During a visit to Switzerland, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov forged closer cooperation with the heads of organizations active in many of the major fields of work of the United Nations, including health; labour; human rights; humanitarian action and disaster relief; saving endangered species; and development. He also met officials of the Government of Switzerland, a major UNODC donor.

Geneva is the second largest United Nations duty station after United Nations Headquarters in New York and is acknowledged as the humanitarian capital of the world. Mr. Fedotov therefore visited intergovernmental organizations, specialized agencies, programmes, funds, offices, research institutes and related organizations with a view to bringing added value to their work and drawing upon their wide expertise.

Specifically, the Executive Director sought to draw attention to the importance of the fight against drugs and organized crime given that those phenomena impede development. By mainstreaming those issues in every sphere of activity, development agencies and peacekeeping operations could improve their chances of achieving long-term success and fulfilling the Millennium Development Goals.

UNODC places human rights at the centre of drug control, crime prevention and criminal justice. Drug dependence is a health disorder, and drug abusers need treatment. The Office advocates a comprehensive package of measures to reduce vulnerability, treat drug addiction and prevent the spread of infections associated with drug abuse, such as HIV.

It helps to build fair and effective criminal justice systems by assisting States in reforming their national criminal justice systems, with particular emphasis on vulnerable groups such as women and children. The Office has developed projects in the areas of juvenile justice, penal reform and victim support. In order to reduce poverty, UNODC works with communities to provide farmers with legitimate and sustainable livelihoods so as to encourage them not to cultivate illicit crops. [...]

"In the spirit of 'One UN', let us cooperate to fight the illicit drugs and crime that undermine our work. Together, we can create safer and healthier societies", said Mr. Fedotov.

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