information Network: Providing Information to and from Developing Countries
Over the years, there has been continuous and steadily increasing interest in and contributions from the community of non-governmental organizations to the work of the Centre for International Crime Prevention. NGOs have been an invaluable source of expertise and assistance for the centre’s work. They have assisted the centre in the formulation, planning, funding, coordination and execution of technical assistance projects and proposals, and have provided or recommended experts and consultants for those projects. NGOs have organized expert group meetings, conferences and training seminars, and provided skilled personnel for such training seminars. They also have been involved in preparing, translating and producing manuals, training material and other publications.
NGOs have played a very active and supportive role at annual sessions of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, established in 1992 by General Assembly resolution 46/152, as well as in the quinquennial United Nations Congresses on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders. NGOs traditionally organize a variety of ancillary meetings at the congresses. For example at the ninth congress, held in 1995 in Cairo, 18 ancillary meetings were held. NGOs are also invited to organize ancillary meetings at the upcoming Tenth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders.
NGOs have also been actively involved in the work of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Elaboration of a Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
Terrorism Prevention Branch
The Terrorism Prevention Branch of ODCCP works to strengthen the capacity of CICP and addresses issues related to terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. It does so mainly by:
-- providing technical cooperation to Member States in the implementation of existing conventions; and
-- engaging in research activities on the terrorism phenomenon.
Sumru Noyan, Chief, External Relations Unit, ODCCP, Vienna International Centre, PO Box 500, A-1400 Vienna, Austria, telephone +43-1/26060 4266, fax +43-1/26060 5850, e-mail <email@example.com>, website (www.undcp.org).