United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

Global leader in fighting drug trafficking, organized crime

UNODC’s Mandate

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is a global leader in the fight against illicit drugs, transnational organised crime, terrorism, and corruption, and is the custodian of most of the related conventions, particularly:

  • The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and its 3 protocols (Trafficking in Persons; Smuggling of Migrants; and Trafficking in Firearms);
  • The United Nations Convention against Corruption; and
  • The International Drug Control Conventions 

UNODC was established in 1997, combining the United Nations Centre for International Crime Prevention and the United Nations International Drug Control Programme. It was established by the UN Secretary-General to enable the Organisation to focus and enhance its capacity to address the interrelated issues of drug control, crime, and international terrorism in all its forms.

In the same year, the UNODC Southern Africa office was formed and now covers 11 countries in the region, namely: Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The funding of UNODC’s programmes is fully dependent on the continued support of the donor community. The major donors contributing to the current programme are: Australia; Austria; the European Commission; Germany; Italy; Japan; Luxembourg; Mozambique; the Netherlands; Norway; Sweden; and the United States of America. The following provides a snapshot of ROSAF’s current strategies and programme of work.

Strategic Objectives

UNODC is committed to achieving security and justice for all, by making the world safer from drugs, crime, and terrorism. To assist countries in this goal, UNODC Southern Africa has developed a Strategic Programme Framework for the region, structured around six key objectives:

  • Strengthening legislative and judicial capacity of Southern African countries for the ratification and implementation of international conventions and instruments on drug control, organised crime, corruption, terrorism and money laundering;
  • Assisting Southern African countries in reducing illicit drug trafficking and in the control of precursor chemicals;
  • Enhancing the capacity of Government institutions and civil society organisations in the Southern African region to prevent drug use and related HIV infections amongst the youth and other vulnerable populations, particularly within prison settings;
  • Enhancing the capacity of Government institutions and civil society organisations in the Southern African region to counter trafficking in persons, the smuggling of migrants, and trafficking in organs;
  • Creating awareness about, and reducing domestic violence in Southern Africa in co-operation with civil society and Governments; and
  • To promote Victim Empowerment by improving coordination, building capacity and strengthening relations between government and civil society in order to improve services to victims, especially women and children.