The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is a United Nations office that was established in 1997 as the Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention by combining the United Nations International Drug Control Program (UNDCP) and the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division in the United Nations Office at Vienna. and was renamed the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in 2002.
The agency’s focus is the trafficking in and abuse of illicit drugs, crime prevention and criminal justice, international terrorism, and political corruption. It is a member of the United Nations Development Group. In 2016–2017 it had an estimated biannual budget of US$700 million.
The United Nations International Drug Control Program (UNDCP) and the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division in the United Nations Office at Vienna were merged to form the Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention. This was renamed United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in 2002.
Yury Fedotov, former Director General of the United Nations Office in Vienna and former Executive Director UNODC, delivers his welcome address at the first day of the 57th IAEA General Conference. M-Building, IAEA Headquarters, Vienna, Austria. 16 September 2013
The United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme Network (PNI) is a network consisting of UNODC as well as many crime-related institutes and other centres around the world. Its aim is to strengthen international co-operation in the areas of crime prevention and criminal justice. The network facilitates the “exchange of information, research, training and public education”.
UNODC, which employs between 2400 people worldwide, has its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, with 115 field offices and two liaison offices in Brussels and in New York City. The United Nations Secretary-General appoints the agency’s Executive Director. Yuri Fedotov, the former Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, held this position from 2010 until 2019, when the United Nations Secretary-General announced that Ms. Ghada Fathi Waly of Egypt would replace him as both executive director of UNODC and Director General of the United Nations Office at Vienna.
UNODC’s Terrorism Prevention Branch was headed by International terrorism studies expert Alex P. Schmid from 1999 to 2005.
Aims and functions
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 political 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 office aims long-term to better equip governments to handle drug-, crime-, terrorism-, and corruption-related issues, to maximise knowledge on these issues among governmental institutions 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.
These are the main themes that UNODC deals with: Alternative Development, anti-corruption, Criminal Justice, Prison Reform and Crime Prevention, Drug Prevention, -Treatment and Care, HIV and AIDS, Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling, Money Laundering, Organized Crime, Piracy, Terrorism Prevention.