Vienna / Rome. 07 June
2011. - UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov met with several senior Italian
officials to discuss a range of drug- and crime-related matters, including
migrant smuggling into Southern Europe on the back of the recent and ongoing
events in North Africa.
Mr. Fedotov’s meetings
with the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Franco Frattini, the Minister
of Justice, Mr. Angelino Alfano, and the Under-Secretary of State in the
Ministry of the Interior, Mr. Alfredo Mantovano, covered a range of issues
which the Executive Director noted were of critical importance to regional
safety and security. Mr. Fedotov also held discussions on drug demand reduction
and treatment and prevention of drug use with Senator Carlo Giovanardi and Mr.
Giovanni Serpelloni, Director of the Department for Anti-Drug Policies in the
Presidency of the Council of Ministers.
Italy’s commitment to countering
international crime and its relationship with UNODC is a longstanding one. Italy has been one of the
main donors to UNODC and contributed more than US$ 110 million over the last
ten years. In December 2000 the Italian Government
hosted the first High-level Political Conference of the United Nations
Convention against Transnational Organized Crime allowing Member States to sign
this critical treaty and representing a historic milestone. A decade later the
Convention – or Palermo Convention as it is widely called – is considered the
world’s foremost tool in tackling cross-border criminals.
“The Palermo Convention
and its Protocols are the most important legal tools in today’s global fight
against organized crime. They are the sole universal instruments that we have
to counter transnational crime, the trafficking of persons, tackle smuggling of
migrants and work against the movement of illicit firearms” said Mr. Fedotov.
The meetings also
covered the current developments in North Africa with the Executive Director
noting that UNODC is working closely with the UN system in defining responses
to the changes in the region and ensuring that issues concerning criminal
justice and security sector reforms are addressed.
The issue of transatlantic cocaine was also covered, following the May
2011 G8+ Ministerial Meeting which was convened to discuss this topic. Mr.
Fedotov praised the endorsement of the G8 Plan of Action and Political
Declaration which recognized the role played by the international drug control
conventions and UNODC. The Executive Director also labelled the formation of an
anti-cocaine trust fund which is to be financed by confiscated proceeds
“progressive” and noted that “by using drug money to fight this scourge it
sends a clear message to criminals that this will not be tolerated.”
Lastly, the issue of
counter-piracy work and maritime security was discussed. Italy was recently
appointed Chair of the ad hoc group on illicit financial flows linked to piracy
which was established by the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia
(CGPCS), and has contributed to UNODC’s Anti-Piracy Trust Fund in support of
the Puntland prison construction project and building prosecutorial support in
For further information please contact:
In Rome, Italy:
Daniela Salvati, Liaison
Officer: UN Interregional Crime & Justice Research Institute (UNICRI)
T: (+39-06) 678-9907 | M: (+39-339) 683-5836 | E:
In Vienna, Austria:
Alun Jones, Chief of Communication and Advocacy: UNODC
T: (+43-1) 26060-5726 | M: (+43-699) 1459-5726 | E: