The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) was created in 1997 after the merger of the United Nations Drug Control Programme and the Centre for International Crime Prevention. UNODC fights against illicit drugs and international crime through extensive fieldwork and research in regions all around the world. UNODC relies heavily on voluntary contributions and willing participation from Governments. UNODC’s mission is to assist member states in the struggle of arising problems dealing with illicit drugs, crime, and terrorism. The three pillars of the UNODC are as follows:
- To enhance the capacity of Member States to counteract illicit drugs, crime and terrorism through field-based technical cooperation projects.
- To increase knowledge and understanding of drugs and crime issues and expand the evidence base for policy and operational decisions.
- To assist States in the ratification and implementation of the relevant international treaties, the development of domestic legislation on drugs, crime and terrorism, and the provision of secretariat and substantive services to the treaty-based and governing bodies.
The committee makes very effort to integrate and mainstream the gender perspective, particularly in its projects for the provision of alternative livelihoods, as well as those against human trafficking. Moreover, UNODC assists in combating the world drug problem and takes action against international terrorism, topics highly viewed in the Millennium Declaration in 2000, where leaders discussed the importance of freedom, equality, solidarity, and tolerance amongst other things. With 500 field offices throughout the world, 20 international, national, and regional offices located in over 150 countries, the UN Office of Drugs and Crime aims to educate the world about the dangers of illicit drug use, which include its delinquency, production, and potential to cause international crime and terrorism. UNODC executes such initiatives by promoting projects of youth development and education regarding drugs. UNODC Brazil recently landed a campaign tying family relationships with power drug use earlier this year in August 2013. Work against illicit drugs goes back twenty-five years ago to the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988, which called for international cooperation in creating prevention measures to eradicate relating crimes. This convention provided measures to combat drug trafficking, money laundering, and the diversion of precursor chemicals.
In 2003, the General Assembly approved a program to counteract the illicit manufacturing and trafficking of firearms, including their components and ammunition. This program supplemented the United Nations’ attempts to thwart transnationally organized crime and demonstrated the wide range of protective measures in place to challenge all types of crime. UNODC also strives to implore prevention of crime and provide assistance to reforming penal justice in many countries. Collaborations with the member states are put in effect to fortify and strengthen rights and liberties and to establish stable penal justices free of corruption. This aid is seen as a form of deterrence from terrorism. The growing conflict amongst nations has been brought to the attention of multiple committees as a modern problem of the 21st century. As a whole, UNODC fights against organized crime, corruption, and trafficking. It works to reform the criminal justice system, prevent drug abuse and terrorism, and promote health. Such problems have no physical boundaries; thus, UNODC calls on all nations to work as one to attack the issues that are most relevant to the prosperity and success of humanity.
1. Pre-Emptive Measures and Actions to Tackle Overseas Opioid Trafficking
International opioid trade and smuggling has been responsible for a serious drug epidemic. Numerous areas of the world are experiencing drug and opioid addiction at increasingly higher levels due to the illegal distribution of opioids through the black market. The UN’s office of drugs and crime needs to take swift action in inhibiting the easy access and distribution of opioids as well as crack down on black market activity dealing with opioids and other drugs. Currently, the UNODC primarily focuses on illegal land distribution of drugs and has made commanding success in preventing over land distribution of opioids. The problem however lies in the UNODC’s lack of maritime regulation when it comes to opioid distribution. A more comprehensive initiative must be drawn up to effectively resolve with this problem.
2. Countering the Femicide Epidemic in Honduras
Honduras has commonly been recognized as one of the most dangerous places on Earth for women. The ongoing homicides of women continue to exist and pose significant harms to the safety of women in the country. A study shows that a woman is murdered every ten hours in Honduras. Furthermore, a UN study released in 2014 shows that 95% of murders involving women are not even investigated. The conditions that exist in Honduras have created a significant hamper on the country’s initiative to restore more sound human rights standards. The UNODC remains the committee with the most amount of jurisdiction and power to levy some sort of solution to this problem. Plans to employ the proper amount of law enforcement and aiding the Honduran legal system are some of the many ways the UNODC can stop the femicide of women in Honduras.